Thousands of scientists and doctors condemn COVID-19 panic

Censensus! Since May literally thousands of scientists and doctors, including a Nobel Prize winner, have publicly condemned the heavy-handed lockdowns and restrictions on freedom imposed by governments because of its panic over COVID-19.

The article provides details. It is very clear that a very large number of scientists are appalled by the over-reach by government health officials that has led to the shut downs and the requirements for mask use. (Obviously these scientists are all white supremacists and racists, and should be cancelled immediately!)

The article also led me to this research from Oxford University, which concluded in April that the death rate from the Wuhan virus is just about the same as the flu:

Taking account of historical experience, trends in the data, increased number of infections in the population at largest, and potential impact of misclassification of deaths gives a presumed estimate for the COVID-19 IFR somewhere between 0.1% and 0.41%.

The website states that they update regularly when new data arrives, but it appears that since April nothing has caused them to revise this conclusion. The first link above also notes that Dr. Anthony Fauci of the CDC agreed with this conclusion in a peer-reviewed March article for the New England Journal of Medicine. (Obviously Oxford and Fauci are white supremacists and racists also, and should be silenced forthwith!)

We should stop this madness and go back to normal. Our government has failed us so completely in its response to COVID-19 it should be fired completely. And that includes every single one of the health officials who pushed for lockdowns, mask rules, and social distancing.

The mask of ignorance

WHO's do's and don't's for mask use
For the full images, go here and here.

Let us begin with the premise that wearing a mask properly, in the proper situations, will without doubt reduce the chances of someone transmitting COVID-19 from themselves to others. (This premise remains uncertain, but for the sake of this essay I will readily accept it.)

To be clear, the phrase “wearing a mask properly” is critical. You need to follow certain guidelines or you will not only fail to protect others, you will actually increase the chances that you will get the disease. To the right is the infographic provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the proper way to use a mask. It summarizes their full instructions.

The most important take-away one gets from these instructions is that the mask should be treated as something that starts out sterile and antiseptic, but with use will become infected with pathogens. This is why one must never touch the front of the mask with your hands. Every time you do so without washing your hands thoroughly beforehand you risk placing the virus itself on the mask, at the very place you breath.

Even if you exercise proper care to not touch the mask, over time the mask will become filled with moisture from your breath, and will thus become what I like to call a pathogen bomb. It must either be discarded or washed properly.

Do people follow these instructions? » Read more

COVID-19 update: Though deaths up slightly, CDC says outbreak no longer qualifies as epidemic

U.S. daily COVID-19 deaths through July 12th

But we’re all supposed to die! Even though the last week has seen a slight uptick in the number of daily deaths from COVID-19 (as shown by the graph to the right [source]), the CDC’s latest data update, through July 4th, notes that as of that date the overall death rate put the Wuhan virus below their “epidemic threshold.”

Based on death certificate data, the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia, influenza or COVID-19 (PIC) decreased from 6.9% during week 26 to 5.5% during week 27, representing the eleventh consecutive week during which a declining percentage of deaths due to PIC has been recorded. The percentage is currently below the epidemic threshold but will likely change as additional death certificates for deaths during recent weeks are processed. [emphasis mine]

In other words, at the beginning of this month the numbers said the epidemic was over. To underline this point, the CDC’s totals also include deaths from pneumonia and influenza, which therefore reduces the death rate for the Wuhan flu even more.

(Note: The two spikes on the graph of daily deaths on May 7 and June 25 are because New York and New Jersey suddenly added a whole slew of new deaths, under suspicious circumstances.)

The increase in deaths during the past week probably reflects the increased number of cases in the past month. It also partly explains why the CDC has not officially declared the epidemic over. They expected the death rate to rise, and it has.

However, even that rise hardly ranks as an epidemic. » Read more

COVID-19 is dying; no evidence of second wave

Link here.

Lots of detailed information, all of which confirm what I have been reporting for the past week or so. This quote however I think says it all:

The COVID-19 virus is on its final legs, and while I have filled this post with graphs to prove everything I just said, this is really the only graph you need to see, it’s the CDC’s data, over time, of deaths from COVID-19 here in the U.S., and the trend line is unmistakable:

[Click to see]

If virologists were driving policy about COVID-19 rather than public health officials, we’d all be Sweden right now, which means life would effectively be back to normal. The only thing our lockdowns have done at this point is prolong the agony a little bit, and encouraged Governors to make up more useless rules.

His graph is a smoothed version of the graph I have posted several times recently, showing the continuing decline in daily deaths nationwide from COVID-19.

The bottom line: The Wuhan flu epidemic is petering out. Almost all of us have nothing to fear from it. We need to reject that fear and go back to life as normal.

Sadly, I doubt anyone will believe either him, or me.

Have you fallen in love with your fear of COVID-19?

The Star Spangled Banner
Fort McHenry bombarded by the British in 1812

O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

These two lines are probably the most familiar words to most Americans of their national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key. When people sing the anthem before sports events, it is these lines alone which everyone clearly knows and sings out robustly. For the rest of the song everyone kind of goes along, mouthing the words based on what they think the entire crowd is singing.

We tend however not to think about what the words mean. That last line especially describes precisely the American nation as Key and his fellow Americans in 1812 saw it, as a land of free and brave people. They understood that they were free, but they also understood that it is impossible to be a free person if you are afraid. You must be brave to be free, because freedom carries risk and danger. The rewards are gigantic, but with those rewards comes the real risk of failure and even death. To be free you need accept that risk and face it boldly.

The results of that courage are evident by what the citizens of the United States of America achieved in the two hundred years since Key wrote these words. We fought a Civil War that killed more than 600,000 people to set everyone in our nation free. We fought two wars in Europe, with the second setting that entire continent free as well because we came not as conquerors but as liberators.

And we built a nation so prosperous, for all its people, that multitudes flock desperately to come here and be part of this great experiment in human freedom.

That noble experiment is now threatened. Within our nation are many people who hate it, and are striving hard to destroy it. Along the way they eagerly long for the day that freedom itself is squelched, a day when they by edict can decide what every citizen is permitted to do, and when they by edict will be able to arrest and destroy anyone who defies them.

It is very simple. They want power. Freedom for everyone denies them that.
» Read more

COVID-19 update: CDC says virus close to losing epidemic status

Daily U.S. COVID-19 deaths

But we’re all supposed to die! According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number of deaths from the Wuhan virus had declined so much that the agency is on the verge of calling the epidemic over.

The CDC qualifies a disease outbreak as an “epidemic” if the number of deaths attributable to the disease exceeds a certain percentage of total deaths per week. That threshold for pneumonia, influenza and COVID-19 fluctuates slightly depending on the time of year, ranging from around 7% at the height of flu season to around 5% during less virulent months.

…The latest data show that the percentage of deaths in the country attributable to those factors had as of the last week in June reached its lowest point since the end of last year, becoming “equal to the [current] epidemic threshold of 5.9%,” the CDC said.

The numbers will change as more death certificates are processed, with I expect some health agencies in some states continuing their effort to fudge the numbers to pump up the COVID-19 totals. Regardless, the graph above (source here.) clearly shows that the epidemic is declining, with daily deaths dropping steadily since early May. (The two spikes of deaths on May 7 and June 25 are because New York and New Jersey suddenly added a whole slew of new deaths, under suspicious circumstances.)

Actual numbers daily since June 25

The graph shows a very slight increase in the past week, which could be attributed to the uptick in new cases, but if so the increase is tiny, and is close to statistically insignificant. The table to the right shows the actual numbers of deaths per day nationwide since that June 25 New Jersey spike, with the daily New York numbers thrown in as well. Not only is it hard to measure any significant uptick, the numbers in New York have been so low in the past nine days it has become absurd that the Democratically-controlled local governments there continue to insist on maintaining their draconian lock downs and mask requirements.

That the press is now focusing on the increase in cases, when the death toll has been subsiding so steadily, demonstrates their corruption and inability or refusal to do their job properly, If anything, it labels them as fear-mongers screaming fire in a theater (which is not on fire) who should be ostracized from society.

Are health agencies changing criteria to fake higher COVID-19 infection numbers?

This link provides evidence that Texas health officials have changed how they determine the number of people infected with the Wuhan flu by loosening that definition to include anyone who has had any contact with a proven infected person, without bothering with any tests.

In the example the health department itself gives to describe how the definition changes things, the number of infected goes from only one person to seventeen. There have been other stories suggesting the same kind of manipulation in the causes of death is occurring in other states, in New York and New Jersey, as well as Colorado, to name just three.

Covid daily U.S. deaths through July 3, 2020

The press and many politicians are now using the new higher infection rates to warn that a second wave of deaths is about to descend upon us. Since the actual number of daily deaths from the Wuhan flu is actually not rising significantly, as shown in the graph to the right, and has not been rising even though the increase in cases started several weeks ago, these cries by them that the sky is falling are obviously not true. (Note that the sudden spikes of deaths on May 7 and June 25 are because New York and New Jersey suddenly added a whole slew of new deaths, under suspicious circumstances.)

I myself am glad they are widening the definition so that it includes so many more people. I say, widen that definition even more, so that it will quickly include practically everyone in the nation. At that point we shall finally realize maybe that this epidemic is not the threat these dishonest health officials, the lying leftist press, and our corrupt politicians have been making it.

NPR: “Coronavirus is more common and less deadly”

From that paranoid rightwing news outlet National Public Radio (NPR): “Mounting evidence suggests the coronavirus is more common and less deadly than it first appeared.”

The tests are finding large numbers of people in the U.S. who were infected but never became seriously ill. And when these mild infections are included in coronavirus statistics, the virus appears less dangerous.

“The current best estimates for the infection fatality risk are between 0.5% and 1%,” says Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

That’s in contrast with death rates of 5% or more based on calculations that included only people who got sick enough to be diagnosed with tests that detect the presence of virus in a person’s body.

It must be noted that the early data (from March 17) did not show a death rate of 5% as NPR claims, but one exactly in the range that NPR is now touting, about 1%, and even that number was thought to be a high estimate at the time.

Of course, you would not have known that if you depended on your news from NPR, or most other mainstream leftist news sources. Once they realized they could use this virus to gin up a panic that could be used politically, suddenly the Wuhan flu was the next plague, with death tolls expected in the millions.

The death rate number of 0.5% to 1% is still about five to ten times higher than the annual flu, but since there is substantial evidence that the number of COVID-19 deaths has been inflated by 25 to 50 percent, we should not be surprised if this new death rate number drops even more with the accumulation of more data.

Courts twice today rule against COVID-19 over reach

Two positive court decisions today, both throwing out attempts by Democrats to use the panic over the Wuhan flu to nullify the U.S. legal system.

The first story outlines the court’s blunt ruling that the Democratic governor of Illinois abused his power when he extended both in restrictions and time the statewide lock downs he had imposed because of the Wuhan flu.

Illinois Circuit Court Judge Mike McHaney ruled on Thursday that Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois had no lawful authority to declare endless disasters past the initial thirty days. Ruling on a lawsuit filed by State House Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Ill.), Judge McHaney wrote, “The court declares that Defendant had no constitutional authority as Governor to restrict a citizen’s movement or activities and/or forcibly close business premises in EO 32.”

The ruling however included this loophole: “The judge also clarified that the lawful authority belongs to the Health Department in a time of health crisis and not the governor.” In other words, the elected official’s power is limited, but the power of unelected health department officials is not. This means that in the end, the ruling will become worthless.

In the second story, the Supreme Court rejected a lower court ruling that exempted some voters in Alabama from presenting voter identification when they voted.

We are sitting on a knife edge. The courts might rule in favor of the rule of law, but many will instead go with the wishes of the partisan Democrats, who clearly want to impose these restrictions to stamp their boot on the population, while loosening voter rules so that they can more easily submit many more fake ballots.

With Americans under attack where are Trump and the Republicans?

For me, the most distressing part of the panic over COVID-19 has not been the rules, the mandates, the nullification of the Bill of Rights, and the shut down of normal life, all of which have been terrible, wrong-headed, and a disaster for our country.

What has distressed me the most is the gutless response by the nation’s so-called conservative Republican politicians. All of the panic and harsh rules and economic damage has been designed by the Democrats to hurt the reelection chances of Trump. Little of it has anything to do with stopping the virus, and in fact most are nothing more than symbolic gestures that can accomplish nothing.

Despite this, Republican elected leaders have acquiesced to the Democrats demands, almost across the board.

Consider my own state of Arizona. My governor, Doug Ducey, is Republican. Republicans also have majorities in both houses of my state legislature. Yet, they have either let the Democrats run the show, or have acted in ways that are indistinguishable from the worst dictators in New York and New Jersey. First Governor Ducey imposed and then extended a lockdown that has bankrupted many businesses in the state. Then, as he began to loosen that lockdown he ceded his power to the generally Democratically-controlled local governments, letting them impose their own odious rules in place of his. The result is that in most big cities in the state, the lock down did not really end, but got tightened with new rules mandating masks.

Yesterday he reinstated part of his lock down for another thirty days. And like Democratic governors in Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, and New Jersey, the new rules he imposed [pdf] were arbitrary and capricious, and will thus have little if any effect. Bars, gyms, indoor movie theaters, and water parks have to close until July 27th. Government and community pools however can stay open. So can restaurants, shopping centers, clothing stores, and many other venues that previously were considered “non-essential.” He also banned any gathering of more than fifty people, but exempted political demonstrations and religious services.

And why did he do this? It appears there has been an increase in COVID-19 cases in the past few weeks! That means (oh no!) the number of people either hospitalized or dying might skyrocket, and overwhelm the hospitals!
» Read more

Masks = virtue signaling

This essay by Robert Pratt about the uselessness of masks to stop or slow the spread of COVID-19 has this very clarifying quote:

“When a person is infectious with a virus it is estimated that they may shed one hundred billion virus particles a day – that works out to 10 million per breath,” [Dr. John Lee, a former professor of pathology at a UK medical school] pointed out.

Given that the most common cloth masks in use by people have thousands of pores, holes between the fabric threads, several times larger than the width of a human hair and that a full thousand virus particles can fit through a space the size of a human hair side-by-side even laboratory controlled fit and use of a mask, conditions not present in actual life usage, does little to stop the spread of virus particles.

…If just a breath contains 10 million virus particles, the pressurized large release associated with a sneeze or cough is reasonably likely to be much greater and will put millions of virus particles straight through a mask as well as much more out the side perimeters of such.

So let’s summarize: The mask, worn for long periods, forces you to rebreath your carbon dioxide at higher levels than normal, lowers the oxygen content to levels that are considered unhealthy, and in the end can do little to block the virus. On top of this, if you unconsciously touch the front of your mask (such as to pull it down to talk to someone), and your hand had not been sanitized just beforehand, you have just taken the risk of placing the virus on the mask, at exactly the place you breath.

Sounds like a plan to me, eh?

Politicians continue to lie about COVID-19 to generate fear

Total U.S. daily deaths from the Wuhan flu

They just won’t stop lying: On June 26 there was a strange and unbelievable jump in the number of deaths from COVID-19. The graph to the right (source here), up-to-date through June 28, illustrates this. Compare it to the graph I posted on June 25 (in an essay that makes a nice bookmark with this essay). All of a sudden there were 2,500 deaths from the Wuhan flu the very next day, when we had seen no numbers like that since early May and the totals had been steadily and very consistently declining for weeks. In fact, the decline continued along the same exact trend, following this strange uptick in deaths.

Was it a sign of the coming second wave that so many Chicken Littles have been predicting with the partial reopening of the economy, allowing people to leave house arrest? Or was it a sign of some shenanigans by some government officials to manipulate the numbers because they didn’t like how consistently the death totals were dropping, thus giving Americans some hope and the ability to put aside their fears of a coming plague and go back to normal.

Which would you pick?
» Read more

Some quick and easy evidence proving masks are unhealthy

The video below illustrates very simply and quickly the reasons masks are generally a bad idea, especially for anyone with any chronic respiratory disease that causes reduced lung function. What it shows that within your mask the levels of oxygen are routinely below OSHA’s recommendations. While a healthy person will not suffer significantly, wearing a mask for a long period of time will certainly lead to headaches and diminished function. For a person with asthma or chronic pulmonary disease the low levels of oxygen, combined with the higher levels of CO2 (which you are rebreathing) will eventually cause serious harm.

The video comes from this link, which includes similar demonstrations.

Wearing a mask is simply not supported by the science. There is no clear evidence it stops or even slows the spread of the Wuhan virus, and it carries with it negative medical consequences.

The negative social consequences need not be discussed. They are beyond counting.

Biden would use presidential power to force everyone to wear masks

They’re coming for you next: Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden said today that he would would use his power as president to require everyone to wear masks.

“I would go back to making sure that everybody had masks,” Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, told KDKA. “The one thing we do know is that these masks make a gigantic difference. I would insist that everybody in public be wearing that mask. … I would do everything possible to make it required that people had to wear masks in public,” he added later. [emphasis mine]

Put aside the fact that the benefits of mask use remain highly uncertain, and also include some very likely negative medical consequences. Also put aside Biden’s incorrect assumption that somehow there once had been a national mandate to wear masks.

What I find horrifying is the assumption that a president has the right to require such a thing. Not only does Biden assume he can issue such an edict, it appears that everyone now assumes they must obey it.

Nowhere under law is such a draconian dictate by a president allowed. Nowhere. In fact, if anything, the Bill of Rights expressly forbids it.

And yet, we have come to a place where a presidential candidate thinks he will have that right, and I guarantee he will be supported in that belief by his entire party.

Make no mistake. They’re coming for you next.

COVID-19 hospitalizations dropping across the board

Hospitalizations from COVID-19, week by week
Click for full resolution image.

The graph to the right, produced weekly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and presently up-to-date through June 13th, bluntly shows why the panic over COVID-19 has been absurd and unjustified. (Hat tip Doug Ross @ Journal for noting it first.)

It shows the trends in Wuhan flu hospitalizations week to week, separated by age group. The only age groups seriously impacted by the disease have been those over 50. The cohorts under seventeen do not even register on the graph. Moreover, these are numbers per 100,000. Even at its worse, the disease only put about 30 people (over 65) out of every 100,000 into the hospital. Though maybe a bit higher it is hardly different than what we see normally during any normal flu season. It is also, like what we see during flu season, hardly something to panic over.

The graph also shows that the disease’s impact is clearly fading, across the board, even as the number of identified cases is rising. Even in the 18-49 cohort, which is right now experiencing the greatest rise in new cases, the hospitalizations are dropping, to about 2 or 3 people out of every 100,000.

This is not something to fear. It certainly does not justify the nullification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Nor does it justify the requirement that everyone go about their lives wearing a mask, which not only does nothing to stop the disease but probably increases everyone’s chances of getting sick.

Doug Ross in his post on this graph I think summarizes the situation best:

You gots it, Sparky. The key metrics indicate that overall, the U.S. is crushing the China scourge. Of course, the media — whose singular goal is the destruction of the Constitution — wants to shriek about the growth of “positive test results”, not hospitalizations or mortality. But that’s what the media do. They aren’t about objective facts, or news, they’re about promoting fascism. Ain’t that right, Acosta?

The press continues to lie about COVID-19 to generate fear

Daily U.S. Wuhan flu deaths as of June 24, 2020

They just won’t stop lying: If you have been reading the mainstream leftist press, you are probably now under the impression that the COVID-19 epidemic is once again raging across the land, destroying whole communities while spreading out-of-control everywhere because some Republican governors thought it was now okay to come out of hiding.

The CNN article at the link above is typical, reporting in lurid detail how multiple states across the country are now experiencing record levels of new coronavirus cases.

Oh my! We are all gonna die!

Not. What the CNN article completely failed to mention is the number of deaths from COVID-19 taking place during this rise in new cases. Are you curious why? Could it be because, though the number of people now infected with the virus has skyrocketed, the number of deaths has remained largely flat, as shown by the graph above (data source here). The past two days has seen a slight uptick, but that is entirely within the range of the weekly ups and downs caused apparently by low numbers recorded over the weekends.

I am not the only one to notice this strange dishonest reporting, Nor is CNN the only culprit. This article at Just News noticed the same thing in a Washington Post report.
» Read more

The blind continuing panic over COVID-19

U.S. daily Wuhan flu deaths

With totalitarian Democratically-controlled cities and states across the nation now imposing odious rules requiring the wearing of masks at all times, based entirely on emotion and symbolism with absolutely no reliance on the actual science that says masks are not only useless against a virus like COVID-19, they could be medically harmful to the user, I think it is time to do a little science journalism and illustrate again the absurdity of this situation.

First, the Wuhan flu epidemic is clearly ending, as shown by the graph above. This graph, based on numbers from this site, shows that the disease reached its peak sometime near the start of May. Since then its threat has been declining steadily, until it reached today the lowest number of deaths since March, only 285.

Right now the chances of you catching COVID-19 and dying from it are practically nil, even if you live in densely populated states like New York, where only 14 people died yesterday from the virus.

Second, as predicted by some scientists, the lockdowns, social distancing, and silly symbolic mask use did nothing to stretch out the epidemic or flatten the curve. These scientists, ignored by politicians and the mainstream press, had predicted it would be a seasonal flu, dying out come summer, and that it would last from six to eight weeks, as it has done in every country where it has arrived, regardless of any government action.

That is exactly what the Wuhan flu has done. After eight weeks it is now fading away, like all such seasonal diseases.

Third, the numbers on this graph are certainly inflated. The total deaths in the U.S. assigned to the Wuhan flu as of today is just over 114,000. Based on numerous reports (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), we can estimate that this number is inflated from 25% o 50%.

The untrustworthiness of these numbers is further illustrated by graph below, outlining the number of Wuhan flu deaths in New York alone.
» Read more

New analysis of COVID-19 death rate ranks it the same as “a strong seasonal flu”

A new analysis of the COVID-19 death rate has found that it is really no more dangerous than “a strong seasonal flu”, and that it poses little threat to the general population.

Moreover, the analysis finds that

Up to 30% of all additional deaths may have been caused not by Covid19, but by the effects of the lockdown, panic and fear. For example, the treatment of heart attacks and strokes decreased by up to 60% because many patients no longer dared to go to hospital. Even in so-called “Covid19 deaths” it is often not clear whether they died from or with coronavirus (i.e. from underlying diseases) or if they were counted as “presumed cases” and not tested at all. However, official figures usually do not reflect this distinction.

Read it all. There is lots more, all pointing to the unwarranted nature of the panic over the flu, and how that panic likely caused more deaths and damage. Had we reacted more calmly (as had been done for all past similar new such respiratory diseases), the harm to society and number of deaths would have likely been less.

New data suggests COVID-19 is weakening in deadliness

New research, as well as impressions from scientists in a number of locations worldwide, is suggesting that the Wuhan flu is becoming with time a less lethal disease, mimicking behavior seen previously with other similar coronaviruses.

[S]everal …American scientists, including some at Arizona State University, announced findings in May that could bolster claims that the virus is less deadly than it once was.

The scientists at ASU said that they had detected a gene deletion in one sample from several hundred Arizona patients that potentially reduced the fitness of the disease. Notably, they claimed it was similar to a deleted sequence observed in the 2003 SARS virus that was observed near the end of that disease’s epidemic—possibly signaling that COVID-19 may be bound for a similar fate.

Those conclusions were echoed by scientists in Spain this week, who proposed that COVID-19 may have adopted what the researchers call a “don’t burn down the house” strategy, “reducing the severity of the infection and tissue damage without losing transmission capability.” In effect, the disease could be opting to become less lethal so that it can spread more easily—a hallmark of evolutionary behavior, and also a boon for anyone who gets infected with the milder strain.

Meanwhile, the evidence continues to suggest that the overall mortality this year is not significantly different than other years, and that the Wuhan flu “isn’t much worse than than a bad seasonal flu.”

Finally, the leftist demonstrations yesterday and today prove that the demands that we social distance, that we wear masks, that we shut down the economy and bankrupt a quarter of the population in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, were all a lie. Suddenly, it’s okay to march down streets in crowds, as long as that crowd is in favor of the bigoted organization Black Lives Matter and opposed to Donald Trump.

But then, it was all a patently obvious lie from the beginning. First we were to social distance for a few weeks to slow the spread (not stop it) so that hospitals would not be overwhelmed. Then we had to close-down all businesses arbitrarily chosen by governors as non-essential (noting that this choice almost never included big corporate chains). Then the lock-downs and social distancing had to be extended, sometimes forever, in order to stop the disease. And then we needed to wear masks everywhere, even though it is clear from the scientific evidence that masks do little while actually increasing the wearer’s health risk.

The moment however the left, which was where most of these demands were coming, had a new cause that required demonstrations and protests, these new “norms” went out the window. At least they are out the window for the next few days, while the George Floyd protests continue. Once those die down, expect the demands to return, and to be applied (as they have so far) selectively, aimed mostly at hurting those the left sees as their enemy.

More evidence masks are merely a symbolic gesture

A new study has found that both improvised and surgical masks are ineffective in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

They found that “neither surgical nor cotton masks effectively filtered SARS–CoV-2 during coughs by infected patients.” They also “found greater contamination on the outer than the inner mask surfaces,” suggesting that any contact with a mask worn for a long time will likely mean the mask increases the chance of spreading the virus.

Their conclusion?

[B]oth surgical and cotton masks seem to be ineffective in preventing the dissemination of SARS–CoV-2 from the coughs of patients with COVID-19 to the environment and external mask surface.

Granted the experiment only tested four individuals in a controlled situation, but what they found matches what many others have been saying. It also illustrates the uncertainty of the science. Considering that the World Health Organization (WHO) states now that healthy people should not wear masks, and that there are also health risks for those that do, it once again seems very inappropriate (I am using a very mild word here) for our leaders or anyone to now demand that we all wear them, all the time, in all situations, blindly.

If others wish to wear masks, all power to them. I however will not submit to something I consider irrational. And I suspect sadly that I am mostly alone in this, because I think that most who say they agree with me will still cooperate and put on a mask when told to do so. I will not. At the moment I am fighting with two doctors, who will not see me for regular doctors appointments unless I wear a mask. I have told them I will not, have cited the medical reasons why (I have asthma), and they so far have not bent.

If it means I no longer have any doctors to treat me, then fine. I would rather die than live in such a society. I was born free, I will die free. Or as Ronald Reagan once said:

I am no longer young. You might have suspected that. [Laughter] The house we hope to build is one that is not for my generation, but for yours. It is your future that matters. And I hope that when you’re my age, you’ll be able to say as I have been able to say: We lived in freedom, we lived lives that were a statement, not an apology.

I intend to live my life as a statement, not an apology.

Doctors admit: Masks are nothing more than “symbols”, do little

Researchers admit masks are nothing more than “symbols”, and may in the end increase the risk of catching the coronavirus, or other diseases.

From the original New England Journal of Medicine paper:

A mask will not protect providers caring for a patient with active Covid-19 if it’s not accompanied by meticulous hand hygiene, eye protection, gloves, and a gown. A mask alone will not prevent health care workers with early Covid-19 from contaminating their hands and spreading the virus to patients and colleagues. Focusing on universal masking alone may, paradoxically, lead to more transmission of Covid-19 if it diverts attention from implementing more fundamental infection-control measures. [emphasis mine]

The paper than bluntly concludes that masks are really no more than a “talisman” and a symbol for influencing others to do what the mask-wearer wants.

Masks are visible reminders of an otherwise invisible yet widely prevalent pathogen and may remind people of the importance of social distancing and other infection-control measures.

It is also clear that masks serve symbolic roles. Masks are not only tools, they are also talismans that may help increase health care workers’ perceived sense of safety, well-being, and trust in their hospitals. Although such reactions may not be strictly logical, we are all subject to fear and anxiety, especially during times of crisis. One might argue that fear and anxiety are better countered with data and education than with a marginally beneficial mask, particularly in light of the worldwide mask shortage, but it is difficult to get clinicians to hear this message in the heat of the current crisis. Expanded masking protocols’ greatest contribution may be to reduce the transmission of anxiety, over and above whatever role they may play in reducing transmission of Covid-19.

I am sick and tired of being forced to do empty, feel-good gestures that actually increase my risk, and do nothing except advance the political agendas of fools who are guided only by emotion and irrationality.

I will not wear a mask under these conditions, and I will tell anyone that tries to force to do it to go jump in a lake.

The health dangers of wearing a mask improperly

Our new dictators in government and its bureaucracies are now attempting to impose a new “normal” on society, demanding that everyone where a mask wherever they go in public. They claim this is to “slow the spread of COVID-19”, but if you try to pin down the actual science that supports this claim, you will routinely have trouble finding it.

What you instead will find is that there is substantial peer-reviewed research that not only questions the usefulness of widespread mask use by the public in ordinary settings, but also notes serious health risks that can be caused by the masks themselves.

Today I want to take a look at the failure and absurdity of widespread mask use, using as my guide the very instructions given by the Mayo Clinic and the World Health Organization (WHO). What I am going to do is review these instructions, step-by-step, noting the absurdity of their expectations and the risks they scoff over so nonchalantly.

First, let’s look at the claims made by the Mayo clinic:
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Almost all COVID-19 deaths occur in long-term nursing homes

Not only has the death rate for the Wuhan flu inflated falsely by government officials, they have obscured the fact that almost all the deaths have occurred not in the general population but within long term medical health facilities for the elderly.

Fact #1: 1.7% of the population in the US resides in long-term medical care facilities (LTMCFs) and total 5.7 million.

Fact #2: The residents of LTMCFs accounted for 38,800 or 53% of all COVID-19 deaths (based on recent data). The rest of the country, the 98.3%, have experienced approximately 34,600 deaths, or 47% of the nation’s total COVID-19 deaths.

That means the death rate, deaths expressed as a percent of those living in medical care institutions, is 0.682%, more than 50 times the death rate of the rest of the population at 0.012%. The death rate for the overall populations is 0.022%.

That should leave you speechless.

In other words, the death rate for the Wuhan flu is pretty much the same as the flu, and is really only a threat to the elderly sick. Protect that population, as Florida did, and you reduce the risk to everyone to practically nil.

Which means the demands upon us all — the lock downs, the social distancing, the requirement to wear masks — are all fake theater and are pointless in all ways but one: They give power to the thugs now running our government.

COVID-19 deaths likely inflated by a minimum of 25%

The number of people listed daily by state governments throughout the United States are likely inflated by 25%, based on the policies from numerous different health departments.

The policy has been to count any death with even the slightest hint of the Wuhan flu, even without any tests, to be caused by it. This was discovered in Colorado when they listed a death as caused by coronavirus, when in reality it was a drunk who died from alcohol poisoning. The state was forced to change its counting system, slightly.

Colorado has switched to a dual recording system. It still keeps a broader category of “deaths among cases,” and the smaller category of “deaths due to.” But you have to go directly to its web site to see that. The number still reported to the CDC and thence to data aggregation sites like Worldometers or the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center to count Colorado deaths and U.S. deaths remains “deaths among.”

The dual system essentially amounts to an asterisk. Nevertheless, the difference is marked. The “due to” category is about a fourth smaller than the “caused by” one. And there’s no reason to think it’s different in other states. So when the nation hits the 100,000 Covid-19 death mark soon, if you subtract 25%, it would still be proportionately far less than half the 1968-1969 “Hong Kong Flu” (H3N2) which killed an estimated 100,000 Americans at the time — or 170,000 when adjusted for U.S. population increase.

And no, the economy wasn’t destroyed and constitutionally protected civil liberties suspended for the Hong Kong Flu.

Democratic Party states like Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, and others have all been found to fudge their numbers in the same way, and don’t yet make it obvious that they are doing so.

More good news on the Wuhan flu front

Two stories today suggest again that there is no reason to fear COVID-19, especially if you are healthy and young.

The first story suggests that social distancing, masks, and the incessant cleaning of surfaces are ridiculous over-reactions and likely unnecessary. Nor am I surprised. We have always had similar expectations from all other flu-like illnesses, and have never required these paranoid requirements in the past. It is time for them to stop.

The second story provides more evidence that the epidemic is dying, as predicted and like all similar flu-like epidemics.

The team has recruited 10,000 people to test the vaccine, some of whom will be given the vaccine and others a placebo. But as it is unethical to purposely infect people in the trial with COVID-19, participants will be asked to go about their normal routine in the expectation that some will be exposed to it naturally. However, that is unlikely to happen if the virus is not spreading, meaning that no conclusions can be drawn one way or the other about the vaccine’s efficacy.

Hill expects that fewer than 50 people in the test population will catch the virus, but if less than 20 test positive the results may be useless “It is a race, yes. But it’s not a race against the other guys,” he said. “It’s a race against the virus disappearing – and against time. We said earlier in the year that there was an 80% chance of developing an effective vaccine by September. But at the moment, there’s a 50% chance that we get no result at all.

Let me repeat this: They have 10,000 volunteers, and expect fewer than 50 of those to get infected with the Wuhan flu. In other words, this seasonal epidemic is going away, as such things do. It might return in the fall, but expect that return to be smaller, and hopefully if some government officials get their brains out of their behinds and focus on protecting the sick elderly, it will have little impact.

In any case, the evidence continues to point to the end of the epidemic, and in the process the discovery that the virus is relatively harmless to almost everyone. People have got to relax and stop being so afraid. It is not the bogey-man the press and the politicians have claimed it to be.

Florida’s successful response to COVID-19, based on the DATA

This review of the success of Florida’s government, led by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, in containing the Wuhan flu epidemic while not shutting down his state unnecessarily, can be summed up with this one quote from the article:

So how did DeSantis go about responding to the epidemic? It began with the data.

At the outset, DeSantis looked at South Korea’s experience, Then there was Italy: “I think the median age of fatality was something like 82 in some of those areas in Northern Italy … That really helped inform the strategy to focus most of our efforts on the at-risk groups.”

The DeSantis team also didn’t put much stock in dire projections. Instead, “we started really focusing on just what we saw.” [emphasis mine]

What the DeSantis team did was focus on protecting the elderly population, as shown by the data, while allowing the rest of the younger population to pretty much go about their business.

At the same time, Florida was giving its counties latitude in how they reacted to the crisis. “I said from the beginning,” DeSantis explains, “we’re a big, diverse state. Even at this point, 60 percent of our cases have come from just three counties.”

DeSantis issued his own statewide order, but he argues that it was more flexible and less prescriptive than those of other states. “We basically had businesses operating. We had the day cares open, we had recreation open, and my order never actually closed any businesses. We allowed them to operate within the context of just limiting contact between people outside the household.” [emphasis mine]

If only more governors had taken this common sense, rational approach, based on the available data, not on models that were nothing more than panicked opinions of doom. Had more done this, there would have been less panic, fewer businesses nationwide destroyed, fewer old people in nursing homes dead in New York, Michigan, and other Democratically-controlled states (where their idiotic governors forced infected patients into nursing homes), and millions still employed in viable prosperous businesses.

Instead we are now faced with a possible depression, imposed on us by incompetent governors nationwide.

CDC confirms COVID-19 tiny death rate, comparable to flu

Are you enraged yet? The CDC has confirmed that the death rate for the Wuhan flu is probably less than 0.4%, slightly higher than the flu’s 0.1%, but when all factors are considered, including the data that shows it is almost completely harmless to everyone but the elderly who are chronically sick, the disease is essentially just another new flu epidemic, requiring no extreme measures other than acting to protect the vulnerable.

Plus, ultimately we might find out that the IFR [infection fatality rate] is even lower because numerous studies and hard counts of confined populations have shown a much higher percentage of asymptomatic cases. Simply adjusting for a 50% asymptomatic rate would drop their fatality rate to 0.2% – exactly the rate of fatality Dr. John Ionnidis of Stanford University projected.

More importantly, as I mentioned before, the overall death rate is meaningless because the numbers are so lopsided. Given that at least half of the deaths were in nursing homes, a back-of-the-envelope estimate would show that the infection fatality rate for non-nursing home residents would only be 0.1% or 1 in 1,000. And that includes people of all ages and all health statuses outside of nursing homes.

There’s more. Read it all.

What infuriates me the most is that the early data (not the fake models) all pointed in this direction, quite clearly, as noted in detail in this March 17 post, just when panicked state governors were beginning to impose totalitarian rule by edict. Even then it was clear that lock downs made no sense, and would only worsen the situation.

I repeat: Any disease like this requires a rational aggressive and focused response. We can’t ignore it. People need to voluntarily self-quarantine if they feel sick, or if they have older and sick relatives living with them. We should also wash our hands regularly, and avoid unnecessary physical contact with many other individuals.

At the same time, we mustn’t waste our energies doing things that are unnecessary, foolish, or downright counter-productive, such as releasing entire prison populations into the general population.

We also should be outraged by politicians who are using this situation not to deal with it but to impose their pet totalitarian rule over the population, such as passing entirely irrelevant gun bans and shutting down businesses willy-nilly and imprisoning everyone in their homes.

These actions will do little to ease the epidemic. Instead, they might worsen the situation by causing panic (as they have apparently done). Panic is not what this situation warrants. Instead it needs a calm rational response, something that only civilized rational people can give it.

Are we that? Watching what is happening I must sadly say I have my doubts.

In retrospect, it appears if many of our leaders have any rationality, they apply it exclusively to creating schemes for increasing their power and ability to oppress everyone else. Serving the nation and its citizenry appears the last thing on their mind.

The only opposition that will matter to today’s lock down fascism will be opposition expressed in the ballot box

In the past week or so there have been numerous stories in the press suggesting that Americans have finally lost patience with the unreasonable Wuhan flu lock downs that have been arbitrarily imposed in the past two months by elected officials, sometimes indefinitely, for no justifiably rational reasons.

In Michigan there were armed protests, and then barbers began publicly defying the lock down orders of their fascist governor.

In New Jersey a health club defied the order of that state’s fascist governor and reopened to cheers from its customers.

In Baltimore a pastor stood at the pulpit and ripped apart the shut down order by that city’s health department.

In Minnesota the Catholic church announced it was reopening for church services, in direct defiance of the orders of that state’s governor.

I could cite many other examples, across the country, in both conservative and liberal states.

Are these push backs necessary? Certainly. These fascist governors and mayors, most of whom have been Democrats, have imposed unreasonable and blatantly illegal arbitrary restrictions on the freedoms of Americans, which must be resisted at all costs.

Are these push backs real? Forgive me if I must sadly remain skeptical. For fifty years I have watched as politicians, mostly from the Democratic Party but with more than ample support from large numbers of Republican Party hacks, have slowly but steadily worked to erode the freedoms of Americans.
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The fascist states within the United States

It is now clear that a large number of state governments have decided to morph what had originally been called a very temporary lock down and request to social distance into a permanent state of martial law, with their governors retaining the right to rule by edict for as long as they personally deem.

As most states begin to move forward with measures to reopen their economies following strict lockdowns aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus, some governors and big-city mayors are now saying the restrictions will not fully be lifted until a vaccine or treatment for the disease is available — a timeline that could take a year or more.

The leaders’ comments indicate Americans could be living with orders restricting personal and economic activity for much longer than many anticipate.

And who are these new dictators? Here is the list from the linked article above:

  • Democrat Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey
  • Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan
  • Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois
  • Democrat Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles
  • Republican Mayor David Holt of Oklahoma City

Nor are these the only ones. » Read more

Oregon fines salon owner, goes after her children

They’re coming for you next: For simply running her business in defiance of Oregon’s government-imposed lock down because she needs money to feed her children, petty dictator Kate Brown (the governor) has fined her $14,000, and sent Child Protection Services to her home to threaten her and harass her three children, all under six.

“On May 7 child protective services showed up at my home. They questioned my husband and I. Questioned my child without me present. They searched our home,” she said as tears welled up in her eyes during a press conference Friday. “And I never expected such a violent, aggressive, vindictive thing could ever be done to me or my family because I’m trying to earn a living. Because I’m trying to work,” Graham added.

Why should anyone be surprised? By law, Brown’s emergency shut down edicts can only be in effect for 28 days. Yet the courts have now ruled she can extend them at will, for whatever reason. With such power, we should expect such power-hungry people to act vindictively.

And to repeat:They’re coming for you next:

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