- Covid lethality: Most Western countries report a covid lethality (IFR) of about 0.3% in the general population (excluding nursing homes). The IFR may be even lower as antibody tests appear to miss about half of all infections. The IFR is higher if there was a local collapse of health care or elderly care. Countries with a younger population report lower IFRs: India reports about 0.1%, African countries report about 0.01%. Read more.
- Why covid is a “strange pandemic”: Why does covid-19 appear to be a somewhat strange pandemic? It is because of the covid-19 mortality profile, which is almost identical to natural mortality. But this doesn’t mean covid is just a “casedemic”. Read more.
- Face masks: Evidence from around the world indicates that cloth face masks used by the general population have little to no impact on coronavirus infection rates. The WHO study on face masks and social distancing turned out to be seriously flawed.
- Treatment of covid-19: Early or prophylactic treatment of covid-19 is essential to prevent progression of the disease. New studies confirm the effectiveness of zinc, vitamin D, bromhexine and malaria drug HCQ in early treatment of high-risk patients. Read more.
- Disease mechanisms: Several new studies show that (severe) covid is first and foremost a cardiovascular disease that causes thrombosis (blood clotting) and lung embolism by damaging the blood vessels. This explains the age and risk profile of covid-19 mortality.
- Post-acute (“long”) covid: About 10% of symptomatic people, including young and healthy people, develop “long covid” that may last for several weeks or months. Of particular concern is the impact of the new coronavirus on the heart muscle. Read more.
- PCR tests: As previously reported, many of the people testing positive may not carry infectious virus. A new analysis now confirms that in the US, up to 90% of positive PCR tests may have been “false positives” detecting non-infectious virus fragments.
- Origin of the new coronavirus: Evidence is increasing that the new coronavirus may be linked to a covid-like pneumonia incident in a Chinese mine back in 2012. Read more.
- Children: The risk of transmission and disease in children continues to be extremely low. The following chart shows cases and hospitalizations of children in Florida.
In large parts of previously locked-down Europe as well as in parts of the US, antibody values are still rather low and the risk of a renewed increase in coronavirus infections and disease is therefore high. Read our latest covid-19 country profiles:
- USA: Several short regional waves, mortality comparable to 1957/68 flu pandemics
- Germany: No excess mortality so far, but still very low antibody values
- Sweden: No lockdown, no masks, mortality comparable to strong flu wave.
- Japan: No lockdown, but by far lowest mortality among G8 countries.
- Australia and New Zealand: Last Western countries following a zero-covid strategy
- Africa and Latin America: Lowest and highest covid mortality in the world.
- Belarus: Very low covid mortality despite no lockdown; unique demographics.
- Belgium: Very high mortality; 66% of deaths occurred in nursing homes.
- Italy: Huge differences between northern and southern Italy.
- Nembro (Italy): The hardest hit place in Europe. What happened?
- Switzerland: Low mortality in spring, but very low antibody values.
- IMF, World Bank: Covid lockdowns and economic recession may drag 100 million people into extreme poverty and set back poor nations by ten years.
- Professor Mark Woolhouse (UK): Lockdown will come to be seen as a “monumental mistake on a global scale” and must never happen again. The equivalent of 400 million jobs have been lost world-wide, 13 million in the U.S. alone.
- Australia: Extreme lockdown in Melbourne (Victoria) – more suicides than covid deaths.
- Germany: German police may have staged a run on the federal parliament in order to discredit a peaceful protest by about 100,000 people against political corona measures.
- Contact tracing: Back in May, Google and Apple implemented a “contact tracing” interface into three billion mobile phones. In early September, they integrated it even deeper into their operating systems, enabling contact tracing without an official app and on a global scale. From a medical perspective, there is still no evidence that “contact tracing” reduces the covid infection rate. Swiss IT professor Serge Vaudenay warned that the Google-Apple interface is not transparent and may record every single contact.
- Vaccines: Covid vaccine manufacturers have received a liability waiver in most countries. The Oxford vaccine trial has been suspended after a serious neurological adverse event occurred. A Belgian journalist moreover reported temporary fever, severe chest pain, “glowing hot legs” and loss of all feeling in his fingers after receiving another covid vaccine.
A. General part
Pre-existing immunity against the new coronavirus
At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was assumed that no immunity against the new coronavirus existed in the population. This was one of the main reasons behind the initial strategy of “flattening the curve” by introducing stay-at-home orders.
From March and April onwards, however, the first studies showed that a considerable part of the population already had a certain background immunity to the new virus, acquired through contact with earlier coronaviruses (common cold viruses). Nevertheless, it remains unclear to what extent this “background immunity” may indeed protect against the new coronavirus.
Further important studies on this topic were published in July:
- A new study from Germany came to the conclusion that up to 81% of people who have not yet had contact with the new coronavirus already have cross-reactive T-cells and thus a certain background immunity. This confirms earlier studies on T-cell immunity.
- In addition, a British study found that up to 60% of children and adolescents and about 6% of adults already have cross-reactive antibodies against the new coronavirus, which were created by contact with previous coronaviruses. This is probably another important aspect in explaining the very low rate of disease in children and adolescents.
- In the case of Singapore, a study published in the scientific journal Nature concluded that people who contracted SARS-1 in 2002/2003 still had T-cells that were reactive against the new SARS-2 coronavirus 17 years later. In addition, the researchers found cross-reactive T-cells, which were produced by contact with other, partly unknown coronaviruses, in about half of the people who had neither contracted SARS-1 nor SARS-2. The researchers suspect that the different distribution of such coronaviruses and T-cells may help explain why some countries are less affected than others by the new corona virus, regardless of the political and medical measures taken.
- Analysts have previously pointed out that many Pacific countries, and especially China’s neighbouring countries, have so far had very low Covid death rates, regardless of their population structure (young or old) and the measures taken (with or without lockdown, mass tests, masks, etc.). A possible explanation for this could be the spread of earlier coronaviruses.
- Harvard immunologist Michael Mina explained that the “drop in antibody concentration” after Covid disease, dramatized by some media, was “perfectly normal” and “textbook”. The body ensures long-term immunity through T-cells and memory cells in the bone marrow, which can quickly produce new antibodies when needed.
Other medical updates
Wuhan: A Harvard modelling study in the scientific journal Nature came to the conclusion that even in the Covid epicentre Wuhan, up to 87% of the infections went unnoticed, i.e. remained without symptoms or mild. This means that the Covid19 lethality (IFR) in Wuhan may also fall to about 0.1% or below. The Nature study confirms an earlier Japanese study in the journal BMC Medicine, which calculated an IFR of 0.12% for Wuhan already back in March.
However, Chinese authorities couldn’t yet know this comparatively low lethality in January and February and therefore built additional clinics at short notice, many of which eventually remained mostly unused. Only the systematic test results from South Korea and the cruise ship Diamond Princess showed that the lethality of the new corona virus in the general population is indeed lower than initially feared.
Italy: The Italian health authority ISS published a new analysis of the cause of death in about 5000 corona patients. According to this analysis, Covid was the direct cause of death in 89% of the cases. In 11%, other diseases such as heart problems, cancer or dementia were the primary cause of death. Covid was the sole cause of death in 28% of cases. It is also known that in about 4% of the deaths, no medical preconditions were present.
Covid lethality: In May, the US health authority CDC published a cautious “best estimate” of covid lethality (IFR) of 0.26% (assuming 35% asymptomatic infections). In July, a new IFR of 0.65% was published. However, this new value is not based on own calculations or new studies, but on a meta-study in which the existing literature was simply searched for all previous IFR values.
Thus, the meta-study mainly consists of previous modelling studies as well as “raw IFR values”, which are much too high compared to the actual, population-based IFR values from antibody studies. With few exceptions, the real IFR values are between 0.1% and 0.4%, and when mucosal and cellular immunity are taken into account, they are approximately 0.1% or less.
However, the virus has spread much faster than anticipated, thus causing a temporarily high death rate in some places, especially if nursing homes and hospitals got affected.
Non-infectious virus fragments: The U.S. CDC points out that in most Covid patients, infectious virus particles are no longer detectable ten to fifteen days after the first symptoms. However, non-infectious virus fragments (RNA) can still be found up to three months after the first symptoms. This is likely to be a significant problem with regard to PCR tests, as many people who have long since ceased to be infectious still test positive, triggering far-reaching tracing and quarantine false-alarms.
Deaths with or by or without coronavirus: In England and some other countries it has been reported that all deceased persons who tested positive for the new coronavirus since the beginning of the year were counted as Covid deaths – regardless of the time of the test, a possible recovery, and the actual cause of death. In the US state of Colorado, it was found that about 10% of deaths were with but not from coronavirus. In other US states, further cases of “corona deaths” became known that in reality were test-positive homicide victims and motorcycle accidents.
Children and schools
It has been known since March that the risk of disease and transmission in children is minimal in the case of Covid19. The main reason for this is probably a pre-existing immunity due to frequent contact with previous coronaviruses (i.e. cold viruses). There was and is therefore no medical reason for the closure of primary schools, kindergartens and day-care centres and for special protective measures in schools.
In the meantime, further studies on this issue have been published:
- The British epidemiologist Professor Mark Woolhouse stated that there is not a single confirmed case of infection of a teacher by a pupil worldwide.
- Tracing pioneer Iceland found “not a single case where a child under 10 infected their parents.”
- US CDC director Robert Redfield explained that additional deaths from suicides and drug overdoses by adolescents have been “far greater” than Covid deaths in recent months.
- A joint report from Sweden (without primary school closure) and Finland (with primary school closure) concluded that there was no difference in infection rates among children in the two countries.
- In the USA, three times more children up to 14 years of age have died of influenza than of Covid-19 (101 versus 31) since the beginning of the year, according to the CDC.
- A Canadian study found that most of the children with “Kawasaki-like” inflammatory symptoms had no corona infection at all. The disease in children is “very, very rare”, the researchers said.
- A German study came to the conclusion that children act epidemiologically “like brake blocks” and slow down the spread of the new corona virus.
Critical expert opinions
- The German virologist Hendrik Streeck advocates a pragmatic approach to the new coronavirus and targeted measures for people at high risk. According to Streeck, the long-term suppression of the virus and the hope for a possible vaccine are not sensible strategies.
- Professor Carl Heneghan, Director of the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, explains in an interview that there is still no evidence for the effectiveness of masks in the general population. A permanent suppression strategy like the one in New Zealand is not sensible and causes high damage in the long term. The lethality (IFR) of Covid-19 is about 0.1% to 0.3% and is thus comparable to previous flu epidemics and pandemics.
- The Swedish chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell explains in an interview that eradication of the virus is not an option. In Sweden, the infections slowed down considerably even without a lockdown, and daily deaths now are close to zero. The evidence for the benefit of masks is still “very weak” and they might even be counterproductive. An introduction of masks at this point in time would make no sense. The lethality of Covid-19 is between 0.1% and 0.5% and does not “radically differ” from influenza.
- The epidemiologist and systems biologist Professor Francois Balloux, Director of the British UCL Genetics Institute, explains in an article that Covid-19 is comparable to a pandemic (but not seasonal) influenza. The main difference is the age-risk distribution: while Covid-19 is mainly dangerous for older people, a pandemic influenza is also life-threatening for younger people and children. Professor Balloux points out that the “Russian influenza pandemic” of 1889 may have been triggered by the coronavirus OC-43, which is now considered one of the four typical cold viruses.
- The Swiss chief physician for infectiology, Dr. Pietro Vernazza, pleads for a “controlled natural immunization” of society as an alternative to the “eradication strategy”. In most cases, Covid-19 is mild and the actual mortality rate is about 0.1%, which is in the range of a severe influenza. The Swedes “did nothing wrong” with their strategy, according to Vernazza.
- The former director of the Institute of Immunology at the University of Bern, Professor Beda Stadler, also pleads for a controlled spread of the virus. The danger of the virus had been overestimated due to the false assumption of a lack of immunity. Professor Stadler is critical of compulsory masks and mass tests. Stadler, who is now emeritus, explains that many younger immunologists no longer dare to speak out publicly on the subject due to the extreme polarisation of the debate by politics and the media.
On the other hand, Professor Karin Mölling, the former head of the Department of Virology at the University of Zurich and one of the earliest critical voices on corona measures, has now partly changed her opinion: Due to the sometimes serious lung damage, the virus should not be underestimated and containment measures are important.
The clinical picture of Covid-19
The lower-than-expected lethality of Covid-19 should not hide the fact that the new coronavirus, due to its efficient use of the human ACE2 cell receptor, in some cases can lead to severe disease with complications in the lung, the vascular and nervous systems and other organs, some of which can persist for months.
While it is true that most of these symptoms can also occur in severe influenza (including thrombosis, heart muscle inflammation, and the temporary loss of the sense of smell), they are indeed more frequent and more pronounced in the novel Covid-19 disease.
In addition, even apparently “mild” disease (without hospitalization) can in some cases lead to protracted complications with breathing problems, fatigue or other symptoms. The US CDC came to the conclusion that after one month, about one third of the “mild” cases still showed such symptoms. Even in the 18 to 34-year-olds without preconditions, about 20% still had after-effects.
On the positive side, researchers at a German clinic recently reported good chances of recovery: “We can see that the lungs can heal well, even in patients who have had three weeks of intensive care”. After three months, 20% of the intensive care patients had healthy lungs again, and in the remaining patients a clear regeneration was visible.
Nevertheless, the primary goal should be to avoid a progression of the disease.
On the treatment of Covid-19
Note: Patients are asked to consult a doctor.
Many countries adopted the strategy of imposing a lockdown during or after a wave of infection, thereby locking already infected high-risk individuals in their homes without treatment until they developed severe breathing problems and needed intensive care treatment immediately. Even today, test-positive high-risk persons are often simply quarantined without treatment.
This is not an ideal approach. Numerous studies and doctors’ reports have now shown that for people at high risk or with high exposure, early treatment immediately on onset of the first typical symptoms is crucial to avoid disease progression and hospitalization.
Studies and medical reports from various countries in Asia and the West recommend a combination protocol of zinc (which inhibits the RNA replication of coronaviruses), the antimalarial agent HCQ (which promotes the cellular uptake of zinc and has other anti-viral properties), and, if necessary, an antibiotic (to prevent bacterial superinfections) and a blood thinner (to prevent thrombosis and lung embolism).
Yale professor and physician Harvey A. Risch argues in a recent commentary that early treatment with HCQ and zinc as well as an antibiotic has proven to be “highly effective”. In the USA alone, according to Professor Risch, 70,000 to 100,000 deaths could have been prevented by the systematic use of HCQ. Risch is therefore calling for an immediate and prescription-free release of this medication, as is already the case in many other countries.
Meanwhile, a bizarre battle has broken out in western industrialised countries over the use of low-cost HCQ, which has been used successfully and safely for decades in the prevention and treatment of malaria and several other diseases. This battle appears to be driven in part by political and commercial interests and may produce a great many casualties.
Opponents of HCQ went as far as publishing falsified studies and using lethal doses during trials, as Dr. James Todaro explains, who uncovered one of these frauds that fooled top science journals, the WHO and health experts worldwide.
Many of these anti-HCQ activities are connected to pharmaceutical company Gilead, which wants to sell a drug that is over a hundred times more expensive (Remdesivir), but which is only used on intensive care patients and has some severe side effects.
In addition, a potentially effective early treatment stands in the way of the billion-dollar global vaccination strategy being pursued by numerous governments, pharmaceutical companies and vaccine investor Bill Gates. Directors of vaccine companies have already made about one billion dollars with stock and option gains alone, even without yet delivering a vaccine.
The hope for a safe and effective vaccine, however, remains questionable: Contrary to the positive media presentation, in the second test round of the RNA vaccine from the US company Moderna, 80% of the volunteers in the medium and high-dose groups (average age 33 years and healthy) reacted with moderate to severe side effects.
Read more: On the treatment of Covid-19
Bill Gates on vaccine side effects (CBS, July 23, 2020)
The effectiveness of face masks
Various countries are discussing or have already introduced mandatory face masks in the general population. In the updates of June and July, however, it was shown that the evidence for the effectiveness of cloth masks in the general population is still rather weak, contrary to what is reported in many media.
In previous influenza pandemics, cloth masks had no influence on the occurrence of infection. Despite masks, Japan had its last flu epidemic with more than five million diseased just one year ago, in January and February 2019. Even the outbreak of the Covid pandemic in Wuhan could not be stopped by the widespread use of masks there.
Due to the significantly lower hospitalisation and mortality rates of Covid-19 (compared to the original assumptions), masks are not necessarily required to “flatten the curve”. Masking only makes sense – if at all – in the context of a vaccination strategy that aims to suppress the virus until a vaccine is available.
BBC medical correspondent Deborah Cohen explained in mid-July that the partial update of the WHO recommendation on masks was due not to new evidence but “political lobbying”: “We had been told by various sources WHO committee reviewing the evidence had not backed masks but they recommended them due to political lobbying. This point was put to WHO who did not deny.”
The “political lobbying” is likely referring to the group “Masks for All”, which was founded by a “Young Leader” of the Davos forum and which is lobbying authorities and governments for a worldwide face mask obligation.
In connection with masks, the question also arises as to whether the new coronavirus can be transmitted over large areas by aerosols. According to experts, true aerosol transmission even outdoors still seems unlikely – otherwise the spread of the virus would have a different dynamic and, contrary to reality, would often be untraceable.
However, an aerosol-like transmission indoors – especially with closed air circulation by fans or during intensive activities such as singing and dancing – seems increasingly probable or certain due to various incidents.
In the case of aerosol transmission, however, cloth masks are likely to offer even less protection than against droplets due to their pore size and inaccurate fit. This was demonstrated, for example, by the corona outbreak at the German meat processor Toennies, which occurred at an air-conditioned workplace over a distance of up to eight metres despite the requirement to wear masks.
On the question of “asymptomatic transmission”, it can currently be said that true asymptomatic transmission still seems to be rare (which may explain the very low transmission rate in children), whereas pre-symptomatic transmission in the days before the first symptoms appear (with already high virus load) is very likely and may explain the rapid spread of the virus.
Pre-symptomatic transmission is also known from influenza, but the incubation period of influenza is much shorter, so this may be somewhat less relevant.
The following expert reviews and articles critically examine the effectiveness of cloth masks in the general population:
- Profs. Tom Jefferson and Carl Heneghan (Oxford): Masking lack of evidence with politics
- Dr. Lisa Brosseau and Dr. Margaret Sietsema, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota: Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data
- Professor Michael T. Osterholm, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, University of Minnesota: My views on cloth face coverings for the public for preventing COVID-19
- Naoya Kon: Cloth face masks offer zero shield against virus, a study shows
- Eliza McGraw: Everyone wore masks during the 1918 flu pandemic. They were useless.
The Swedish chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell recently stated that the introduction of masks at this point in time, and even in public transport, would be “pointless” in view of the rapidly decreasing number of cases in Sweden. The Dutch government has stated that it will not in general recommend masks because the scientific evidence for their effectiveness is weak.
On the other hand, face masks are not harmless, as the following evidence shows:
- The WHO warns of various “side effects” such as difficulty breathing and skin rashes.
- Tests conducted by the University Hospital of Leipzig have shown that face masks significantly reduce the resilience and performance of healthy persons.
- A German psychological study with about 1000 participants found “severe psychosocial consequences” due to the introduction of mandatory face masks in Germany.
- The Hamburg Environmental Institute warned against the inhalation of chlorine compounds in polyester masks as well as problems in connection with disposal.
- The European rapid alert system RAPEX has already recalled 70 mask models because they did not meet EU quality standards and could lead to “serious risks”.
- In China, two boys who had to wear a mask during sports classes fainted and died.
- In the US, a car driver wearing an N95 (FFP2) mask fainted and crashed into a pole.
Conclusion: It is still possible that cloth masks can slow down the rate of infection in the general population, but the evidence for this is currently limited and the potential benefits are mainly relevant in the context of a long-term and still uncertain vaccination strategy.
Read more: Are face masks effective? The evidence.
Is Covid-19 a pure “test epidemic”? Certainly not.
Some particularly skeptical observers still seem to perceive Covid-19 mainly or solely as a “test epidemic”. However, this position has been untenable for months already.
The best known “test epidemic” is the so-called swine flu of 2009/2010, a rather mild influenza virus that only caused worldwide anxiety due to mass testing and media panic. A commission of the Council of Europe later called the swine flu a “fake pandemic” and a “big pharma fraud”.
What was noteworthy at the time was that a few months earlier, the WHO changed its pandemic guidelines and removed the criterion of increased lethality. In addition, pharmaceutical companies signed secret contracts worth billions with governments for a vaccine that later led to sometimes serious neurological damage and had to be disposed of for the most part.
Finally, researchers discovered that the swine flu virus itself probably originated from vaccine research and was released through a leak (or worse).
On the other hand, due to its special characteristics – in particular the very efficient use of the ACE2 cell receptor – the new coronavirus is a rather dangerous and easily transmissible SARS virus which can cause severe damage to the lungs, blood vessels and other organs. The good fortune is that many people already have a certain immunity to the new virus or at least are able to neutralize it on the mucosal membrane.
Covid-19 is therefore a real and serious pandemic and comparable to the (still stronger) flu pandemics of 1957/58 (Asian flu) and 1968 to 1970 (Hong Kong flu). The comparison with the swine flu of 2009 is only possible because the deaths caused by swine flu were greatly exaggerated.
(On the other hand, it should be remembered that during the 1968/1970 flu pandemic – or rather in the summer between the two main waves – the famous Woodstock festival was held and social life mostly went on as usual).
However, it can be argued that the real Covid19 pandemic has been amplified by a “test pandemic” due to mass testing in the general population, causing additional panic and high costs.
Stanford Professor Scott Atlas argued already in May that mass testing in the general population is of little use and that testing should instead be limited to vulnerable institutions such as nursing homes and hospitals (including for visitors).
Daily mass testing is also not effective because, according to antibody studies, the virus is already much more widespread than PCR tests show, anyway. Moreover, the tests are susceptible to false-positive (and false-negative) results and non-infectious virus fragments.
Countries such as Japan, Sweden and Belarus have shown that the pandemic can be controlled without a lockdown and without mass testing – and in the case of Sweden and Belarus also without masks – as long as the sensitive facilities are protected.
Conclusion: Covid-19 is a real and serious pandemic comparable to the (still stronger) influenza pandemics of 1957 and 1968, but in addition to the real Covid-19 pandemic, there is indeed a “test pandemic” that causes unnecessary panic and high costs.
The origin of the new coronavirus
The origin of the new SARS coronavirus remains unclear. However, researchers with access to Chinese documents were able to show in May that the closest related coronavirus was found in a mine in southwest China, where six miners contracted Covid-like pneumonia in 2012 and three of them died.
The miners’ illness was clinically virtually identical to today’s (severe) Covid-19, which is why some analysts have proposed to call the disease Covid-12 instead of Covid-19.
The Virological Institute in Wuhan received virus samples from the mine as well as from the tissue of the deceased miners in 2012 and 2013. It is conceivable that this virus escaped from the laboratory in autumn 2019.
In addition to the Chinese institute, however, the US health authority CDC and the US Department of Defense have also been shown to be working with SARS-like viruses from bats. The US NGO “Eco Health Alliance” cooperated on this issue with both the US Pentagon and the Virological Institute in Wuhan.
Direct transmission by an animal is also still conceivable, although previous candidates such as the well-known animal market in Wuhan or the Pangolin theory have been ruled out by experts in the meantime.
B. Countries and regions
The USA is one of the countries most affected by the new coronavirus so far. This could have political and medical reasons.
Medically, there are many relevant pre-existing conditions in the US population, such as obesity, heart problems and diabetes. Air conditioning systems could promote aerosol-like transmission indoors. Politically, there have been serious mistakes in dealing with nursing homes, misplaced incentives in the treatment of patients, and problematic back-and-forth with lockdowns.
- The US already has over 150,000 corona deaths, putting it in the range of a pandemic influenza, comparable to the 1957 and 1968 pandemics.
- 45% of corona deaths occurred in nursing homes. Over 50% of all deaths occurred in the six states that actively placed Covid patients in nursing homes.
- For people of school and work age (up to 65), corona mortality is comparable to mortality from other pneumonia diseases (e.g. influenza), according to the CDC. For children and adolescents, Covid is three times less dangerous than influenza.
- A nationwide antibody study showed that the new coronavirus is 6 to 24 times more widespread than assumed on the basis of PCR tests, depending on the region. However, the antibody levels are still in the single-digit percentage range in most regions, indicating that exposure to the coronavirus is less much less than 50% in many places.
- While the number of daily positive tests reached a peak in mid-July due to the high number of tests, the number of daily deaths was only half as high as in April, although recently with a slight upward trend again (see graph below).
- In Florida there were reports of at times allegedly very high positivity rates. However, an analysis showed that various laboratories only reported the number of positive tests and thus an apparent positivity rate of 100%. The actual positivity rate in Florida was mostly in the single-digit percentage range. In terms of deaths per capita, Florida remains in the lower midfield compared to the other states.
- The median age of Covid deaths in the USA is 78.5 years. This is higher than the median age of “other deaths”, but lower than the median age of Covid deaths in Europe (80 to 86).
- Yale professor and epidemiologist Harvey A. Risch recently called for immediate over-the-counter availability of HCQ for the early treatment of Covid disease.
- A group of doctors calling itself “America’s Frontline Doctors” held a press conference with the same goal of making HCQ available. The video of the press conference was seen by 20 million people within a day before it was deleted by Facebook & Co. as “misinformation”.
- In England and Wales there have been about 50,000 corona deaths so far. The overall mortality rate is thus still about 10,000 deaths below the strong flu epidemic of 1999/2000.
- There has been no excess mortality among those under 45 years of age compared to the last five years.
- The cumulative corona deaths since March correspond almost exactly to the cumulative influenza and pneumonia deaths since the start of the winter season in December 2019.
- Since mid-June, England and Wales have been in relative under-mortality and daily corona deaths have been below daily influenza and pneumonia deaths since then.
- By mid-April, 45% of NHS nursing staff had already been infected with corona. A significant proportion of patients may have been infected with corona in hospital. Corona patients were also transferred to nursing homes in England, which led to additional deaths.
France was relatively hard hit by the corona pandemic and registered about 30,000 corona deaths by the end of May according to the health authority SPF. About 50% of these deaths occurred in nursing homes, the average age of the deaths is 81.3 years. The median age of intensive care patients was about 67 years.
The region around Paris, eastern France and northern France were particularly hard hit, while large parts of western France and southwestern France were hardly affected at all (so far).
So although only part of France was affected by Covid, the cumulative excess mortality since the beginning of the year (compared to the baseline) is about 50% higher than during the seasonal flu waves of the past five years. In Greater Paris, the excess mortality rate is even around 500% or 10,000 people higher than in previous years (see graphs below).
Covid deaths accounted for around 16% of all deaths nationwide, but in Greater Paris, the figure was almost 40% of all deaths from early March to late May. The weekly peak mortality due to Covid-19 is comparable to the record hot summer of 2003 (see graph below).
Didier Raoult, a well-known professor of medicine and HCQ pioneer from Marseille, criticized the lack of early treatment and the ban on HCQ at a parliamentary hearing at the end of June. Until 2019, HCQ was available in France without prescription. At the beginning of the pandemic, however, its use was restricted to clinics and eventually banned altogether. The reason for the ban was the falsified Lancet study from the end of May (which was later retracted).
In his clinic, Prof. Raoult had been able to reduce the case fatality rate to a very low 0.9% by early treatment with HCQ, according to a published retrospective analysis.
Charts and report: Santé Public France
Germany counts only about 9000 corona deaths and has not experienced any significant excess mortality (in population-adjusted terms there was even a slight undermortality).
At the end of June, however, only 1.3% of blood donors had IgG antibodies against the new coronavirus. This value is very low. Even if non-blood donors (including children and sick persons), T-cells and mucosal (IgA) immunity are taken into account, exposure of the population to the virus is hardly more than 10% to 15%.
This means that the new coronavirus has not yet spread widely in Germany. The measures or – more likely – the anticipation of the measures by the population therefore seem to have been “successful” in this sense (see graph below).
On the other hand, this means that epidemiologically, Germany is essentially still where it was in April and that the risk of a new and stronger increase in infections and disease is indeed real. The comparison with France shows what this can entail.
The German government currently seems to be following a suppression and vaccination strategy. This strategy is socially and economically costly and its success remains uncertain. As an alternative or addition, an early treatment concept should be examined.
The political corona situation in Germany remains tense. Repeatedly, sanctions have been imposed on doctors, professors, lawyers and civil servants who are critical of corona, and in some cases serious attacks occurred against skeptical journalists and activists.
Since June, an extra-parliamentary committee of inquiry consisting of lawyers and medical experts has been dealing with the German Corona government policy. It should not be forgotten, however, that the corona pandemic in Germany is probably not yet over, given that by the end of June, only 1.3% of blood donors had IgG antibodies against the virus.
- The Swiss annual excess mortality is currently close to zero (see graph), which is below most flu waves of the last ten years. This is due to the mild winter and the very high median age of the approximately 1700 corona deaths (84 years). About 50% of the deaths occurred in nursing homes. The effect of the lockdown remains questionable.
- In the former hotspots Ticino and Geneva, IgG antibody levels in May were about 10%, about ten times higher than found by daily PCR tests. Taking mucosal and cellular immunity into account, exposure in southern and western Switzerland could already be around 50%. In German-speaking Switzerland, however, exposure is likely to be lower. The risk of a “second wave” is therefore real.
- In principle, the Swiss government is pursuing a suppression and vaccination strategy, which it is supplementing with mass testing, contact tracing and compulsory masking. As an alternative, infectiologist Dr. Pietro Vernazza brought up the idea of controlled exposure with protection of risk groups based on the Swedish model.
- Switzerland still has no early treatment strategy and thus risks an unnecessarily high hospitalisation and death rate.
- Sweden and Belarus, both of which managed the corona pandemic without a lockdown and without compulsory masks, have been removed from the Swiss list of “high-risk countries” in mid-July. Sweden had previously put Switzerland on its own high-risk list. In fact, the increase in Swedish “cases” was solely due to an increase in tests.
- A referendum was launched against the corona tracing app “SwissCovid”. The initiators are raising data protection and security concerns. Previously, Swiss Professor Serge Vaudenay published a critical analysis of the app, which isn’t as transparent as claimed, leaving Google and Apple in control, Vaudenay said.
- A referendum is also being prepared against the Swiss “Covid-19 Law”, which extends the Corona emergency law until the end of 2022. In addition, a petition has been launched calling for an extra-parliamentary commission of inquiry into the corona measures.
- A flyer campaign against the compulsory use of masks in public transport also caused a stir. The director of the BAG hastily called the arguments of the critics “fake news”.
- Infosperber: The Covid-19 task force massively exaggerated the benefits of masks
- For more current and critical corona analyses see corona-transition.org
- In Sweden, daily corona deaths are now close to zero. The overall mortality rate is in the range of earlier strong flu waves. Even the monthly peak mortality (in April 2020) remained below the strong flu waves of the 1990s.
- The example of Sweden (and Belarus) shows that a lockdown was not necessary if the population and institutions were well prepared. However, from the perspective of many lockdown advocates – governments and the media – this is very difficult to admit.
- Sweden is one of the few Western countries that – on the basis of the medical evidence – has not closed its primary schools. This decision was correct, too.
- Sweden made two real mistakes, which ironically are not covered by most of the media: 1) The nursing homes in the Stockholm area were protected too late and caused over 50% of Swedish deaths. 2) Sweden had no early treatment strategy that could have reduced the hospitalisation and death rates.
- Swedish cities showed an IgG antibody prevalence between 10% and 20% in July, which, together with mucosal and cellular immunity, indicates that the population was exposed between 50% and 100%. Sweden is therefore probably the best placed of all western countries to start the coming winter.
The following graphs compare the deaths in Sweden with those in England and New York.
Charts: Paul Yowell
An Indian antibody study came to the conclusion that around 23% of the 20 million inhabitants of the Indian capital Delhi already have antibodies against the new corona virus. This is about 35 times more people than confirmed by PCR tests.
This means that Delhi (and some other major cities) could already be beyond or near the herd immunity threshold, taking into account mucosal and cellular immunity.
Brazil has by now suffered 90,000 Covid deaths and thus ranges between the Netherlands and France in terms of deaths per population. In the meantime, Brazil has introduced an early treatment concept based on zinc and HCQ.
Chile and Peru currently have an even higher death rate than Brazil (based on population). With close to 20,000 deaths, Peru is in the range of Italy and Spain.
- The US economy contracted by an annualized 32.9% in the second quarter, the highest rate since 1947. The second highest decline was in 1958 (10%) – in the wake of the Asian flu pandemic.
- In the US, up to 28 million people might lose their homes due to corona lockdowns and the economic downturn, which could trigger a new mortgage crisis.
- The German economy contracted by 10.1% in the second quarter compared with the same quarter of the previous year – the biggest decline since 1970.
- According to the UN, the corona lockdowns and the global economic depression could plunge up to 225 million people worldwide into a famine by the end of the year.
- The EU Commission demands or plans the “networking” of national corona tracing apps.
- The NGO Privacy International warns of a “looming disaster” with immunity passports and digital identity cards.
- The authoritarian government of Turkmenistan apparently banned the use of the word “coronavirus”. Consequently, there are no coronavirus deaths in the country, at least officially. Those who wear a mask are arrested by police, Reporters without Borders said.
On the development of the pandemic
In most Western countries, the peak of coronavirus infections was already reached in March or April and often before the lockdown. The peak of deaths in most Western countries was in April. Since then, hospitalizations and deaths have been declining in most Western countries (see graphs below).
This development also applies to countries without a lockdown, such as Sweden, Belarus and Japan. Cumulative annual mortality in most western countries continues to be in the range of a mild (e.g. CH, AT, DE) to strong (e.g. USA, UK) influenza season.
After the end of the lockdowns, the number of corona tests in the low-risk general population has increased strongly in many countries, for example in connection with people returning to work and school.
This led to a certain increase in positive test results in some countries or regions, which was portrayed by many media and authorities as an allegedly dangerous increase in “case numbers” and sometimes led to new restrictions, even if the rate of positive tests remained very low.
“Case numbers” are, however, a misleading figure that cannot be equated with sick or infected people. A positive test can, for example, be due to non-infectious virus fragments, an asymptomatic infection, a repeated test, or a false-positive result.
Moreover, counting alleged “case numbers” is not meaningful simply because antibody tests and immunological tests have long shown that the new coronavirus is up to fifty times more widespread than assumed on the basis of daily PCR tests.
Rather, the decisive figures are the number of sick people, hospitalisations and deaths. It should be noted, however, that many hospitals are now back to normal operation and all patients, including asymptomatic patients, are additionally tested for the coronavirus. Therefore, what matters is the number of actual Covid patients in hospitals and ICUs.
In the case of Sweden, for example, the WHO had to withdraw the classification as a “risk country” after it became clear that the apparent increase in “cases” was due to an increase in testing. In fact, hospitalisations and deaths in Sweden have been declining since April.
Some countries have already been in a state of below-average mortality since May. The reason for this is that the median age of corona deaths was often higher than the average life expectancy, as up to 80% of deaths occurred in nursing homes.
In countries and regions where the spread of the coronavirus has so far been greatly reduced, it is nevertheless entirely possible that there will be a renewed increase in Covid patients. In these cases, early and effective treatment is important (see below).
Global Covid-19 mortality is currently – despite the significantly older population nowadays – a whole order of magnitude below the flu pandemics of 1957 (Asian flu) and 1968 (Hong Kong flu) and in the range of the rather mild “swine flu pandemic” of 2009.
The following charts illustrate the discrepancy between “cases” and deaths:
more):The following charts compare Covid mortalities to earlier flu seasons (
The following chart compares deaths in Sweden (no lockdown) New York State:
The following chart compares the Covid-19 pandemic to earlier pandemics:
On the lethality of Covid-19
Most antibody studies have shown a population-based Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) of 0.1% to 0.3%. The US health authority CDC published in May a still cautious “best estimate” of 0.26% (based on 35% asymptomatic cases).
At the end of May, however, an immunological study by the University of Zurich was published, which for the first time showed that the usual antibody tests that measure antibodies in the blood (IgG and IgM) can detect at most about one fifth of all coronavirus infections.
The reason for this is that in most people the new coronavirus is already neutralised by antibodies on the mucous membrane (IgA) or by cellular immunity (T cells) and no symptoms or only mild symptoms develop.
This means that the new coronavirus is probably much more widespread than previously assumed and the lethality per infection is around five times lower than previously estimated. The real lethality could therefore be significantly below 0.1% and thus in the range of influenza.
At the same time, the Swiss study may explain why children usually develop no symptoms (due to frequent contact with previous corona cold viruses), and why even hotspots such as New York City found an antibody prevalence (IgG/IgM) of at most 20% – as this already corresponds to herd immunity.
The Swiss study has in the meantime been confirmed by several more studies:
- A Swedish study showed that people with mild or asymptomatic disease often neutralized the virus with T-cells without the need to produce antibodies. Overall, T-cell immunity was about twice as common as antibody immunity.
- A large Spanish antibody study published in Lancet showed that less than 20% of symptomatic people and about 2% of asymptomatic people had IgG antibodies.
- A German study (preprint) showed that 81% of the people who had not yet had contact with the new corona virus already had cross-reactive T-cells and thus a certain background immunity (due to contact with previous corona cold viruses).
- A Chinese study in the journal Nature showed that in 40% of asymptomatic persons and in 12.9% of symptomatic persons no IgG antibodies are detectable after the recovery phase.
- Another Chinese study with almost 25,000 clinic employees in Wuhan showed that at most one fifth of the presumably infected employees had IgG antibodies (press article).
- A small French study (preprint) showed that six of eight infected family members of Covid patients developed a temporary T-cell immunity without antibodies.
In this context, a US study in the journal Science Translational Medicine, using various indicators, concluded that the lethality of Covid-19 was much lower than originally assumed, but that its spread in some hotspots was up to 80 times faster than suspected, which would explain the rapid but short-duration increase in patients.
A study in the Austrian ski resort of Ischgl, one of the first European “corona hotspots”, found antibodies in 42% of the population. 85% of the infections went “unnoticed” (i.e. very mild), about 50% of the infections went completely without (noticeable) symptoms.
The high antibody value of 42% in Ischgl was due to the fact that Ischgl also tested for IgA antibodies in the blood (instead of only IgM/IgG). Additional tests for mucosal IgA and for T-cells would undoubtedly have shown even higher immunity levels close to herd immunity.
Ischgl saw two Covid-related deaths (both of them men over 80 with preconditions), resulting in a ‘crude IFR’ of 0.26%. Considering the population structure and the actual extent of immunity, the population-based Covid lethality is likely to be below 0.1%
Due to its rather low lethality, Covid-19 falls at most into level 2 of the five-level pandemic plan developed by US health authorities. For this level, only the “voluntary isolation of sick people” is to be applied, while further measures such as face masks, school closings, distance rules, contact tracing, vaccinations and lockdowns of entire societies are not recommended.
The new immunological results also mean that “immunity passports” and mass vaccinations are unlikely to work and are therefore not a useful strategy.
Some media continue to speak of allegedly much higher Covid lethality levels. However, these media refer to outdated simulation models, confuse mortality and lethality, or CFR and IFR, or “raw IFR” and population-based IFR. More about these errors here.
In July, an antibody prevalence of allegedly up to 70% was reported in some New York City districts. However, this is not a population-based figure, but rather antibodies in people who had visited an urgent care center.
The following graph shows the actual development of corona deaths in Sweden (no lockdown, no face mask obligation) compared to the forecasts of Imperial College London (orange: no measures; grey: moderate measures). Swedish annual all-cause mortality actually is in the range of a medium flu wave and 3.6% lower than in previous years.
On the health risks of Covid-19
Why is the new coronavirus harmless for many people, but very dangerous for some people? The reason has to to with special features of the virus and the human immune system.
Many people, including almost all children, can neutralise the new corona virus with an existing immunity (due to contact with previous corona cold viruses) or through antibodies on the mucous membranes (IgA), without it causing much damage.
However, if this does not succeed, the virus can penetrate the organism. There the virus can cause complications in the lung (pneumonia), the blood vessels (thromboses, embolisms), and other organs due to its efficient use of the human ACE2 cell receptor.
If in this case the immune system reacts too weakly (in older people) or too strongly (in some younger people), the course of the disease can become critical.
It has also been confirmed that the symptoms or complications of serious Covid-19 disease can last for weeks or even months in some cases.
Therefore, the new coronavirus should not be underestimated and early and effective treatment is absolutely crucial for patients at risk.
In the longer term, the new coronavirus could develop into a typical cold virus, similar to the coronavirus NL63, which also uses the ACE2 cell receptor and nowadays affects primarily young children and nursing patients, causing upper and lower respiratory tract infections.
On the treatment of Covid-19
Note: Patients are asked to consult a doctor.
Several studies have now confirmed what some front-line physicians have been saying since March: Early treatment of Covid patients with zinc and the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is indeed effective. US doctors have reported a reduction in hospitalisation rates of up to 84% and a stabilisation of the health condition often within a few hours.
Zinc has antiviral properties, HCQ supports zinc absorption and has additional antiviral properties. These drugs are supplemented by doctors if necessary with an antibiotic (to prevent a bacterial superinfection) and a blood thinner (to prevent infection-related thromboses and embolisms).
The alleged or actual negative results with HCQ in some studies were based, according to the current state of knowledge, on delayed use (intensive care patients), excessive doses (up to 2400mg per day), manipulated data sets, or ignored contraindications (e.g., favism or heart problems).
Sadly, the WHO, many media and some authorities may have caused considerable and unnecessary damage to public health in recent months through their negative stance, which may have been politically motivated or influenced by pharmaceutical interests.
French professor of medicine Jaouad Zemmouri, for example, estimates that Europe could have avoided up to 78% of Covid deaths by adopting a consistent HCQ treatment strategy.
HCQ contraindications such as favism or heart problems need to be considered, but the recent Ford Medical Center study achieved a reduction in hospital deaths of around 50% even with 56% African-American patients (who more often have favism).
However, the crucial point in the treatment of high-risk patients is early intervention as soon as the first typical symptoms develop and even without a PCR test in order to prevent progression of the disease and avoid intensive care hospitalization.
Most countries did the exact opposite: after the infection wave in March, they imposed a lockdown, so that infected and frightened people were locked up in their homes without treatment and often waited until they developed severe respiratory distress and had to be taken directly to the intensive care unit, where they were often sedated and intubated and were likely to die.
It is conceivable that a zinc HCQ combination protocol, which is simple, safe and inexpensive, could make more complex drugs, vaccinations and measures largely obsolete.
More recently, a case study from France showed that in four of the first five patients treated with the much more expensive drug Remdesivir from the pharmaceutical company Gilead, treatment had to be discontinued due to liver issues and kidney failure.
Read more: On the treatment of Covid-19
On the effectiveness of masks
Various countries have introduced or are currently discussing the introduction of mandatory masks in public transport, in shopping malls, or generally in public.
Some may argue that the discussion has become largely obsolete because of the lower-than-expected lethality and hospitalization rate of Covid-19 and the available treatment options, which have mostly eased the initial concern of “flattening the curve”.
Nevertheless, the question of the effectiveness of masks can be asked. In the case of influenza epidemics, the answer is already clear from a scientific point of view: masks in everyday life have no or very little effect. If used improperly, they can even increase the risk of infection.
Ironically, the best and most recent example of this is the often-mentioned Japan: Despite its ubiquitous masks, Japan experienced its most recent strong flu wave – with around five million people falling ill – just one year ago, in January and February 2019.
However, unlike SARS corona viruses, influenza viruses are transmitted also by children. Indeed, Japan had to close around ten thousand schools in 2019 due to acute outbreaks of the flu.
With the SARS 1 virus of 2002 and 2003, there is some evidence that medical masks can provide partial protection against infection. But SARS-1 spread almost exclusively in hospitals, i.e. in a professional environment, and hardly to the general public at large.
In contrast, a study from 2015 showed that the cloth masks in use today are permeable to 97% of viral particles due to their pore size and can further increase the risk of infection by storing moisture.
Some studies recently argued that everyday masks are nevertheless effective in the case of the new coronavirus and could at least prevent the infection of other people. However, these studies suffer from poor methodology and sometimes show the opposite of what they claim.
Typically, these studies ignore the effect of other simultaneous measures, the natural development of infection numbers, changes in test activity, or they compare countries with very different conditions.
- A German study claimed that the introduction of compulsory masks in German cities had led to a decrease in infections. But the data does not support this: in some cities there was no change, in others a decrease, in others an increase in infections (see graph below). The city of Jena, presented as a model, simultaneously introduced the strictest quarantine rules in Germany, but the study did not mention this.
- A study in the journal PNAS claimed that masks had led to a decrease in infections in three hotspots (including New York City). This did not take into account the natural decrease in infections and other measures. The study was so flawed that over 40 scientists recommended that the study be withdrawn.
- A US study claimed that compulsory masks had led to a decrease in infections in 15 states. The study did not take into account that the incidence of infection was already declining in most states at that time. A comparison with other states was not made.
- A Canadian study claimed that countries with compulsory masks had fewer deaths than countries without compulsory masks. But the study compared African, Latin American, Asian and Eastern European countries with very different infection rates and population structures.
- A meta-study in the journal Lancet claimed that masks “could” lead to a reduction in the risk of infection, but the studies considered mainly hospitals (Sars-1) and the strength of the evidence was reported as “low”.
The medical benefit of compulsory masks therefore continues to remain questionable. A comparative study by the University of East Anglia, for instance, came to the conclusion that compulsory masks had no measurable effect on the incidence of Covid infections or deaths.
It is also clear that widespread use of face masks couldn’t stop the initial outbreak in Wuhan.
Sweden showed that even without a lockdown, without mandatory masks and with one of the lowest intensive care bed capacities in Europe, hospitals need not be overburdened. In fact, Sweden’s annual all-cause mortality has remained in the range of previous flu seasons.
At any rate, authorities shouldn’t suggest to the population that mandatory masks reduce the risk of infection, for example in public transport, as there is no evidence of this. Whether with or without masks, there is an increased risk of infection in densely packed indoor areas.
Interestingly, the demand for a worldwide obligation to wear masks is led by a lobby group called “masks4all” (masks for all), which was founded by a “young leader” of the Davos forum.
The role of contact tracing
Numerous countries have introduced smartphone apps and special units for “contact tracing”. However, there is no evidence that these can make an epidemiologically relevant contribution.
In the case of tracing pioneer Iceland, the app has largely failed, in Norway it was stopped for data protection reasons, in India, Argentina, Singapore and other countries it became mandatory after all, in Israel contact tracing is operated directly by the secret service.
A WHO study on influenza pandemics in 2019 came to the conclusion that contact tracing is not useful from an epidemiological point of view and “is not recommended in any circumstances”. The typical area of application is rather sexually transmitted diseases or food poisoning.
Moreover, serious concerns about data protection and civil rights remain.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warned as early as March that governments could use the corona crisis as an occasion or pretext for expanding global surveillance and control, thus creating an “architecture of oppression”.
A whistleblower who had taken part in a training program for contact tracers in the US described it as “totalitarian” and a “danger to society”.
Swiss computer science professor Serge Vaudenay showed that the contact tracing protocols are by no means “decentralized” and “transparent”, because the actual functionality is implemented through a Google and Apple interface (GAEN) that is not “open source”.
This interface has now been integrated by Google and Apple into three billion mobile phones. According to Prof. Vaudenay, the interface may record and store all contacts, not just those that are medically “relevant”. A German IT expert, for his part, described tracing apps as a “Trojan horse”.
For more information on “contact tracing”, see the June update.
See also: Inside the NSA’s Secret Tool for Mapping Your Social Network (Wired)
On the origin of the new coronavirus
In the June update it was shown that renowned virologists consider a laboratory origin of the new coronavirus to be “at least as plausible” as a natural origin. This is due to some genetic peculiarities of the virus in the receptor binding domain, which lead to high infectivity in humans.
In the meantime, further evidence for this hypothesis has emerged. More in these articles:
- Covid-19 Virus Origin: The Mojiang Miners Passage Hypothesis (SPR)
- Seven year coronavirus trail from bat cave via Wuhan lab (London Times)
- Pentagon biolab discovered MERS and SARS-like coronaviruses in bats (DG)
Developments since the beginning of 2020 show that the new coronavirus cannot be seen as a “bioweapon” in the strict sense of the term, as it is not deadly enough and not targeted enough. However, it may well cause fear among the population and be exploited politically.
Nevertheless, besides a potential lab origin, a natural origin continues to be a realistic possibility, even though the “Wuhan wet market” hypothesis and more recently the pangolin hypothesis have in the meantime been ruled out by experts.
A. General part
Stanford professor John Ioannidis published an overview of Covid-19 antibody studies. According to his analysis, the lethality of Covid19 (IFR) is below 0.16% in most countries and regions. Ioannidis found an upper limit of 0.40% for three hotspots.
In its latest report, the US health authority CDC reduced the Covid19 lethality (IFR) to 0.26% (best estimate). Even this value may still be seen as an upper limit, since the CDC conservatively assumes 35% asymptomatic cases, while most studies indicate 50 to 80% asymptomatic cases.
At the end of May, however, Swiss immunologists led by Professor Onur Boyman published what is probably the most important study on Covid19 lethality to date. This preprint study comes to the conclusion that the usual antibody tests that measure antibodies in the blood (IgG and IgM) can recognize at most one fifth of all Covid19 infections.
The reason for this discrepancy is that in most people the new coronavirus is already neutralized by antibodies on the mucous membrane (IgA) or by cellular immunity (T-cells). In most of these cases, no symptoms or only mild symptoms develop.
This means that the new coronavirus is probably much more common than previously thought and the lethality per infection is up to five times lower than previously assumed. The real lethality could thus be well below 0.1% and hence in the range of strong seasonal influenza.
In fact, several studies have now shown that up to 60% of all people already have a certain cellular immunity to Covid-19, which was acquired through contact with previous coronaviruses (common cold viruses). Children in particular often come into contact with such coronaviruses, which could help explain their insensitivity to Covid19.
The new Swiss study may also explain why antibody studies even in hotspots like New York or Madrid found infection rates of at most about 20%, as this would correspond to an actual rate of nearly 100%. In many regions, the actual prevalence might already be well over 50% and thus in the range of herd immunity.
Should the Swiss study be confirmed, the assessment of Oxford epidemiologist Prof. Sunetra Gupta would apply, who predicted early on that Covid-19 is very widespread and its lethality below 0.1%.
Despite the comparatively low lethality of Covid-19 (deaths per infection), the mortality (deaths per population) can still be increased regionally and in the short term if the virus spreads rapidly and reaches high risk groups, especially patients in nursing homes, as indeed happened in several hotspots (see below).
Due to its rather low lethality, Covid-19 falls at most into level 2 of the five-level pandemic plan developed by US health authorities. For this level, only the “voluntary isolation of sick people” is to be applied, while further measures such as face masks, school closings, distance rules, contact tracing, vaccinations and lockdowns of entire societies are not recommended.
Regarding contact tracing, a WHO study on influenza pandemics from 2019 also came to the conclusion that from a medical point of view this is “under no circumstances recommended”, since it is not expedient for easily communicable and generally mild respiratory diseases.
It is sometimes argued that the rather low lethality was not known at the beginning of the pandemic. This is not entirely true, as data from South Korea, the cruise ships and even from Italy already showed in March that the risk to the general population is rather low.
Many health authorities also knew this, as leaked emails from Denmark in mid-March show: “The Danish Health Authority continues to consider that Covid-19 cannot be described as a generally dangerous disease, as it does not have either a usually serious course or a high mortality rate.”
Some media nevertheless continue to calculate an allegedly much higher Covid19 lethality rate of sometimes over 1% by simply dividing deaths by “infections”, without taking into account the age and risk distribution, which is absolutely crucial especially for Covid19.
The latest data from the European mortality monitoring Euromomo shows that several countries such as France, Italy and Spain are already entering a below-average mortality. The reason for this is that the average age of Covid19 deaths was very high and fewer people than usual are now dying in this age group.
See also: Studies on Covid-19 lethality
The role of nursing homes
Nursing homes played an absolute key role in the Covid 19 pandemic. In most countries, one to two thirds of all Covid19 deaths occurred in nursing homes, and up to 80% in Canada and some US states. Even in Sweden, which did not impose a lockdown, 75% of deaths occurred in nursing facilities.
It is all the more worrying that some authorities have obliged their nursing homes to admit Covid patients from the clinics, which has almost always resulted in numerous new infections and deaths. This happened in northern Italy, England and the heavily affected US states of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
It is also known from northern Italy that the widespread fear of the virus and the announced lockdown of the country led to the flight of the predominantly Eastern European nurses, which further accelerated the breakdown of elderly care.
In the United States, at least 42% of all Covid19 deaths are accounted for by 0.6% of the population living in nursing homes. Nursing homes require targeted protection and do not benefit from a general lockdown of society as a whole.
It is well known that even common corona viruses (cold viruses) can be very dangerous for people in nursing homes. Stanford professor John Ioannidis pointed out already in mid-March that coronaviruses may have a case mortality rate of up to 8% in nursing homes.
In addition, it is often not clear whether these people really died from Covid-19 or from weeks of stress and total isolation. For example, there were approximately 30,000 additional deaths in English nursing homes, but in only 10,000 cases, Covid19 is noted on the death certificate.
In April alone, around 10,000 additional dementia patients without corona infection died in England and Wales due to weeks of isolation. Investigations into the situation in nursing homes have been initiated or requested in several countries.
The role of hospitals
The second central factor regarding infections and deaths, in addition to the nursing homes, are the hospitals themselves. A case study in Wuhan already showed that around 41% of hospitalized Covid patients had in fact contracted Covid in the hospital itself.
Contagion in hospitals also played a decisive role in northern Italy, Spain, England and other regions that were severely affected, meaning that the clinics themselves became the main place of transmission of Covid19 to already weakened people (so-called nosocomial infection) – an issue that had already been observed during the SARS outbreak from 2003.
Based on current knowledge, those countries that managed to avoid outbreaks of infection in nursing homes and hospitals had comparatively few deaths. The general lockdown of society, however, played no role or even a counterproductive role (see below).
An additional factor is the sometimes fatal medical mistreatment of Covid patients with aggressive drugs or invasive ventilation, the risks of which experts have been warning about for months. In the US, for example, there have been questionable financial incentives to connect Covid patients to ventilators, a practice that is now being investigated in several states.
See also: An undercover nurse reporting from the ‘epicenter’ in New York City (Video)
The clinical picture of Covid-19
Professor Püschel again emphasized that Covid-19 “is not nearly as threatening as was initially suspected”. The danger was “too much influenced by media images”. The media had focused on severe individual cases and fueled panic with “completely wrong messages”. Covid-19 is not a “killer virus” and the call for new medicine or vaccines is “driven by fear, not facts.”
The specific cause of death of the examined cases was pneumonia, but in about 50% of the cases there were venous thrombosis in the legs, which can lead to fatal pulmonary embolism. The kidneys and heart muscle were also partially affected. Professor Püschel therefore recommends the preventive administration of blood-thinning medication for serious Covid cases.
With regard to thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, Professor Püschel – like other experts before – emphasized that a “lockdown” with quarantine at home was “exactly the wrong measure”, since the lack of exercise itself promotes thrombosis. Indeed, US specialists have already been warning of this risk after even Covid-negative people developed unexpected thrombosis.
Many media again misinterpreted the autopsy findings and spoke of Covid-19 as a particularly dangerous disease which, unlike influenza, is said to lead to thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. This is not true, however: it has been known for 50 years that even severe influenza can greatly increase the risk of thrombosis and embolism and can affect the heart muscle and other organs. Even the recommendation regarding preventive blood thinner for severe influenza has been around for 50 years already.
Children and schools
Numerous studies have now shown that children hardly get Covid19 and do not or hardly transmit the virus, which was already known from the 2003 SARS outbreak. There was therefore no medical reason for the closure of schools at any time.
Accordingly, all those countries that reopened their schools in May saw no increase in cases of infection. Countries like Sweden, which never closed their primary schools anyway, had no problems with this either.
A preprint study by the German virologist Christian Drosten argued that the risk of infection from children is comparable to adults and schools should therefore remain closed. However, several researchers demonstrated methodological errors in the study. Drosten subsequently withdrew the recommendation regarding school closures.
In some schools, for example in France and Israel, alleged “corona outbreaks” are said to have occurred. However, it is likely that these are transmissions from teachers to schoolchildren that, to their dismay, are regularly tested, although they hardly show any symptoms and are themselves hardly or not at all contagious.
The British Kawasaki Disease Foundation again criticized the dubious and lurid media coverage of Kawasaki disease. In fact, there has been no significant increase in Kawasaki cases and no proven association with Covid-19. General inflammatory reactions in individual children are also known from other viral infections, but the number of cases reported so far is extremely low.
German medical associations have also given the all-clear: Covid-19 is imperceptible or very mild in almost all children. Schools and daycare centers should therefore be opened immediately and without restrictions, ie there is no need for small groups, distance rules or masks.
On the effectiveness of masks
Regardless of the comparatively low lethality of Covid19 in the general population (see above), there is still no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of masks in healthy and asymptomatic people in everyday life.
A cross-country study by the University of East Anglia came to the conclusion that a mask requirement was of no benefit and could even increase the risk of infection.
Two US professors and experts in respiratory and infection protection from the University of Illinois explain in an essay that face masks have no effect in everyday life, neither as self-protection nor to protect third parties (so-called source control). The widespread use of masks didn’t prevent the outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan, either.
A study from April 2020 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine came to the conclusion that neither fabric masks nor surgical masks can prevent the spread of the Covid19 virus by coughing.
An article in the New England Journal of Medicine from May 2020 also comes to the conclusion that face masks offer little or no protection in everyday life. The call for a mask requirement is described as an “irrational fear reflex”.
A May 2020 meta-study on pandemic influenza published by the U.S. CDC also found that face masks had no effect, neither as personal protective equipment nor as a source control.
A 2015 study in the British Medical Journal BMJ Open found that cloth masks were penetrated by 97% of particles and may increase infection risk by retaining moisture or reuse of the masks.
The WHO moreover declared in June that truly “asymptomatic transmission” is in fact “very rare”, as data from numerous countries showed. Some of the few confirmed cases were due to direct body contact, i.e. shaking hands or kissing.
In Austria, the face mask requirement in retail and catering will be lifted again from mid-June. A mask requirement was never introduced in Sweden because it “does not offer additional protection for the population”, as the Swedish health authority explained.
Numerous politicians, media people and police officers have already been caught putting on their face masks in a crowd especially for the television cameras or taking them off immediately when they believed that they were no longer being filmed.
In some cases there were brutal police attacks because a person allegedly “did not wear her mask properly”. In other cases, people with a disability who cannot and do not have to wear a mask, are not allowed to enter department stores .
Despite this evidence, a group called “masks4all”, which was founded by a “young leader” of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Davos, is advocating worldwide mask requirements. Several governments and the WHO appear to be responding to this campaign.
Many critics suspect that the masks are more likely to have a psychological or political function (“muzzle” or “visible sign of obedience”) and that wearing them frequently might even lead to additional health problems.
A study from Germany empirically showed that the introduction of face masks had no effect on infection rates (see graph). Only the city of Jena appeared to experience a strong decrease in infections, but Jena simultaneously introduced very strict quarantine regulations.
On the origin of the virus
In mid-March, some researchers argued in a letter to the journal Nature Medicine that the Covid19 virus must be of natural origin and not “from a laboratory”. They cited the structure of the virus and the fact that the binding to the human ACE2 cell receptor did not correspond to the theoretical maximum.
In the meantime, however, numerous renowned virologists have contradicted this argument. An artificial origin in the context of virological functional research is “at least as plausible” as a natural origin. In fact, coronaviruses of this kind have been intensively researched in several laboratories for almost 20 years (i.e. since the SARS outbreak in 2003), they say.
Arguments in favour of an artificial origin include in particular that the binding to the human ACE2 cell receptor is significantly stronger than in all common source animals and that no direct source animal could be identified so far. In addition, the virus contains some striking functional gene sequences that might have been inserted artificially (see graphic below).
The initial theory of the animal market in Wuhan has since been rejected because none of the animals there tested positive and a third of the very first patients had no connection to the animal market. The animal market is now seen as a secondary place of transmission.
It is known that the virological laboratory in Wuhan, in collaboration with the United States and France, researched coronaviruses and thereby also generated “potentially pandemic pathogens” (PPP) that are particularly easy to transmit and / or particularly dangerous. In addition, there have been several laboratory accidents with virus releases in China and the USA.
The unbiased observer must therefore continue to consider several realistic options: a natural origin of the virus (as assumed with SARS 2003), a laboratory accident as part of functional research (probably in Wuhan), or even a targeted release by a geopolitically interested actor in the East or West.
Nevertheless, the Covid19 virus is not a “biological weapon” in the classic sense: the virus is very easily transmissible, but not particularly dangerous for the general population. Animal studies have shown that much more deadly corona viruses can be generated.
Vaccines against Covid-19
Various politicians in Europe and the US have declared that the “corona crisis” can only be ended by a vaccine that is currently being developed.
However, many experts have pointed out that an express vaccine against the new coronavirus is not necessary or useful due to the overall low lethality (see above) and the already declining spread. The protection of risk groups, especially in nursing homes, could be much more targeted.
Some experts like the Swiss infectiologist Dr. Pietro Vernazza also pointed out that experience shows that the high-risk group in particular benefits the least from vaccination, since their immune system no longer reacts adequately to the vaccine.
Various experts have also pointed out the significant health risks of an express vaccine. In fact, vaccination against the so-called “swine flu” from 2009/2010, for example, led to sometimes severe neurological damage, particularly in children, and to claims for damages in the millions.
Nevertheless, several billion dollars of private and public funds have already been collected for the development of a vaccine. An “immunity certificate” for work and travel is still being discussed. However, contrary to most media reports, the two leading vaccine projects had some serious complications.
In the case of the Oxford University vaccine, in animal experiments all six rhesus monkeys fell ill with Covid19 despite vaccination and were as infectious as the unvaccinated monkeys. Nevertheless, the vaccine was moved on to the human test phase. However, the project manager explained that the coronavirus had already become so rare in the population that the clinical trial may deliver no result.
In the case of the novel RNA vaccine from Moderna, which was unusually tested directly in human experiments, 20% of the participants in the high-dose group had a “serious side effect”, although Moderna only allowed very healthy people to try it.
One of the Moderna participants was then presented and interviewed by CNN as a “hero”. However, it was agreed not to mention that the participant passed out after the vaccination and became “as sick as never before in his life”. Several experts also criticized Moderna for not disclosing their clinical data sufficiently.
The director of the US Corona Vaccine Rapid Development Program was himself previously a director at Moderna. President Trump also announced that the vaccine might be distributed nationwide with the U.S. military. Some countries, such as Denmark, have already created the legal basis for mandatory vaccination of the entire population. In Germany, too, various politicians have spoken out in favor of compulsory vaccination.
Proponents of compulsory vaccination, such as World Medical President Frank Montgomery, argue that the population must be vaccinated to protect those who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons. In view of the rather low lethality of Covid19 and the already wide prevalence, this argumentation seems rahter questionable, however. In addition, there are the serious vaccine risks outlined above.
Nevertheless, the head of the largest European ticket portal Eventim said that “major events may not return until there is a vaccine or a correspondingly effective medication.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who co-chaired the vaccine summit in early June with US billionaire Bill Gates, described the GAVI vaccine alliance as a kind of “health NATO”. Nevertheless, “immunity passports” are likely to fail since even antibody tests can only detect about 20% of all infections, as the study by Professor Boyman’s group has shown (see above).
Medication against Covid-19
The situation regarding helpful medication for severe Covid19 cases remains very unclear. The only consensus is that blood thinners are helpful in preventing life-threatening thrombosis and embolism (as with severe influenza).
There have been fierce discussions about the malaria drug hydroxychloroquin (HCQ) for months. The journal Lancet published a study at the end of May according to which HCQ leads to heart problems. The WHO then ceased all of its HCQ studies. Shortly thereafter, however, it became known that the Lancet study was based on a manipulated data set.
The Lancet study and another study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) had to be withdrawn, which is one of the biggest medical scandals in recent years. The reason for the manipulated study is not clear, however, the lead author seems to be involved in a study of competing drug Remdesivir at the same time.
The use of remdesivir by the pharmaceutical company Gilead came itself under pressure after a first study showed that the drug could not reduce the risk of death. However, many media ignored this and still reported positive about the drug.
A former French Minister of Health revealed in an interview that the editors of Lancet and NEJM stated in a confidential discussion panel that the pressure and influence of pharmaceutical companies had become so great, indeed “criminal”, that one could no longer speak of science.
Various clinics use or study HCQ in Covid19 patients, sometimes in combination with zinc, vitamins or other medications. However, it is known that HCQ can lead to fatal complications in people from Africa and the Mediterranean region that have a metabolic pecularity called favism.
Unfortunately, it must be assumed that incorrect or too aggressive medication with HCQ, steroids, antibiotics and antiviral agents as well as invasive ventilation has led to numerous additional and avoidable deaths during the corona pandemic.
- Stanford professor John Ioannidis explains in an interview with CNN that Covid19 is a “widespread and mild disease” comparable to influenza (flu) for the general population, while patients in nursing homes and hospitals should receive extra protection.
- Stanford professor Scott Atlas explains in an interview with CNN that “the idea of having to stop Covid19 has created a catastrophic health care situation”. Professor Atlas says that the disease is “generally mild” and that irrational fears had been created, adding that there is “absolutely no reason” for extensive testing in the general population, which is only necessary in hospitals and nursing homes.
- The British chief medical officer Dr. Chris Whitty explained in a lecture that Covid19 posed “no danger to the vast majority of the population”. Most people do not or only mildly fall ill with it, and even with those who are seriously ill, the chances of recovery are good.
- Stanford professor and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Michael Levitt explains in a new article that the lockdowns did not save lives but cost many. A “panic virus” has spread among politicians worldwide, professor Levitt said.
- Professor Karel Sikora of the University of Buckingham argued in an interview that ultimately, fear will “kill a lot more people than the virus,” including untreated heart and cancer patients. Schools should be opened quickly and masks should remain an individual decision because their benefits have not been proven. One should go back to an “old normal” and not a “new normal”. (Note: The video with Professor Sikora was temporarily deleted by YouTube and only restored after protests).
- Professor Yoram Lass, former director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Health, argues that the lockdown measures have been “totally disproportionate” and are an acute threat to hundreds of millions of people. Covid19 is “comparable to a flu epidemic” and would never have justified such political destruction of livelihoods. People have been intimidated and “brainwashed”.
- The Oxford professor of epidemiology, Sunetra Gupta, argues in a new interview that the lethality of Covid19 is likely to be below 0.1% and that a large number of people have already come into contact with the virus.
- Leading German virologist Prof. Hendrik Streeck criticized the lockdown and explained that “all experts are returning to the assessment of the early days” that Covid-19 “should not be trivialized, but also should not be dramatized”. The reason for the declining risk assessment was the “enormous number of infections that remained without symptoms”. Streeck does not expect any excess mortality in Germany by the end of the year, as the average age of death is “rather above life expectancy”, and he doesn’t consider “corona apps” and widespread corona tests to be useful. He also criticized the general use of masks, saying that these are a “wonderful breeding ground for bacteria and fungi”. Schools should be reopened as soon as possible.
- An employee of the German Ministry of the Interior, responsible for disaster protection, together with external experts wrote a 100-page analysis paper on corona crisis management, which was leaked to the press at the beginning of May and created strong reactions. In the paper, Covid-19 is described as a “global false alarm” because “there was probably at no time a risk beyond the normal level” for the general population. The collateral damage caused by the lockdown is now significantly higher than the recognizable benefit and far exceeds the risk potential of the corona virus. In March and April alone, over a million operations were not carried out in Germany. Crisis management and threat analysis mostly failed and data supplied by health authorities were “inadequate” as the basis for decision-making. The official was subsequently fired because he had created the paper “without authorization”.
- A group led by Professor Sucharit Bhakdi founded the Association of Physicians and Scientists for Health, Freedom and Democracy (MWGFD), which has already been joined by over 16,000 supporters. At the beginning of June, the group published a call to the federal government and all state governments to immediately and completely lift the Corona measures. Professor Bhakdi’s book, Corona: A False Alarm?, appearing at the end of June, is already an Amazon bestseller solely due to the pre-orders.
- A senior physician for intensive medicine at the University Hospital Zurich, who cared for critical Covid 19 patients, criticized in a widely shared video the “scaremongering” associated with the disease. For the vast majority of all people there is no significant risk of death, the numbers are comparable overall to earlier flu waves. Risk groups could be protected in a targeted manner, while the lockdown only prevents the immunization of the general population. In addition, people die due to the medical undersupply in other areas. The medical and social damage has long been greater than the benefits. The partially mandatory mouth protection for schoolchildren also has “no medical sense and benefit” and places a heavy burden on the children. The “daily counting” of the cases is nonsensical and only spreads fear. The counterproductive measures must be stopped quickly.Swiss media tried to put pressure on the Zurich University Hospital after the video had been widely distributed. The doctor has since removed the original video.
- The Swiss chief physician for infectiology, Dr. Pietro Vernazza, using current case studies as an example, explains that fever measurements and contact tracing are not useful due to the often symptom-free course and easy transmission of Covid19.
- The well-known Swiss immunologist Dr. Beda Stadler explains in an article that Covid19 is a “very selective disease” and only poses a real risk for very few people. The media, on the other hand, focused on the few atypical individual cases that exist with every illness. Many scientists had focused too much on their models and too little on reality. The planned contact tracing is medically “senseless” and spreads “only panic”.
- Overview: 250 worldwide expert voices against corona dogmas (German)
Sweden: Sweden had no lockdown, no mask requirement and no primary school closures, but instead mainly relied on the personal responsibility and cooperation of the population. This approach worked well and Sweden saw only a low mortality rate in the general population, comparable to a seasonal flu wave.
Nevertheless, the overall mortality rate in Sweden was indeed higher than in the neighboring Scandinavian countries or in Germany, which was portrayed by many international media as an alleged “failure of the Swedish no-lockdown strategy”.
However, most media didn’t mention that three quarters of Swedish deaths occured in nursing facilities, which require targeted protection and do not benefit from a general lockdown of society. Indeed, at 86 years, the median age of Swedish Covid deaths is likely the highest in the world.
The Swedish government has also been one of the few to apologize for the insufficient protection of nursing patients and to announce an investigation, but this has again been portrayed by many media as an alleged “failure of the Swedish no-lockdown strategy”.
Yet even total mortality in Sweden remained below the strongest seasonal flu waves of the past thirty years. Moreover, Sweden may now benefit from a very high natural immunity, especially in view of the latest immunological studies on the actual range of antibody tests (see above).
Florida: Despite being home to many senior citizens, Florida introduced rather few restrictions and even the popular beaches were reopened early, which was heavily criticized by many US media. Nevertheless, Florida did very well compared to other states and recently had around 2300 deaths in a population of 21 million, which corresponds to Germany’s low mortality.
In an interview, the governor explained that contrary to the media, he realized early on based on the figures from South Korea and Italy that Covid19 was only dangerous for a very small risk group and he therefore protected the nursing homes as best as possible. In terms of prevention, nursing homes were even more important than the clinics themselves, and this strategy had proven itself. At the end of May, the governor announced that summer camps and youth activities could be carried out without restrictions.
Japan: Japan registered some of the first Covid19 cases outside of China, but did not introduce a lockdown. At the end of March, the Japan Times asked, “Where’s the coronavirus explosion?” Bloomberg now reports that a corona crisis never materialized: there were no restrictions on movement, restaurants and hairdressers remained open, there were no “tracking apps” and no mass tests of the general population. Nevertheless – or because of this – Japan now has by far the least deaths compared to the G7 industrialized countries.
It is sometimes argued that the respirators were decisive for Japan’s success. However, respirators are voluntary in Japan and did not stop the outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan, while Sweden, Florida and other successful regions did not use masks in the general population.
Belarus: Belarus has probably implemented the least restrictions of all industrialized nations and carried out even major events such as the 75-year celebrations of the end of World War II. Nevertheless, Belarus officially counts fewer than 300 Covid deaths even after more than three months. Long-term President Lukashenko, who has repeatedly referred to Corona as a “psychosis,” said in mid-May that the capital, Minsk, had already passed the peak. The decision to treat Covid19 cases like normal pneumonia was correct. Ultimately, however, only statistics on overall mortality will be able to show whether the Belarusian numbers are really correct.
- Transmission routes: A new report by the US health agency CDC comes to the conclusion that the virus is transmitted primarily through direct contact with people and “cannot spread easily on surfaces.” The German virologist Hendrik Streeck was already able to demonstrate that the new corona virus does not or hardly spread through objects or through aerosols floating in the air.
- Distance rules: Iceland declared the distance rules optional at the end of May and reopened bars and clubs. Switzerland converted the distance regulations into a voluntary recommendation. A Cochrane study from 2011 already showed that there is so far hardly any evidence for the effectiveness of “social distancing” measures.
- Surgeries: According to an article in the British Journal of Surgery, around 28 million surgeries, including many cancer surgeries, have been canceled or postponed worldwide over 12 weeks due to corona measures.
- Years of life: An evaluation by four US professors comes to the conclusion that the lockdown in the USA will cost about twice as many years of life as Covid-19 and was therefore a very counterproductive measure even from a purely medical point of view.
- Virus test: A German mathematician explains why the low remaining infection numbers in many countries consist largely of false positive results, even with fairly accurate PCR tests, and the pandemic thus “never seems to end”.
- “Second wave”: Studies on a “second wave” sometimes make completely unrealistic assumptions, such as a constant risk of infection and death across all age groups. Nevertheless, the example of the 1968 Hong Kong flu shows that the global spread of pandemics can indeed extend over several seasons.
- Italy: Almost 5% of the population in Milan already had antibodies against Covid19 in mid-February, ie before the outbreak of the epidemic in Italy. This again indicates that the virus was already circulating in Europe earlier than previously thought.
- Unemployment: The International Labor Agency ILO expects that due to the political corona measures, half of the world’s employees or 1.6 billion people are at risk of losing their livelihoods.
- Fact check: 13 misleading and false claims about the corona epidemic (German)
- Review: Why life went on as normal during the global flu pandemics of 1968/1969 (Hong Kong flu, and the Woodstock music festival) and of 1957 (Asian flu).
Many media reported on a study by Imperial College London, according to which the lockdowns in Europe allegedly “saved 3 million lives”. In reality, Imperial College London simply compared the unrealistic predictions of its own model with actual developments. This is particularly evident in the case of Sweden, which even without a lockdown had only a fraction of the deaths predicted by the Imperial College model (see graph).
The role of the media
Most traditional media, almost all of which are part of elite geopolitical networks, decided to run a campaign of fear during the coronavirus period, a behavior that is usually observed in connection with wars of aggression or alleged terrorist attacks.
The risk to the general population was greatly exaggerated, official policies were hardly questioned, the situation in hospitals was dramatized, manipulative images were used, campaigns were staged, and protesters were systematically defamed as “idiots”.
It is true that some conservative media criticized the economically harmful lockdown measures. The real question, however, is whether they will also criticize the surveillance measures now planned, such as the extensive societal contact tracing (see below).
Most independent media sooner or later realized that the risk of the corona virus was exaggerated and politically exploited. Only a few independent media outlets did not realize this, perhaps because they lacked a medical background or fell for the official campaign of fear.
Some analysts compared Covid-19 to a psychological operation that uses the media-induced fear of the virus to bring about political and social change.
US platforms such as Google, Youtube, Facebook and Twitter censored corona issues extensively by deleting critical (i.e. non WHO compliant) points of view even from doctors or restricting their distribution, a procedure that has long been the norm for geopolitical issues.
However, modern media users have the option of using manipulation-free search engines such as DuckDuckGo and independent video platforms such as Bitchute, as well as generally using an advertising and tracking blocker on certain media sites.
Numerous observers have already drawn attention to the fact that the predominantly politically induced “corona crisis” is or could be instrumentalized for far-reaching social and economic changes.
In March, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warned that governments are using the temporary corona crisis as an occasion or pretext for the permanent expansion of social surveillance and control, thereby establishing an “architecture of oppression”.
The measures currently being discussed or already implemented include in particular:
- The introduction of applications for society-wide contact tracing
- Building units to enforce tracing and isolation of citizens
- The introduction of digital biometric ID cards that can be used to control and regulate participation in social and professional activities.
- The expanded control of travel and payment transactions (e.g. cash abolition).
- The creation of legal foundations for access to the biological systems of citizens by governments or corporations (through so-called “mandatory vaccinations”).
More than 600 scientists have warned of an “unprecedented surveillance of society” through problematic apps for “contact tracing”. In some countries, such “contact tracing” is already carried out directly by the secret service. In several parts of the world, the population is already being monitored by drones and facing serious police overreach.
In May, Apple and Google added a contact tracing interface to the operating systems of three billion cell phones that can now be used by national authorities.
This is despite the fact that a recent WHO study on pandemic influenza came to the conclusion that contact tracing is not sensible from a medical point of view and is “not recommended in any circumstances”, as the epidemiological benefits of such apps remain doubtful.
It is often argued that the contact tracing applications would remain “voluntary” and “compliant with data protection”. However, in practice, neither is really true.
In several countries, the use of the applications is already mandatory for certain activities. Various employers, administrations, landlords and transport companies in India require the tracing app. In Argentina, everyone who is in the “public space” must activate contact tracing.
Some German politicians already advocated a preference for app users when traveling or dining out. The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, for his part, spoke of the use of “sensors” for distance control in children.
In Singapore, the “voluntary” app was installed by fewer people than expected, which is why the government now wants to make it mandatory for certain public spaces and services. In some parks, the distance control is already monitored by DARPA robots.
In Australia, people who do not want to use the contact tracing app are insulted by the media as idiots and a danger to the public, and are thus put under social pressure.
Singapore: A DARPA robot dog monitoring social distancing (CNA)
The data protection of the supposedly “decentralized” contact tracing is also problematic. The Dutch IT professor Jaap-Henk Hoepmann already explained in April that even supposedly decentralized solutions can very easily be used for monitoring and surveillance.
Due to the speed of the introduction, the President of the German Society for Computer Science suspected that the functions “had long been in the devices” and only a little “fine tuning” was required. He sees the apps as a “Trojan horse”.
In parallel to the introduction of the applications, many countries have started to set up special units to track contacts and isolate citizens.
In the United States a 100 billion-dollar legislation to set up a national “Corona testing and tracing corps” with up to 180,000 members has been proposed. The states of New York and California are already building “contact tracing armies” with up to 20,000 members each. In the state of Washington, the National Guard is to participate and those who do not cooperate “voluntarily” can be forced to do so.
Italy has announced the creation of a corps with 60,000 volunteers, and Switzerland and other countries have also started building such units. In Germany there have already been mass tests in residential buildings under the threat of police coercion.
The software for society-wide contact tracing in the USA, Great Britain and possibly in other European countries is provided by the CIA-related technology company Palantir of US billionaire Peter Thiel. In Israel, contact tracing software from notorious cyber spy company NSO is used.
A whistleblower who took part in a training program for contact tracers in the United States described it in a video interview as “totalitarian” and a “danger to society”.
All these measures are taken despite the fact that the epidemiological benefit remains unclear and that the WHO explicitly opposed contact tracing, which is otherwise used mainly for serious sexual diseases or food poisoning, which, unlike common respiratory diseases, are easy to trace.
In addition to applications and special units for contact tracing, there are also specific projects or plans for “immunity cards”, which could be used, for example, to control the travel and work activities of the population. In fact, the EU had been planning to introduce such a vaccination certificate since 2018.
Such “vaccination cards” are in turn linked to a worldwide “vaccination program”, which is also currently being worked on. For example, US billionaire and vaccine investor Bill Gates called for corona vaccination for “seven billion people”. AstraZeneca is currently preparing to produce two billion doses of the still untested Oxford vaccine.
From a strategic point of view, such a global vaccination programme would provide access to the biological systems of the population, in particular the immune and nervous systems and the genetic and reproductive systems.
In the economic area, there is a surge in digitization and centralization in favor of a few US technology corporations, as the American National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI), led by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, demanded in a strategy paper in 2019 to be able to compete with China.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Davos, which together with the Gates Foundation and Johns Hopkins University already ran the well-known coronavirus pandemic exercise “Event 201” in October 2019, called for a global “Great Reset” in order prepare the economic and social structures for the 21st century.
Meanwhile, several cardinals and bishops of the Catholic Church warned in an open letter that, under the pretext of the coronavirus, a worldwide panic had been triggered to introduce “unacceptable forms of global surveillance and control” of the population.
The idea that a pandemic can be used to expand global monitoring and control is not new. As early as 2010 the American Rockefeller Foundation described in a working paper on future technological and social developments a “lockstep scenario” in which the present-day developments were anticipated with surprising accuracy (from page 18).
See also: Inside the NSA’s Secret Tool for Mapping Your Social Network (Wired)
- Video: They Live – Coronavirus Edition (Trigger Happy Media)
- Video: Out of Touch – Run for your life (Kevin James)
- Video: What It’s Like to Believe Everything the Media Tells You (JP)
B. Countries and regions
- Denmark: In Denmark, leaked emails revealed that, contrary to political statements, the health authority spoke out against a lockdown in March and wrote: “ The Danish health authority continues to believe that Covid-19 cannot be described as a generally dangerous disease because it’s neither normally serious, nor does it have a high mortality rate. ” In addition, a lower reproduction number was not published for political reasons to justify the lockdown. The Danish parliament has now decided to investigate government policy by an expert commission.
- Norway: The Prime Minister of Norway publicly admitted that she panicked in March and that most of the lockdown measures would probably not have been necessary. In Norway, too, it became known that the reproduction number already fell to the stable value of 1 before the lockdown. In the case of a “second wave”, a much softer strategy without lockdown would have to be chosen, the Prime Minister declared.
- Sweden: Despite enormous international pressure, Sweden managed the Corona period well without a lockdown and overall mortality remained in the range of earlier strong flu waves. 75% of deaths occurred in nursing homes and nursing apartments, an issue the government promised to investigate. International media tried to portray this as “failure of the Swedish no-lockdown strategy”, which of couse is not correct, as nursing homes need targeted protection and do not benefit from a general lockdown of society.
- Schools: Both Finland and Denmark saw no increase in Corona cases after their schools reopened. Sweden kept its primary schools open to begin with.
- There were approximately 100,000 test-positive deaths in the United States by the end of May. The overall mortality rate since the beginning of the year was, however, in the range of the strong flu season of 2017/2018 (see chart below).
- At least 42% of deaths occurred in nursing homes, which account for 0.6% of the U.S. population and did not benefit from a general lockdown.
- In the states that did not implement a lockdown or removed it early, there was no increased mortality, according to a study by JP Morgan.
- An evaluation by four US professors comes to the conclusion that the lockdown in the US will cost about twice as many years of life as Covid-19.
- In an open letter, over 600 doctors warned US President Donald Trump of the dangers of an extended lockdown. The lockdown was itself a “mass casualty incident”.
- In another open letter to US Vice President Mike Pence, American doctors are calling for the rapid opening of society. The dangerousness of Covid-19 turned out to be much less than originally assumed. The risk groups are known and can be protected in a targeted manner. A safe immunization of society is also possible without vaccination. The media has terrorized the population unnecessarily, triggering a sharp rise in despair and suicides.
- Most of the U.S. Army’s field hospitals, which were built for a total of $ 660 million, closed again in May without treating even a single patient.
- A California trauma doctor said in a post that there were more suicide attempts in May than usually in a year, and that the suicides far outnumbered the corona deaths in California.
- In the severely affected state of New York, an independent investigation was requested regarding the official order for nursing homes to admit Corona patients. There were over 5000 deaths in New York nursing homes. Such orders were also issued in the heavily affected states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
- New York’s largest hospital association has announced an investigation into the use of invasive ventilators. In April, it was confirmed that US hospitals receive large bonuses when they admit Covid-19 patients and connect them to ventilators, although experts long before warned of the dangers of invasive ventilation. A New York nurse even spoke of a “mass murder”.
- In the state of Washington , the health agency confirmed that even homicide victims were counted as “corona deaths” if they tested positive for the corona virus. The New York Times also listed a murder victim on their front page of alleged “Corona victims”. Even George Floyd, who died during an arrest at the end of May, tested positive for Corona.
- By the end of May, over 40 million people had been unemployed in the United States. Estimates predict that around 42% of lost jobs will not be recovered and that the worst recession since World War II is imminent (see chart below). Nevertheless, US billionaires saw corona add $ 434 billion to their wealth.
- In March and April, England and Wales experienced an excess mortality of about 46,000 people. This roughly corresponds to the strong flu waves of 1999 and 2000 (see graphic below). However, the health authority ONS notes that almost 30% of this mortality is not due to the coronavirus.
- For example, by early May, 8,000 more people died at home than usual, and 80% of these deaths, according to death certificates, had nothing to do with the corona virus.
- In British nursing homes alone, there were 30,000 excess deaths by the beginning of May, of which only 10,000 cases noted Covid-19 as the cause on the death certificate, as Cambridge professor David Spiegelhalter explained. In England and Wales, around 10,000 additional dementia patients without corona infection died in April due to weeks of isolation.
- Similar to northern Italy and New York, in England there was a fatal decision to move corona patients from hospitals to nursing homes, and the coronavirus was also spreading rapidly within the healthcare system itself.
- Most of the additional Covid field hospitals that were built remained largely empty.
- The influential epidemiologist Neil Ferguson’s computer model, which predicted hundreds of thousands of deaths, was found to be highly flawed and unrealistic in an independent analysis by software and modeling experts. Ferguson had to resign as a government adviser after breaking the lockdown himself to visit his married lover. Based on his failed model, his university now claims that the lockdown “saved three million lives” in Europe.
- Analysis: Who controls the British Government response to Covid-19? (Part 1) and COVID-19: The Big Pharma players behind UK Government lockdown (Part 2)
- UK economic experts predict the biggest economic recession since the Great Frost of 1709 (in the Little Ice Age).
- Positive anecdote: Britain’s oldest tailor survived the corona virus at the age of 96 after not eating for ten days.
- More UK Covid statistics on Covid-19 In Proportion.
- After about four weeks of relative excess mortality, since the middle of May Switzerland is already in experiencing below-average mortality. The cumulative mortality rate since the beginning of the year is in the range of a normal flu season and far below the strong flu season of 2015 (see chart below). Around 50% of deaths occurred in nursing homes that did not benefit from a lockdown. The median age of deaths is around 84 years, which is slightly above the average Swiss life expectancy.
- There were a total of 130 test-positive deaths in the Canton of Zurich. More than half of this (78) took place in nursing homes. Again slightly more than half of these deaths (40) took place in two nursing homes that had to take Covid19 patients from hospitals and were sometimes unable to adequately isolate them.
- ETH Zurich has repeatedly rephrased its study that the decline in the spread of Covid19 began before the lockdown, in order not to openly contradict to the Federal Council. But the result remains the same: the lockdown was medically unnecessary and socially counterproductive. The forecasts of the authorities and universities were based on often completely unrealistic assumptions.
- Researchers at ETH Lausanne have presented a study warning of the risk of a “second wave” that could overwhelm Switzerland. The main author of the study, Professor Jacques Fellay, is also a member of the Federal Council’s Corona Task Force and a supporter of a Corona vaccine. An independent analysis of this study, however, showed that it is based on completely unrealistic assumptions and, for example, predicts a constant risk of infection and death for all age groups.
- Medical entrepreneur Stephan Rietiker from Inside-Corona comes to a devastating conclusion with regard to the Corona management of the Federal Council. The Federal Council largely ignored the findings of its own pandemic commission and made grotesquely wrong decisions with serious consequences for the population and the economy. An unsuitable “containment strategy” was pursued in the naive belief that the time until a vaccine could be “bridged”. The planned “contact tracing” will consume tons of money and ultimately “fail miserably”. It is high time to abolish the emergency laws and hold the decision-makers accountable, according to Rietiker.
- The Aargauer Zeitung reported on the supposedly first child who “died from the coronavirus”. The infant, flown in from Macedonia in an emergency, actually died of meningitis, which is not caused by coronaviruses.
- In May, the NZZ once again spread the false report that Corona had brought the southern canton of Ticino “to the brink of disaster”. In fact, there were no serious problems outside of nursing homes in the canton of Ticino.
- SRF TV editor-in-chief Tristan Brenn defended himself against allegations that SRF was spreading propaganda about Corona. Shortly afterwards, a wheelchair-bound participant in a corona demonstration pointed out how SRF had used him for propaganda.
- In Switzerland there have been weekly demonstrations for fundamental rights in Bern, Zurich and other cities since April. This led to considerable police violence, see »Corona repression in Switzerland«. The participants in these demonstrations were mostly defamed by the media as dumb or extremist.
- The Federal Council plans to convert the existing emergency ordinances into urgent federal law, whereas an online petition has been launched against this step.
- The Federal Council adopted a legal basis for the “corona-tracing app”, which must be approved by Parliament in the summer session. Apple and Google have now equipped their mobile operating systems with an appropriate interface. The use of the app should remain “voluntary” (see above).
- The canton of Zurich and several other cantons have already set up centers for society-wide contact tracing, consisting of police and health department employees who are to contact potentially “infected” people and instruct them to be quarantined. The experience of March and April had shown that the center would have to be expanded or outsourced in the future.
- A survey by the University of Applied Sciences ZHAW showed that 40% of Swiss fear a stronger monitoring by “Corona apps”. Still, a majority plan to use the contact tracing app.
- In February 2020, US billionaire and vaccine investor Bill Gates donated 900,000 US dollars to the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products Swissmedic for “projects in Africa”.
- Switzerland will support Bill Gates’ global vaccine alliance GAVI with CHF 30 million for the development of a coronavirus vaccine.
- The Corona-critical doctor from Aargau, who was brutally arrested in April by a special police unit and temporarily admitted to the psychiatric center, requested an external administrative investigation into his case, which the government has now initiated. It was previously known that, contrary to what the police had said, the doctor neither threatened relatives nor the authorities nor was he in possession of a loaded weapon.
Germany and Austria
- Germany and Austria have not had any significant excess mortality since March. In fact, Germany has even seen a slightly below-average level of mortality since the beginning of the year if corrected for population growth.
- Leaked protocols in Austria, as in Denmark and England, have shown that the lockdown was politically motivated and the majority of the health experts spoke out against it, recommending to Chancellor Kurz in March to get away from the message of a “very dangerous virus” because the virus was already widespread and not particularly dangerous for the majority of the population.
- In Germany, almost a million surgeries were canceled due to the corona lockdown by the end of May. German oncologists warn of delays in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer due to the lockdown. Cancer is a “far greater danger than COVID-19,” the medical associations emphasized.
- German pediatricians report massive violence against children due to the lockdown. They see injuries like those after car accidents, including broken bones or shaking trauma. The number of calls to the child protection hotline is rising sharply.
- Berlin medical examiner Professor Michael Tsokos reported “corona suicides” from people who fear or think they may be infected. Professor Tsokos criticized the scaremongering and spread of “horror scenarios” by the media and some virologists. He fears that the “infectious pandemic” will now be followed by a “psycho-social pandemic”. In fact, suicides and suicide attempts in Berlin already “increased dramatically” in the first quarter.
- Economic experts in Germany expect around 10,000 additional bankruptcies by 2021 due to the political corona measures.
- Since April some of the largest fundamental rights demonstrations in Europe have taken place in German cities with up to 25,000 participants. However, there was sometimes serious police violence, for example when arresting vegan celebrity chef Attila Hildmann or 68-year-old former GDR civil rights activist Angelika Barbe. There were also arson attacks and, in some cases, life-threatening attacks on demonstrators and independent media people by mostly black-hooded groups that apparently are not afraid of state persecution.
- Werner Winterstein, the grandson of an Austrian-Jewish Minister of Justice murdered by the Nazis, took part in a fundamental rights demonstration in Vienna and declared that he was “shaken by the silent seizure of power by elements that speak of ‘new normality’ on the margins of the democratic model. ” The corona-related division of citizens into different categories and the creation of a new “snitch culture” are dangerous developments. He observed a lack of civil courage and submission to the authorities. The planned Corona apps are a move “towards a total surveillance state” and should be rejected.
After the spread of corona in Europe and the United States subsided, many media focused on the situation in South America, especially in Brazil. However, in comparison, the fact is that Brazil with its 210 million inhabitants is still much better off than many European countries.
In other Latin American countries such as Ecuador, in addition to the coronavirus, dengue fever also spreads with similar symptoms, which has lead to a double burden on the health system. Nevertheless, in Peru it was found that 80% of confirmed corona cases remain asymptomatic.
Some media reported crematoriums running allegedly “around the clock” in Mexico City. A Youtuber living in Mexico then visited the city and the hospitals, funeral homes and crematoriums there, all of which had very little activity.
In general, there has been a much lower corona mortality rate in countries in South America and Africa than in Europe and the USA, which may be due to the younger population or climatic factors. On the other hand, the World Bank expects up to 60 million victims of poverty due to global political corona measures.
C. Global health funding by Bill Gates
US multi-billionaire and Microsoft founder Bill Gates is the most important private sponsor of the WHO and the vaccine industry and is therefore currently in the spotlight. In the following illustrations his pharmaceutical and media network is graphically represented.
See also: Politico (2017): Meet the world’s most powerful doctor: Bill Gates
Global health funding by Bill Gates in the US/UK and Germany
- Stanford professor John Ioannidis explains in an interview with CNN that Covid19 is a “widespread and mild disease” comparable to influenza (flu) for the general population, while patients in nursing homes and hospitals should receive extra protection.
- Stanford professor Scott Atlas explains in an interview with CNN that “the idea of having to stop Covid19 has created a catastrophic health care situation”. Professor Atlas says that the disease is “generally mild” and that irrational fears had been created. He adds that there is “absolutely no reason” for extensive testing in the general population, which is only necessary in hospitals and nursing homes. Professor Atlas wrote an article at the end of April entitled “The data are in – Stop the panic and end total isolation” that received over 15,000 comments.
- Epidemiologist Dr Knut Wittkowski explains in a new interview that the danger of Covid19 is comparable to an influenza and that the peak was already passed in most countries before the lockdown. The lockdown of entire societies was a “catastrophic decision” without benefits but causing enormous damage. The most important measure is the protection of nursing homes. According to Dr. Wittkowski, Bill Gates’ statements on Covid19 are “absurd” and “have nothing to do with reality”. Dr. Wittkowski considers a vaccination against Covid19 “not necessary” and the influential Covid19 model of British epidemiologist Neil Ferguson a “complete failure”. (Note: The video was removed by Youtube).
- German virologist Hendrik Streeck explains the final results of his pioneering antibody study. Professor Streeck found a Covid19 lethality of 0.36%, but explains that this is an upper limit and the lethality is probably in the range of 0.24 to 0.26% or even below. The average age of test-positive deceased was approximately 81 years. Professor Streeck argues that “waiting for a vaccine” is not a good strategy because both the feasibility and effectiveness of a vaccine are uncertain.
- Biology professor and Nobel Prize winner Michael Levitt, who has been analyzing the spread of Covid19 since February, describes the general lockdown as a „huge mistake“ and calls for more targeted measures, especially to protect risk groups.
- The emeritus microbiology professor Sucharit Bhakdi explains in a new interview that politics and the media have been conducting an “intolerable fear-mongering” and an “irresponsible disinformation campaign”. According to professor Bhakdi, face masks for the general population are not needed and may in fact be harmful “germ catchers”. The current crisis was brought about by the politicians themselves and has little to do with the virus, he argues, while a vaccine against coronavirus is “unnecessary and dangerous”, as was already the case with swine flu. The WHO has “never taken responsibility for its many wrong decisions over the years”, professor Bhakdi adds. (Note: The video was temporarily deleted by YouTube).
- The Swiss chief physician for infectiology, Dr. Pietro Vernazza, explains in a new interview that the Covid19 disease is “mild for the vast majority of people” and the “counting of infected people and the call for more tests” aren’t helpful. In addition, most of the people listed in the corona statistics did not die solely from Covid-19. According to Dr. Vernazza, there is no evidence for the benefit of face masks in people who do not show symptoms themselves (archive).
- A new overview of existing PCR and antibody studies shows that the median value of Covid19 lethality (IFR) is about 0.2% and thus in the range of a strong influenza.
- A new antibody study with Danish blood donors showed a very low Covid19 lethality (IFR) of 0.08% for persons under 70 years of age.
- A new antibody study from Iran, one of the earliest and most affected countries by Covid19, also showed a very low lethality of 0.08% to 0.12%.
- A new antibody study from Japan comes to the conclusion that about 400 to 800 times more people there had contact with the new coronavirus than previously thought, but showed no or hardly any symptoms. Japan had done rather few tests so far.
- A new study from Germany, with the participation of leading virologist Christian Drosten, shows that about one third of the population already has some cellular immunity to the Covid19 corona virus, presumably through contact with earlier corona viruses (cold viruses). This cellular immunity by so-called T-cells is significantly higher than PCR and antibody tests suggested and may partly explain why many people develop no symptoms with the new coronavirus.
- In a prison in the US state of Tennessee, only two out of 1349 test-positive people showed any symptoms at all.
- On the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, none of 1046 test-positive sailors have died so far. On the US aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, one of 969 test-positive sailors has died so far (preconditions and exact cause of death are not known). This yields a lethality rate of 0 to 0.1% for this population group.
- Numerous media reported about alleged “re-infections” of already recovered persons in South Korea. However, researchers have now come to the conclusion that all of the 290 suspected cases were false-positive test results caused by “non-infectious virus fragments”. The result again highlights the well-known unreliability of PCR virus tests.
Other medical updates
- Numerous media reported that in connection with Covid19, more and more children would fall ill with so-called Kawasaki disease (a vascular inflammation). However, the UK’s Kawasaki Disease Foundation issued a press release stating that fewer, not more, Kawasaki cases are currently being reported than usual and that of the few cases reported, only about half had tested positive for corona virus.
- In an open letter to the French Ministry of Health, a French doctor speaks of Covid19 as “the biggest health scam of the 21st century”. The danger of the virus for the general population is in the range of influenza and the consequences of the lockdown are more dangerous than the virus itself, the French doctor argues.
- In France, it became known during a subsequent investigation that the first Covid19-positive patient had already been treated at the end of December 2019, one month earlier than previously assumed. The man was being treated for what appeared to be flu-related pneumonia. This case shows that the new corona virus either arrived in Europe earlier than assumed, or that it is not as new as assumed, or that the test result was a false-positive. In addition, it is not clear whether the man, who has long since recovered, was actually suffering from flu or corona virus or both.
- The Executive Director of the WHO recently praised Sweden as a successful model for handling Covid19. Sweden had implemented its health policy successfully and “in partnership with the population”, he said. Previously, Sweden had been heavily criticized for weeks by foreign media and politicians for its relaxed approach to Covid19.
- Belarus, which took the least action against Covid19 of all European countries and did not even cancel major events like soccer matches, is counting only 103 test-positive or suspected Covid19 deaths after more than two months. The Belarusian long-term president Lukashenko called Corona a “psychosis”. Critics argue he is not disclosing the real number of deaths.
- An extensive literature review by a Canadian researcher found that face masks do not provide measurable protection against colds and influenza.
- A Swiss chief psychiatrist expects a sharp increase in psychological problems and more than 10,000 additional suicides worldwide due to the global lockdown and unemployment.
- The so-called reproduction number, which indicates the proliferation of Covid, is increasingly becoming a political issue. However, this does not change the facts: the peak of the spread was already reached in most countries before the lockdown and the reproduction ratio fell to or below the stable value of one due to simple everyday and hygiene measures. The lockdown was therefore epidemiologically unnecessary.
- The clinical picture and risk groups of Covid19 corona viruses are probably related to the use of the so-called ACE2 cell receptor, which is found in the bronchi and lungs, but also in blood vessels, the intestines and kidneys. However, other coronaviruses such as the common cold virus NL63, also use the ACE2 cell receptor. Some researchers therefore expect that the Covid19 coronavirus, too, will be seen as a typical cold virus in the medium term.
- The exact origin of the new corona virus is still unclear. The easiest explanation remains natural transmission or mutation, which happens quite often. It is true, however, that the virological laboratory in Wuhan, as part of a research programme co-financed by the US, studied corona viruses from bats and also examined their transmissibility to other mammals, something that has been criticised for years by some researchers as too risky. The director of the laboratory, however, explained that the new virus did not correspond to the corona viruses investigated in the laboratory. At any rate, earlier rumours about “bioweapons” or “HIV sequences” turned out to be disinformation given the relative harmlessness of the corona virus.
Nursing homes play an absolutely key role in the current corona situation. In most Western countries, 30% to 70% of all deaths “related to Covid” occurred in nursing homes (in some regions even up to 90%). It is also known from northern Italy that the crisis there began with a panic-induced collapse of nursing care for the elderly.
Nursing homes require targeted protection and do not benefit from a general lockdown of society. If one looks only at the deaths in the general population, in most countries these are in the range of a normal or even mild wave of influenza.
Moreover, in many cases it is not clear what people in nursing homes really died of, i.e. whether it was Covid19 or stress, fear and loneliness. From Belgium, for example, it is known that about 94% of all deaths in nursing homes are untested “presumed cases”.
A new analysis of French statistics moreover shows the following: as soon as there is a “suspected case” in a nursing home (e.g. due to coughing), all deaths are considered “suspected Covid19 deaths”, and as soon as there is a “confirmed case” in a nursing home (even if symptomless), all deaths are considered “confirmed Covid19 deaths”.
A report from Germany vividly describes the extreme conditions under which hundreds of thousands of patients in care and nursing homes have had to live in recent weeks, often against their will. Many of the patients were barely allowed to leave their rooms, were no longer allowed to go out into the fresh air or receive visits from their relatives.
In several nursing homes, the error-prone PCR virus test moreover led to serious false alarms and panic. In one Canadian nursing home, employees fled in fear of the corona virus, resulting in the tragic death of 31 patients due to lack of care.
The former New York Times journalist and Corona critic Alex Berenson writes on Twitter: “Let’s be clear: the fact the nursing home deaths are not front and center every day in elite media coverage of COVID tells you everything you need to know about the media’s priority – which is instilling panic (and punishing Trump), not driving good health policy.”
Full analysis: Mortality associated with COVID-19 outbreaks in care homes: early international evidence (LTC Covid, May 2020)
- Cumulative all-cause mortality in the UK remains in the range of the five strongest flu waves in the last 25 years. The peak in daily hospital deaths was already reached on April 8 (s. chart below).
- New statistical data show that in mid-April, out of about 12,000 additional deaths, about 9,000 were “related to Covid” (including “suspected cases”), but about 3,000 were “not related to Covid”. Moreover, of the total of about 7300 deaths in nursing homes, only about 2000 were “related to Covid”. In both the “Covid19 deaths” and the non-covid19 deaths, it is often unclear what these people actually died of. The Association of British Pathologists has therefore called for a “systematic review of the true causes of death”.
- The temporary “Nightingale” hospitals in the UK have so far remained largely empty. A similar situation was already seen in China, the US and many other countries.
- At the end of April it became known that the lockdown was apparently not, as officially stated, recommended by a scientific commission alone, but that a high government advisor had “pushed” the scientists to support the lockdown.
- Peter Hitchens: We’re destroying the nation’s wealth – and the health of millions. “If you don’t defend your most basic freedom, the one to go lawfully where you wish when you wish, then you will lose it for ever. And that is not all you will lose. Look at the censorship of the internet, spreading like a great dark blot, the death of Parliament, the conversion of the police into a state militia.”
- The latest report from the US CDC shows that the Covid19 hospitalization rate among the over-65s is in the range of strong flu waves. It is slightly higher among 18 to 64-year-olds and significantly lower among those under 18.
- Video: A nurse from New York City stated in a dramatic video that New York is “killing” Covid19 patients by putting them on invasive ventilators and destroying their lungs. The use of the invasive ventilators (instead of oxygen masks) is done “for fear of spreading the virus”. It is “a horror movie”, “not because of the disease, but because of the way it is dealt with”, the nurse explained. Experts have been warning since March against intubation of Covid19 patients.
- Dr. Daniel Murphy, the head of emergency medicine at a heavily affected hospital in New York City, recommends a quick end to the lockdown. According to Dr Murphy, the Covid19 wave had already reached its peak on April 7th. Covid19 is a serious matter, but the fear of it is exaggerated, as the vast majority of the population gets at most mildly ill. His biggest concern now is the sharp decline in the care of emergency patients and children due to the lockdown and the widespread fear in the population.
- Video: The conservative Project Veritas whistleblower platform spoke with New York funeral home directors who stated that currently Covid is written “on all death certificates” (of suspected cases), whether there was a test or not. Many people are currently dying at home, and often the exact cause of death is no longer checked. The Covid19 statistics are inflated for political or financial reasons, the directors stated.
- The director of the Illinois Department of Health confirmed that even terminally ill people who clearly die of another cause but who test positive for Covid19 virus before or after death are recorded as Covid19 deaths.
- Due to the lockdown, 30 million people in the US have already applied for unemployment benefits by the end of April – that is significantly more than the International Labour Office ILO originally assumed for the entire world.
- Tesla boss Elon Musk called the California curfews “fascist”. The “forced imprisonment” of people in their homes violates all their constitutional rights, Musk explained in a telephone conference.
- Video: A Wisconsin mother was confronted by police at her home because her children played illegally with neighbor children.
- Video: In late April, some photographers were caught in a partial staging of a protest by care workers against anti-lockdown demonstrators. (Read more).
- Cumulative deaths since the beginning of the year in Switzerland remain within the range of a normal flu epidemic and far below the strong flu epidemic of 2015 (see graph below). Around 50% of deaths occurred in care and nursing homes.
- The Swiss government plans to transform the current corona emergency decrees into a permanent urgent federal law. Most Swiss media have not reported on this far-reaching announcement, or have done so only marginally.
- The Swiss Armed Forces began testing an app for contact tracing that is to be introduced on 11 May in collaboration with Google and Apple. Meanwhile, a Swiss “data protection office” declared: “If the contact tracing app is suitable and necessary, it does not need to be voluntary”.
- Various vigils were held on the Swiss Bundesplatz in Berne with around 400 participants who spoke out against restrictions on constitutional rights. The rallies were cleared by the police.
- In the context of Covid19, it was not the long-established Swiss Pandemic Commission that was used, but a newly founded “Covid-19 Task Force”, some of whose members have conflicts of interest in the pharmaceutical sector.
- Video: “Does the Swiss government belong in prison?” Swiss journalist Reto Brennwald interviewed the entrepreneur Daniel Stricker, who temporarily fled Switzerland to Sweden in mid-March and strongly criticizes the corona policy of the Swiss government.
- A Swiss nurse has written a highly shared article on the current situation. She explains that Swiss hospitals have remained largely empty and in some cases had to furlough staff. She also says it is very unusual to transfer people over 80 years of age to intensive care units because of flu or pneumonia, where they then have to die alone instead of with their families. If this were done, the intensive care units would be overloaded almost every winter. The nurse criticises that most of the media have not sufficiently addressed the recent scientific findings on the rather low overall risk of Covid19.
Germany and Austria
- In Germany and Austria, similar to Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway and Portugal, no excess mortality exists to date.
- According to a leaked protocol of the Austrian Corona Task Force, Chancellor Kurz is said to have demanded in March that the population should be “more afraid” of infection or death of parents or grandparents. A strategy paper of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior had already become known earlier, which also called for a psychological fear campaign that was indeed implemented by politicians and the media. In retrospect, the question arises as to how many people died as a result of this largely unfounded fear.
- An open letter with already about 5000 signatures from people over 64 years of age demands: “Corona: Don’t protect us older people at this price! Let us decide for ourselves!” For the protection of risk groups, the basic rights of the entire society should not be overridden, the authors argue.
- In Austria (and possibly also in other countries) kissing among people in love but not living together is still forbidden. This applies both in public and in one’s own flat, explained the Austrian Minister of Health.
- A German lawyer is currently suing in several courts against the government anti-corona measures, as they are “blatantly unconstitutional”.
- Videos: In Germany there have recently been several cases of serious police overreach. A young woman was brutally arrested by several police officers while shopping, as she had apparently “got 20cm too close” to a policewoman. Another woman was instructed by the police at a rally not to hold the German constitution in front of her chest, as this was an “illegal political message”. The organizer of a peaceful rally in Berlin was also arrested in a rather brutal fashion. Even older women were arrested in a disproportionate manner. (Caution: disturbing footage of police violence).
- The CEO of Youtube announced in an interview at the end of April that video contributions on coronavirus that contradict the guidelines of the WHO or national health authorities will be removed. For example, the video of the two skeptic Californian emergency doctors, which had over five million views, was deleted. Likewise, the interview with Professor Sucharit Bhakdi linked above was at least temporarily removed by Youtube.
- In the US magazine The Atlantic, two law professors wrote an article entitled: “Internet Speech Will Never Go Back to Normal. In the debate over freedom versus control of the global network, China was largely correct, and the U.S. was wrong.”
- Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer and one of the most influential media managers in Germany, calls for a “decoupling from China” and a strengthening of the transatlantic alliance with the USA in the wake of the Corona crisis.
- Washington Post: “The last time the government sought a ‘warp speed’ vaccine, it was a fiasco”. The 1976 swine flu express vaccination led to paralysis and deaths.
- Looking back: Woodstock Occurred in the Middle of a Pandemic. On the rather relaxed handling of the global flu pandemic of 1968 (read more).
Covid-19 and the media
A lot of people are shocked by the dubious and often fear-mongering Covid19 reporting of many media outlets. Obviously, this is not “ordinary reporting”, but classical and massive propaganda, as it is typically employed in connection with wars of aggression or alleged terrorism.
SPR has depicted the media networks responsible for the dissemination of such propaganda in earlier infographics for the USA, for Germany and for Switzerland. Even the supposedly “open” Internet lexicon Wikipedia is an integral part of this geopolitical media structure.
The political stance and relationship to power of different media outlets have been analyzed and compared as part of the SPR Media Navigator. The Media Navigator may also be helpful in evaluating the current Covid19 reporting by different media outlets.
If, for example, pictures of soldiers in protective suits disinfecting entire streets are seen on television, this does not prove the danger of the corona virus, but rather – as Professor Giesecke put it benevolently – proves useless “political activism”. Or as others would put it: propaganda.
Covid-19 and mass surveillance
By far the most significant and, from a civil society perspective, the most dangerous development in response to the coronavirus is the apparent political attempt to massively expand mass surveillance and control of society. In this context, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warned of the emergence of an “architecture of oppression”.
The flu-like coronavirus may serve as a rationale or pretext for the introduction of strategic measures to expand monitoring and control of an increasingly uneasy society. The most important instruments currently under discussion by several governments include:
- The introduction of applications for “tracing” contacts across society
- The establishment of units to enforce the tracing and isolation of citizens
- The introduction of digital biometric ID cards to control and regulate participation in social and professional activities.
- The extended control of travel and payment transactions (including the abolition of cash).
- The creation of a legal basis for access to and intervention in citizens’ biological systems by governments or corporations (based on so-called “compulsory vaccinations”).
In the US, former President Bill Clinton discussed the introduction of a national network of “contact tracers” with governors of various states in April. The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, then announced that together with billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, he would create a “contact tracing army” with up to 17,000 contact tracers for New York.
Meanwhile, in the UK and many other countries, governments are calling for the introduction of biometric “immunity passports” and presenting them as the allegedly “only way out” of the primarily politically motivated lockdown. The British Tony Blair Institute called for the “expansion of technological surveillance” to “combat the corona virus”.
In the US, the Silicon Valley data analysis company Palantir is to play a key role in setting up the data platform for monitoring the (already declining) spread of the corona virus. Palantir is known for its IT projects with intelligence agencies and the military and was founded by US billionaire and Trump supporter Peter Thiel.
In Israel, contact monitoring of the civilian population is carried out by the domestic intelligence service Shin Bet, using programs from the notorious NSO Group, known for its spy software used to monitor civil and human rights activists around the world.
Countries like Russia and China also want to massively expand the surveillance of the population in the wake of the alleged “corona crisis”, but will most likely do so independently of the US.
The idea that a pandemic can be used to expand control of the population is not new: as early as 2010, the American Rockefeller Foundation described a „lock step scenario“ in a report on future technological and social developments, in which current events were anticipated with impressive accuracy (pages 18ff). At the time, the scenario was conceived as a kind of authoritarian “worst case”.
Meanwhile, more than 500 scientists have warned in an open letter against “unprecedented surveillance of society” through contact tracking apps.
The so-called Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University, which is at the heart of the Covid19 pandemic management and which has contributed greatly to the global escalation through its misleading charts, is also very closely linked to the US security apparatus and has been involved in some of its earlier simulations and operations.
In general, cooperation with private actors to achieve geostrategic goals is not a new or unusual phenomenon in US foreign and security policy.
For instance, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the most important private sponsor of the WHO, the vaccine industry and biometric ID projects, financed a Global Health Program of the US Council on Foreign Relations as early as 2003, which is concerned with the question of how health policy influences geopolitics and, conversely, how health policy can be used to achieve geostrategic goals.
April 25, 2020
- Professor Detlef Krüger, the direct predecessor of the well-known German virologist Christian Drosten at the Charité Clinic in Berlin, explains in a recent interview that Covid19 is “in many respects comparable to the flu” and “no more dangerous than certain variants of the flu virus”. Professor Krüger considers the “mouth and nose protection discovered by politicians” to be “actionism” and a potential “germ-slinger”. At the same time he warns of “massive collateral damage” caused by the measures taken.
- The former Swedish and European chief epidemiologist Professor Johan Giesecke gave the Austrian magazine Addendum a candid interview. Professor Giesecke says that 75 to 90% of the epidemic is “invisible” because that many people develop no or hardly any symptoms. A lockdown would therefore be “pointless” and harm society. The basis of the Swedish strategy was that “people are not stupid”. Giesecke expects a death rate between 0.1 and 0.2%, similar to that of influenza. Italy and New York had been very poorly prepared for the virus and had not protected their risk groups, Professor Giesecke argues.
- The latest figures from Italy show (pp. 12/13) that 60 of almost 17,000 doctors and nurses who tested positive died. This results in a Covid19 lethality rate of less than 0.1% for those under 50, 0.27% for those aged 50 to 60, 1.4% for those aged 60 to 70, and 12.6% for those aged 70 to 80. Even these figures are likely too high, as these are deaths with and not necessarily from corona viruses, and as up to 80% of people remain asymptomatic and some may not have been tested. Overall, however, the values are in line with those from e.g. South Korea and give a lethality rate for the general population in the range of influenza.
- The head of the Italian Civil Defence declared in mid-April that more than 1800 people died in nursing homes in Lombardy, and that in many cases the cause of death was not yet clear. It was already known beforehand that the care of the elderly and nursing homes and, as a result, the entire health care system in parts of Lombardy had collapsed, in part due to fear of the virus and the lockdown.
- The latest figures from Belgium show that there too, just over 50% of all additional deaths occur in nursing homes, which do not benefit from a general lockdown. In 6% of these deaths Covid19 was “confirmed”, in 94% of the deaths it was “suspected”. About 70% of the test-positive persons (employees and residents) showed no symptoms.
- The British Guardian cites new studies according to which air pollution could be a “key factor” in Covid19 deaths. For example, 80% of deaths in four countries were in the most polluted regions (including Lombardy and Madrid).
- The Californian physician Dr. Dan Erickson described his observations regarding Covid19 in a much-noticed press briefing. Hospitals and intensive care units in California and other states have remained largely empty so far. Dr. Erickson reports that doctors from several US states have been “pressured” to issue death certificates mentioning Covid19, even though they themselves did not agree. Dr. Erickson recommends quarantining only the sick and not the healthy or the whole society, as this could have negative effects on health and psyche. A significant increase in “secondary effects” such as alcoholism, depression, suicide and abuse of children and spouses has already been observed. Based on figures from various countries, Dr. Erickson estimates the lethality of Covid-19 to be about 0.1% or similar to influenza. According to Dr Erickson, a face mask only makes sense in acute situations such as in hospital, but not in everyday life. (Note: Youtube deleted the press briefing after it had 5 million views.)
- The German newspaper DIE ZEIT focuses on the high vacancy rates in German hospitals, which in some departments are as high as 70%. Even cancer examinations and organ transplants that were not acutely necessary for survival had been cancelled to make room for Covid19 patients, but these have so far been largely absent.
- A new analysis from the UK concludes that there are currently about 2000 people per week dying at home without Covid19 because they cannot or do not want to use the health care system. These are mainly emergency patients with heart attacks and strokes as well as chronically ill people.
- Researchers in Austria concluded that more people died there in March from untreated heart attacks than from Covid19.
- In Germany, a mask requirement was introduced in public transport and in retail outlets. The president of the World Medical Association, Frank Montgomery, has criticized this as “wrong” and the intended use of scarves and drapes as “ridiculous”. In fact, studies show that the use of masks in everyday life does not bring measurable benefits to healthy and asymptomatic people, which is why the Swiss infectiologist Dr. Vernazza spoke of a “media hype”. Other critics speak of a symbol of “forced, publicly visible obedience”.
- In 2019, a WHO study found “little to no scientific evidence” for the effectiveness of measures such as “social distancing”, travel restrictions and lockdowns. (Original study)
- A German laboratory stated in early April that according to WHO recommendations, Covid19 virus tests are now considered positive even if the specific target sequence of the Covid19 virus is negative and only the more general corona virus target sequence is positive. However, this can lead to other corona viruses (cold viruses) also trigger a false positive test result. The laboratory also explained that Covid19 antibodies are often only detectable two to three weeks after the onset of symptoms. This must be taken into account so that the actual number of people already immune to Covid19 is not underestimated.
- In both Switzerland and Germany, some politicians have called for “compulsory vaccination against corona”. However, the vaccination against the so-called “swine flu” of 2009/2010, for example, led to sometimes severe neurological damage, especially in children, and to claims for damages in the millions.
- Professor Christopher Kuhbandner: About the lack of scientific justification for the corona measures: “The reported figures on new infections very dramatically overestimate the true spread of the corona virus. The observed rapid increase in new infections is almost exclusively due to the fact that the number of tests has increased rapidly over time (see figure below). So, at least according to the reported figures, there was in reality never an exponential spread of the coronavirus. The reported figures on new infections hide the fact that the number of new infections has been decreasing since about early or mid-March.”
Sweden: The media versus reality
Some readers were surprised by the decrease in deaths in Sweden, as most media show a steeply rising curve. What is the reason for this? Most media show cumulative figures by date of reporting, while the Swedish authorities publish the much more meaningful daily figures by date of death.
The Swedish authorities always stress that not all newly reported cases have died within the last 24 hours, but many media ignore this (see graph below). Although the latest Swedish figures may still increase somewhat, as in all countries, this does not change the generally declining trend.
In addition, these figures represent deaths with and not necessarily from coronavirus. The average age of death in Sweden is also over 80 years, about 50% of deaths occurred in vulnerable nursing homes, while the effect on the general population has remained minimal, even though Sweden has one of the lowest intensive care capacities in Europe.
However, the Swedish government has also been given new emergency powers due to “corona” and could still participate in later contact tracing programmes.
The situation in Great Britain
Deaths in the UK have risen sharply in recent weeks, but are still in the range of the strongest flu seasons of the last fifty years (see chart below). In the UK, too, up to 50% of additional deaths occur in nursing homes, which do not benefit from a general lockdown.
Moreover, up to 50% of the additional deaths are said to be non-Covid19 deaths and up to 25% of the additional deaths occur at home. It is therefore not at all clear whether the general lockdown is beneficial or in fact detrimental to society at large.
The editor of the British Spectator has claimed that government agencies expect the lockdown to result in up to 150,000 additional deaths in the longer term, significantly more than what Covid19 is expected to cause. Most recently, the case of a 17-year-old student and singer who took her own life because of the lockdown became known.
It is striking that England, in contrast to most other countries (including Sweden), has a significantly elevated mortality rate even among 15 to 64-year-olds. This could be due to the frequent cardiovascular preconditions, or it might be caused by the effects of the lockdown.
The InProportion project has published numerous new graphs that put current UK mortality in relation to previous flu outbreaks and other causes of death. Other websites that critically review the British situation and measures are Lockdown Skeptics and UK Column.
Switzerland: Excess mortality well below strong flu waves
- A first serological study by the University of Geneva concluded that at least six times more people in the canton of Geneva had contact with Covid19 than previously thought. This means that the lethality of Covid19 in Switzerland also falls well below one percent, while official sources still speak of up to 5%.
- Even in the most severely affected canton of Ticino, almost half of the additional deaths occurred in nursing homes that do not benefit from the general lockdown.
- In Switzerland, 1.85 million people or over a third of all employees have already been registered for short-time work. The economic costs are estimated at 32 billion for the period from March to June.
- Infosperber: Corona: The parroting of the media. “Major media outlets are hiding the fact that they rely on opaque data for Covid-19 numbers.”
- Ktipp: Swiss authorities: Almost all numbers ‘without guarantee’. “This year fewer under-65s died in the first 14 weeks than in the last five years. Among the over-65s, the number was also relatively low.”
The following graph shows that overall mortality in Switzerland in the first quarter of 2020 was in the normal range and that by mid-April it was still around 2000 people below the flu wave of 2015. 50% of deaths occurred in nursing homes that do not benefit from a lockdown.
Overall, around 75% of the additional deaths occurred at home, while hospitals and intensive care units remain heavily underutilized and numerous operations have been cancelled. In Switzerland, too, the very serious question thus arises as to whether the “lockdown” may have cost more lives than it saved.
- Video: In the Australian state of Queensland, a police helicopter with night-vision equipment tracked down three young men who were drinking a beer on the roof of a house at night, thus violating “Corona regulations”. The men were informed via a megaphone that the building is “surrounded by police” and that they must proceed to the exit. The men were fined about $1000 each.
- In Israel, the domestic and anti-terrorism intelligence agency Shin Bet, in cooperation with the police, has been tasked to monitor the population’s mobile phones since mid-March in order to track contacts and order house arrest in the context of Covid19. These measures were initially ordered without the consent of Parliament and are due to remain in place until at least the end of April.
- OffGuardian: The Seven Step Path from Pandemic to Totalitarianism
- UK Column: Who controls the British Government response to Covid-19?
- The corona-critical Swiss doctor, who was arrested by a special unit of the Swiss police and sent to a psychiatric clinic (see update of April 15), has meanwhile been released. A report by the magazine Weltwoche revealed that the doctor was arrested on false grounds: there had been no threat to relatives or authorities and there had been no possession of a loaded weapon. Thus, a politically motivated operation seems likely.
- A Munich local radio station, which interviewed doctors critical of corona in March, was informed by the responsible media supervisory authority after complaints that “such problematic broadcasts must be stopped in the future”.
- The website kollateral.news of a German specialist lawyer is collecting reports on “suffering due to the lockdown” and on the actual situation in German hospitals.
- German general practitioners have published an appeal to politics and science in which they call for “a more responsible handling of the corona crisis”.
- Both in Austria and in Hungary, doctors who have criticised the corona measures are threatened with a ban from their profession.
- In Nigeria, according to official figures, more people have so far been killed by the police enforcing corona curfews than by the corona virus itself.
April 21, 2020
- Stanford professor of medicine John Ioannidis explains in a new one-hour interview the results of several new studies on Covid19. According to Professor Ioannidis, the lethality of Covid19 is “in the range of seasonal flu”. For people under 65 years of age, the mortality risk even in the global “hotspots” is comparable to the daily car ride to work, while for healthy people under 65 years of age, the mortality risk is “completely negligible”. Only in New York City was the mortality risk for persons under 65 years of age comparable to a long-distance truck driver.
- Professor Carl Heneghan, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University, warns in a new article that the damage caused by the lockdown could be greater than that caused by the virus. The peak of the epidemic had already been reached in most countries before the lockdown, Professor Heneghan argues.
- A new serological study in Los Angeles County found that 28 to 55 times more people had Covid19 than previously assumed (without showing significant symptoms), which reduces the danger of the disease accordingly.
- In the city of Chelsea near Boston, about one third of 200 blood donors had antibodies against the Covid19 pathogen. Half of them reported having experienced a cold symptom in the last month. In a homeless shelter near Boston, just over a third of the people tested positive, but nobody showed any symptoms.
- Scotland reports that half of the (stocked up) intensive care beds have remained empty. According to officials, the admission of new patients is “levelling off”.
- The emergency room in Bergamo’s municipal hospital was completely empty at the beginning of this week for the first time in 45 days. In the meantime, more people with other diseases than “Covid19 patients” are being treated again.
- A report in the medical magazine Lancet comes to the conclusion that school closures to contain corona viruses have no or only a minimal effect.
- A nine-year-old French child with corona infection had contact with 172 people, but none of them were infected. This confirms earlier results that corona infection (unlike influenza) is not or hardly ever transmitted by children.
- The German emeritus microbiology professor Sucharit Bhakdi gave a new one-hour interview on Covid-19. Professor Bhakdi argues that most media have acted “completely irresponsibly” during the Covid-19 epidemic.
- The German Initiative for Care Ethics criticises blanket bans on visits and painful intensive care treatment of nursing patients: “Even before Corona, around 900 old people in need of care died every day in German homes without being taken to hospital. In fact, palliative treatment, if at all, would be more appropriate for these patients. () According to all we know about Corona so far, there is not a single plausible reason to continue to value infection protection higher than the basic rights of citizens. Lift the inhuman visiting bans!”
- The oldest woman in the Swiss canton of St. Gallen died last week at the age of 109. She survived the “Spanish flu” of 1918, was not corona-infected and “for her age she was doing very well”. The “corona isolation”, however, had “very much affected her”: “She faded without the daily visits of her family members.”
- The Swiss cardiologist Dr. Nils Kucher reports that in Switzerland currently about 75% of all additional deaths occur not in hospital but at home. This certainly explains the largely empty Swiss hospitals and intensive care units. It is also already known that about 50% of all additional deaths occur in nursing homes. Dr. Kucher suspects that some of these people die of sudden pulmonary embolism. This is conceivable. Nevertheless, the question arises as to what role the “lockdown” plays in these additional deaths.
- The Italian health authority ISS warns that Covid19 patients from the Mediterranean region, who often have a genetic metabolic peculiarity called favism, should not be treated with antimalarial drugs such as chloroquine, as this can lead to death. This is a further indication that the wrong or overly aggressive medication can make the disease even worse.
- Rubicon: 120 expert opinions on Corona. Worldwide, high-ranking scientists, doctors, lawyers and other experts criticize the handling of the corona virus. (German)
Classification of the pandemic
In 2007, the US health authorities defined a five-tier classification for pandemic influenza and counter-measures. The five categories are based on the observed lethality (CFR) of the pandemic, from category 1 (<0.1%) to category 5 (>2%). According to this key, the current corona pandemic would probably be classified in category 2 (0.1% to 0.5%). For this category, only the “voluntary isolation of sick persons” was envisaged as the main measure at the time.
In 2009, however, the WHO deleted severity from its pandemic definition. Since then, in principle, every global wave of influenza can be declared a pandemic, as happened with the very mild “swine flu” of 2009/2010, for which vaccines worth around 18 billion dollars were sold.
The documentary TrustWHO (“Trust who?”), which deals with the dubious role of the WHO in the context of “swine flu”, was recently deleted by VIMEO.
Swiss chief physician Pietro Vernazza: Simple measures are sufficient
In his latest contribution, the Swiss chief physician of infectiology, Pietro Vernazza, uses the results of the German Robert Koch Institute and ETH Zurich to show that the Covid19 epidemic was already under control before the “lockdown” was even introduced:
“These results are explosive: Both studies show that simple measures such as the renunciation of major events and the introduction of hygiene measures are highly effective. The population is able to implement these recommendations well and the measures can almost bring the epidemic to a halt. In any case, the measures are sufficient to protect our health system in such a way that the hospitals are not overburdened”.
Switzerland: Cumulative total mortality in the normal range
In Switzerland, cumulative total mortality in the first quarter (until April 5) was at the mean expected value and more than 1500 deaths below the upper expected value. Moreover, by the middle of April the total mortality rate was still more than 2000 deaths below the comparative value from the severe flu season of 2015 (see figure below).
Sweden: Epidemic ending even without lockdown
The latest figures on patients and deaths show that the epidemic is coming to an end in Sweden. In Sweden, as in most other countries, excess mortality occurred mainly in nursing homes that were not protected well enough, the chief epidemiologist explained.
Compared to other countries, the Swedish population may now benefit from higher immunity to the Covid19 virus, which could better protect them from a possible “second wave” next winter.
It can be assumed that by the end of 2020, Covid19 will not be visible in the Swedish overall mortality. The Swedish example shows that “lockdowns” were medically unnecessary or even counterproductive as well as socially and economically devastating.
Anecdotes vs. evidence
In the face of a lack of scientific evidence, some media increasingly rely on gruesome anecdotes in order to maintain fear in the population. A typical example are “healthy children” who allegedly died of Covid19, but who later often turn out not to have died of Covid19, or who were seriously ill.
Austrian media recently reported about some divers who, six weeks after a Covid19 disease with lung involvement, still showed reduced performance and conspicuous imaging. One section speaks of “irreversible damage”, the next explains that this is “unclear and speculative”. It is not mentioned that divers should generally take a 6 to 12 month break after serious pneumonia.
Neurological effects such as the temporary loss of the sense of smell or taste are also often mentioned. Here too, it is usually not explained that this is a well-known effect of cold and flu viruses, and Covid19 is rather mild in this respect.
In other reports, possible effects on various organs such as kidneys, liver or brain are highlighted, without mentioning that many of the patients affected were already very old and had severe chronic pre-existing conditions.
- WOZ: When fear rules. “With drones, apps and demo bans: In the wake of the Corona crisis, fundamental freedoms are being eroded. If we don’t watch out, they will remain so even after the lockdown – but the extreme situation also offers reason for hope.” (German)
- Multipolar: What is the agenda? “The government praises itself, spreads slogans of perseverance and at the same time slows down the collection of basic data that would allow the reliable measurement of the spread and danger of the virus. In contrast, the authorities are acting quickly and decisively in expanding questionable instruments, such as new “corona apps” for collective pulse measurement and contact tracing”. (German)
- Professor Christian Piska, expert for public law and legal tech in Vienna: “Austria has changed. Very much so, even if most people seem to just accept it. Step by step, whether the economy is booming or not, we are suddenly living with police-state conditions and severe restrictions on our basic and human rights, which would be a perfect match for dictatorial regimes. () This is Pandora’s box, which once opened, may never be closed again.” (German)
- More than 300 scientists from 26 countries warn of “unprecedented surveillance of society” by corona apps violating data protection. Several scientists and universities have already withdrawn from the European contact tracing project PEPP-PT due to a lack of transparency. Recently it became known that the Swiss company AGT is involved in the project, which had previously set up mass surveillance systems for Arab states.
- In Israel, about 5000 people (with a distance of 2m each) demonstrated against the measures of the Netanyahu government: “They talk about an exponential increase of corona cases, but the only thing that increases exponentially are the people who stand up to protect our country and our democracy”.
- Madrid-based Irish journalist Jason O’Toole describes the situation in Spain: “With the military visible on the streets of Spain it’s hard not to describe the situation as martial law in all but name. George Orwell’s Big Brother is alive and well here, with the Spanish police monitoring everybody using CCTV or by flying drones overhead. A staggering 650,000 people were fined and 5,568 arrested during the first four weeks alone. () I was shocked when I watched one video clip of a cop using heavy force to arrest a mentally ill young man who was apparently just walking home with bread.”
- OffGuardian: The disturbing developments in UK policing.
- In a new article, US investigative journalist Whitney Webb writes on “How The US National Security State Is Using Coronavirus To Fulfill An Orwellian Vision”: “Last year, a government commission called for the US to adopt an AI-driven mass surveillance system far beyond that used in any other country in order to ensure American hegemony in artificial intelligence. Now, many of the “obstacles” they had cited as preventing its implementation are rapidly being removed under the guise of combating the coronavirus crisis.”
- In a previous article, Whitney Webb already dealt with the central role of the “Center for Health Security” at Johns Hopkins University in the current pandemic management as well as its role in previous pandemic and bioweapons simulations and its close links to the US security apparatus.
- The idea of using a pandemic to expand global surveillance and control instruments is not new. As early as 2010, the American Rockefeller Foundation described a “lock step scenario” in a working paper on future technological and social developments, in which current developments are anticipated with impressive accuracy (pages 18ff).
- “The truth about Fauci”: In a new interview, US virologist Dr. Judy Mikovits talks about her experiences with Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is currently playing a major role in shaping the US government’s Covid19 measures.
- Aid organisations warn that “far more people” will die from the economic consequences of the measures than from Covid-19 itself. Forecasts now predict that 35 to 65 million people will fall into absolute poverty, and many of them are threatened with starvation.
- In Germany, 2.35 million people are predicted to be on short-time working in 2020, more than twice as many as after the financial crisis of 2008/2009.
April 18, 2020
- A new serological study by Stanford University found antibodies in 50 to 85 times more people than previously thought in Santa Clara County, California, resulting in a Covid-19 lethality of 0.12% to 0.2% or even lower (i.e. in the range of severe influenza). Professor John Ioannidis explains the study in a new video.
- In a new analysis, the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) at the University of Oxford argues that the lethality of covid19 (IFR) is between 0.1% and 0.36% (i.e. in the range of a severe influenza). In people over 70 years of age with no serious preconditions, the mortality rate is expected to be less than 1%. For people over 80 years of age, the mortality rate is between 3% and 15%, depending on whether deaths so far were mainly with or from by the disease. In contrast to influenza, child mortality is close to zero. With regard to the high mortality rate in Northern Italy, the research group points out that Italy has the highest antibiotic resistance in Europe. In fact, data from the Italian authorities show that around 80% of the deceased were treated with antibiotics, indicating bacterial superinfections.
- The Finnish epidemiology professor Mikko Paunio from the University of Helsinki has evaluated several international studies in a working paper and comes to a Covid19 lethality (IFR) of 0.1% or less (i.e. in the area of seasonal influenza). According to Paunio, the impression of a higher lethality was created because the virus spread very quickly, especially in multi-generation households in Italy and Spain, but also in cities like New York. The “lockdown” measures had come too late and had not been effective.
- UK: London’s temporary Nightingale hospital has remained largely empty, with just 19 patients being treated at the facility over the Easter weekend. London’s established hospitals have doubled their ICU capacity, and are so far coping with surge.
- In Canada, 31 people died in a nursing home after “almost all nursing staff had left the facility in a hurry for fear of the corona virus spreading. Health authorities found the people in the home in Dorval near Montreal only days later – many of the survivors were dehydrated, malnourished and apathetic.” Similar tragedies were already reported from northern Italy, where Eastern European nurses left the country in a hurry when panic broke out and lockdown measures were announced.
- A Scottish doctor who also looks after nursing homes writes: “What was the government strategy for nursing homes? The actions taken so far have made the situation much, much worse.”
- In Switzerland, despite Covid19, total mortality in the first quarter of 2020 (until 5th April) was in the medium normal range. One reason for this could be the mild flu season due to the mild winter, which has now been partially “offset” by Covid19.
- According to a report from April 14, Swiss hospitals and even intensive care units continue to be very under-utilized. This again raises the question of where and how exactly the test-positive deaths (average age 84) in Switzerland actually occur.
- The President of the German Hospital Association has sounded the alarm: more than 50 percent of all planned operations throughout Germany have been cancelled, and the “operations backlog” is running into thousands. In addition, 30 to 40% fewer patients with heart attacks and strokes are treated because they no longer dare to go to the hospitals for fear of corona. There were 150,000 free hospital beds and 10,000 free intensive care beds nationwide. In Berlin, only 68 intensive care beds are occupied by corona patients, the emergency clinic with 1000 beds is currently not in use.
- New data of German authorities show that in Germany, too, the reproduction rate of Covid19 had already fallen below the critical value of 1 before the lockdown. General hygiene measures were therefore sufficient to prevent the exponential spread. This had already been shown by the ETH Zurich for Switzerland as well.
- On a French aircraft carrier 1081 soldiers tested positive. So far, almost 50% of them remained symptom-free and about 50% showed mild symptoms. 24 soldiers were hospitalized, one of them is in intensive care (previous illnesses unknown).
- Leading German virologist Christian Drosten thinks it is possible that some people have already built up an effective so-called background immunity against the new corona virus through contact with normal common cold corona viruses.
- Klaus Püschsel, a forensic doctor from Hamburg who has already examined numerous test positive deceased, explains in a new article: “The numbers do not justify the fear of corona”. His findings: “Corona is a relatively harmless viral disease. We have to deal with the fact that Corona is a normal infection and we have to learn to live with it without quarantine”. The fatalities he examined would all have had such serious pre-existing conditions that, “even if that sounds harsh, they would all have died in the course of this year. Püschel adds: “The time of the virologists is over. We should now ask others what is the right thing to do in the corona crisis, for example the intensive care doctors.”
- A review on Medscape shows that common cold infections caused by coronaviruses typically decline at the end of April – with or without a lockdown.
- Swiss magazine Infosperber writes: “Fewer corona cases? Just test less!” The daily number of “new cases” reported says little about the state of the epidemic. It was reckless to trigger fear with the curve of cumulative test-positive deaths, they argue.
- OffGuardian: Eight more experts questioning the coronavirus panic.
- Video: Why lockdowns are the wrong policy – Swedish expert Prof. Johan Giesecke Swedish epidemiology professor Johan Giesecke speaks of a “tsunami of a mild disease” and considers lockdowns to be counterproductive. The most important thing, he says, is to provide efficient protection for risk groups, especially nursing homes.
Ventilation with Covid19
Other experts in Europe and the USA have expressed their opinion on the treatment of critical Covid19 patients and strongly advise against invasive ventilation (intubation). Covid19 patients do not suffer from acute respiratory failure (ARDS), but from oxygen deficiency, possibly caused by an oxygen diffusion problem triggered by the virus or the immune response to it.
- AP: Some doctors moving away from ventilators for virus patients
- Video: Covid-19: Critical Discussion of the Recommendation for Early Intubation
- Video: New York intensive care doctor on Covid19 as a possible diffusion hypoxemia
- Journal: COVID-19 pneumonia: different respiratory treatments for different phenotypes?
- (German) Die WELT: Sterberate bei Beatmungspatienten gibt Rätsel auf
- Video: Police violence and monitoring during corona lockdowns around the world.
- In several US states there have been protests and rallies against the lockdown measures.
- German economist Norbert Haering explains in several articles how the “corona crisis” is being used to introduce worldwide monitoring instruments that have been planned for some time in the areas of travel, payments, contact tracing and biometrics.
- Giorgio Agamben, Italian philosopher, on the Corona measures: “A country, indeed a culture is imploding right now, and nobody seems to care. What is going on before our eyes in countries that claim to be civilized?”
- Italian lawyers lodged a complaint against corona measures of the government.
- The German professor of economics Stefan Homburg in DIE WELT: “Why Germany’s lockdown is wrong – and Sweden is doing much better”: “In summary, countries like Sweden, South Korea or Taiwan have acted wisely by not using lockdowns. The virologists there guided the population and politicians through the crisis with a steady hand, instead of unsettling them by constantly changing course. The coronavirus was successfully contained without harming fundamental rights and jobs. Germany should take this policy as a model for itself.”
- A Swiss citizen has sent an urgent application to the Federal Administrative Court and the Federal Council to have the lockdown lifted immediately.
- Video: “Swiss doctors were muzzled, the Federal Council is divided.” An interview with Dr. med. Stephan Rietiker, the founder of InsideCorona.ch
- Video: “The Swiss government belongs in prison. A polemic.”
April 16, 2020
- The London Times reports that up to 50% of current British excess mortality might not be caused by the coronavirus, but by the effects of the lockdown and general panic. This amounts to up to 3000 deaths per week. In fact, this figure could be even higher, as the British Covid19 definition also includes deaths with (rather than from) coronavirus as well as “suspected cases”. In addition, around 50% of “corona deaths” involve nursing homes, which are not protected any better by a general lockdown.
- In Denmark, the lockdown is now regretted: “We should never have pressed the stop button. The Danish health care system had the situation under control. The total lockdown was a step too far,” argues Professor Jens Otto Lunde Jørgensen of Aarhus University Hospital. Denmark is currently ramping up school operations again.
- Yale professor David Katz, who warned early on of the negative consequences of a lockdown, gave a detailed one-hour interview on the current situation.
- German virologist Hendrik Streeck explains that no “smear infections” in supermarkets, restaurants or hairdressing salons have been detected so far.
- New antibody data from the Italian community of Robbio in Lombardy shows that about ten times more people had the corona virus than originally thought, as they developed no or only mild symptoms. The actual immunization rate is 22%.
- New data from the Swiss Canton of Zurich shows that about 50% of all Covid19-related deaths occurred in retirement or nursing homes. Nevertheless, even there about 40% of all test-positive people showed no symptoms. The median age of test-positive deaths in Switzerland is currently about 84 years.
- Pietro Vernazza, the Swiss chief physician for infectiology, comments on the “live with the virus” strategy and recommends, among other things, individually optimised protection of persons at risk. The immunity of the general population is also a protection for people at risk, he says.
- The new British website Lockdown Skeptics reports critically on Covid19, the measures taken and the general media coverage.
- The Austrian civil society “Initiative for evidence-based corona information” provides an overview of studies and analyses on the new corona virus
- Documentary: “The WHO – In the grip of the lobbyists” (ARTE, 2017, German)
April 15, 2020
- In the British Telegraph, Professor Alexander Kekulé, one of Germany’s leading microbiologists and epidemiologists, calls for an end to the lockdown as it causes more damage than the virus itself. In people under 50 years of age, severe disease or death are “very, very unlikely”. The general population should develop rapid immunity, while risk groups should be protected. One cannot wait for a vaccine, which will take at least six to twelve months, but must find a way to live with the virus, Professor Kekulé said.
- The German Network for Evidence-Based Medicine reports that the lethality of a severe seasonal influenza (flu) such as 2017/2018 is estimated by the German Robert Koch Institute to be 0.4% to 0.5%, and not only 0.1% as previously assumed. This would mean that the lethality of Covid19 could even be lower than that of a strong seasonal influenza, even though it may spread faster.
- The Luxembourger Tageblatt reports that Sweden’s “relaxed strategy on Covid19 seems to work”. Despite minimal measures, the situation seems to be “clearly calming down at the moment”. A huge field hospital that was set up near Stockholm remains closed due to lack of demand. The number of patients in intensive care units remains constant at a low level or is even slightly declining. “There are many vacancies in intensive care units in all Stockholm hospitals. We are approaching the flattening of the illness curve,” explained a senior physician at the Karolinska Klinik. So far there have been about 900 deaths with Covid19 in Sweden.
- A direct comparison between the UK (with lockdown) and Sweden (without lockdown) shows that the two countries are almost identical in terms of case numbers and deaths per population.
- A letter to the New England Journal of Medicine reports that in a study of pregnant women, 88% of test-positive women showed no symptoms – a very high figure, but one that is consistent with earlier reports from China and Iceland.
- Professor Dan Yamin, director of the Epidemiology Research Laboratory at Tel Aviv University, explains in an interview that the new corona virus is “hardly dangerous” for a large part of the population and that rapid natural immunity must be the goal. The money is better spent on extending a clinic than on paying for damages due to the lockdown, he said.
- The president of the Israeli National Research Council, Professor Isaac Ben-Israel, argues that according to current findings, the corona epidemic is over in most countries after about 8 weeks, regardless of the measures taken. He therefore recommends to lift the “lockdown” immediately.
- The British statistics professor David Spiegelhalter shows that the risk of death from Covid19 corresponds roughly to normal mortality and is visibly increased only for the age group between approx. 70 and 80 years (see the graph at the end of the linked article).
- Professor Karin Moelling, emeritus director of the Institute of Virology at the University of Zurich and an early critic of excessive measures, stresses in a new interview the role of local special factors such as air pollution and population density.
- The British Guardian pointed out in 2015 that extreme air pollution in Chinese cities kills 4000 people per day. This is more than China has so far reported in total Covid19 deaths.
- The German virologist Hendrik Streeck has defended himself against criticism of his pilot study. Streeck found a lethality (based on cases) of 0.37% and a mortality (based on population) of 0.06%, which corresponds to a strong seasonal flu.
- Austrian internal medicine specialists warn of “collateral damage”: Due to the coronavirus, control and operation dates are postponed and fewer patients with heart attack symptoms come to the hospitals.
- A Swiss biophysicist has for the first time graphically depicted the rate of positive Covid19 tests in Switzerland since early March. The result shows that the positive rate oscillates between about 10% and 25% and that the “lockdown” has had no significant influence (see graph below). Interestingly, Swiss authorities and media have never shown this graph.
- A Swiss researcher has analysed the latest Covid19 report of the Federal Office of Public Health and again comes to a critical assessment: “The situation report is unsuitable for politicians and competent decision making, is highly unspecific, incomplete and lacking in informative value”.
- In a new article, the Swiss chief physician for infectiology, Dr. Pietro Vernazza, explains that the alleged lack of immunity formation in Covid19 is a matter of “rare individual cases or even just clues”, which “on closer inspection do not pose a problem”, but which are “exaggerated and hastily dished up as shocking news” by some media.
- In France, there are more and more reports of suicides out of fear of the coronavirus or out of fear of having infected someone with the coronavirus.
- The new French site Covid Infos critically examines Covid19 and media reporting.
US and UK
- On the US warship Theodore Roosevelt, 600 sailors tested positive for Covid19, and a first sailor has since died from or with Covid19. The warship will be a very important “case study” for the impact on the healthy general population below 65.
- The emeritus British professor of pathology, Dr John Lee, argues that a robust and evidence-based debate is needed to avoid “big mistakes”. Many of the figures used by governments and the media have not been reliable, he says.
- In the UK, 40% of hospital beds are currently unoccupied, four times more than usual. The reason for this is the sharp decline in general patient admissions. Intensive care beds, whose capacity has been increased, are on average 78% occupied. In addition, 10% of nurses are in quarantine.
- The temporary corona hospitals of the US military near New York are “largely empty” so far. The hospitalization rate in New York was overestimated by a factor of seven.
- A US study comes to the conclusion that the new corona virus has already spread much further than originally assumed, but causes no or only mild symptoms in most people, so that the lethality rate could be as low as 0.1%, which is roughly equivalent to seasonal flu. However, due to the fact that the disease is more easily transmitted, the cases of the disease in New York, for example, occurred in a shorter time than usual.
- In a new document on the treatment of Covid19 patients, the chief of pneumology and intensive care at Eastern Virginia Medical School states: “It is important to recognize that COVID-19 does not cause your “typical ARDS” (lung failure) … this disease must be treated differently and it is likely we are exacerbating this situation by causing ventilator induced lung injury.”
- In the US, a governor claimed an infant died “of Covid” as the world’s youngest victim. Family acquaintances, however, stated that the infant had suffocated in a tragic accident at home and subsequently tested positive in hospital. The responsible coroner did not declare a Covid death.
- A doctor from the US state of Montana explained in a speech how death certificates for suspected Covid19 cases are being manipulated due to new guidelines.
- An analysis of data from five European countries shows that residents of nursing homes have so far accounted for between 42% and 57% of all “Covid19 deaths”. At the same time, three US studies show that up to 50% of all test positive nursing home residents did not (yet) show symptoms at the time of testing. Two conclusions can be drawn from this: On the one hand, the danger of the new coronavirus – as already suspected – seems to be concentrated on a small, very vulnerable population group that needs even better protection. On the other hand, it is conceivable that some of these people may not die, or not only die from the coronavirus, but also from the extreme stress associated with the current situation. Recent reports from Germany and Italy have already mentioned nursing home residents who died suddenly without symptoms.
- A German palliative physician argues in a recent interview that in the treatment of Covid19 patients “very wrong priorities were set and all ethical principles were violated”. There is a “very one-sided orientation towards intensive care”, although “the balance between benefit and harm” is often not good. A new diagnosis (i.e. Covid19) would turn elderly patients who in the past had mostly been treated palliatively into intensive care patients and subject them to a painful but often hopeless treatment (i.e. artificial respiration). The treatment should always be based on the actual will of the patient, the specialist argued.
- In Germany, a medical lawyer who filed a complaint against the corona measures with the Federal Constitutional Court and called for demonstrations, was arrested and sent to a prison psychiatric ward for two days. The public prosecutor is investigating for “public provocation to commit crimes”. Another lawyer asks in an open letter to the German Federal Chamber of Lawyers: “Lawyers sent to psychiatric hospital for protest? Is it that time again in Germany?”
- In Switzerland, a “corona critical” doctor was arrested by a special police unit for alleged “threats against relatives and authorities” and sent to a psychiatric clinic. The family has since declared that there were no threats against relatives. The doctor also stated that he was not accused of “threats against authorities” during the interrogation. The police justified the deployment of the special unit by assuming that the doctor was in possession of a weapon – but this was the usual Swiss medical army pistol without ammunition. The transfer of the doctor to a psychiatric clinic was justified on the grounds of an alleged “incapacity to serve in prison” (as is the case of nursing patients) – this, too, may be seen as a pretext. Based on the current state of knowledge, it is therefore possible that the measure was indeed politically motivated. Former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has already drawn attention to the Swiss case.
- Italy is now using European satellite data to monitor the population during lockdown.
- The British police smashed in a resident’s door looking for “social gatherings”.
- German constitutional law expert Professor Oliver Lepsius: “On the decline of fundamental rights in the corona pandemic”.
April 12, 2020
- Stanford professor of medicine John Ioannidis concludes in a new study that the risk of death from Covid19 for people under 65 years of age, even in global “hotspots”, is equivalent to the risk of a fatal car accident for daily commuters driving between 9 and 400 miles.
- In a serological pilot study, German virologist Hendrick Streeck comes to the interim result that the lethality of Covid19 is at 0.37% and the mortality (based on the total population) at 0.06%. These values are about ten times lower than those of the WHO and about five times lower than those of Johns Hopkins University.
- A Danish study with 1500 blood donors found that the lethality of Covid19 is only 1.6 per thousand, i.e. more than 20 times lower than originally assumed by the WHO and thus in the range of a strong (pandemic) influenza. At the same time Denmark has decided to reopen schools and kindergartens next week.
- A serological study in the US state of Colorado comes to the preliminary conclusion that the lethality of Covid19 has been overestimated by a factor of 5 to a factor of 20 and is likely to be in the range between normal and pandemic influenza.
- A study conducted by the Medical University of Vienna concluded that the age and risk profile of Covid19 deaths is similar to normal mortality.
- A study in the Journal of Medical Virology concludes that the internationally used coronavirus test is unreliable: In addition to the already known problem of false positive results, there is also a “potentially high” rate of false negative results, i.e. the test does not respond even in symptomatic individuals, while in other patients it does respond once and then again not. This makes it more difficult to exclude other flu-like illnesses.
- A Swiss biophysicist has for the first time evaluated and graphically displayed the rate of positive tests in the US, France, Germany and Switzerland. The result shows that the positive rate in these countries is increasing rather slowly and not exponentially.
- Dr. Daniel Jeanmonod, emeritus Swiss professor of physiology and neurosurgery, recommends in an analysis: “Think deep, do good science, and do not panic!“
- US researchers conclude that local air pollution greatly increases the risk of death from Covid19. This confirms earlier studies from Italy and China.
- The WHO concluded at the end of March that, contrary to earlier assumptions, Covid19 is not transmitted by aerosols (“through the air”). Transmission mainly takes place through direct contact or by droplet infection (coughing, sneezing).
- The German-American epidemiology professor Knut Wittkowski argues in a new interview that the Covid19 epidemic is already declining or even “already over” in many countries. The curfews had come too late and had been counterproductive, Wittkowski argues.
European Mortality Monitoring
European mortality monitoring now shows a clear projected excess mortality in the over-65 age group in several European countries. In some countries, however, including Germany and Austria, mortality in this age group is still in the normal range (or even below).
The question remains open as to whether the partially increased mortality is due to the coronavirus alone or also due to the sometimes drastic measures taken (e.g. isolation, stress, cancelled operations, etc.), and whether mortality will still be increased in the annual view.
Among the age groups under 65 years, so far only in England there is a projected increase in mortality beyond earlier waves of influenza. The median age of test-positive deceased is 80 in Italy, 83 in Germany and 84 in Switzerland.
- According to the latest report of the Federal Office of Public Health, the median age of test-positive deceased is now 84 years. The number of hospitalised patients remains constant.
- A study by ETH Zurich found that the infection rate in Switzerland fell to a stable value of 1 several days before the “lockdown”, presumably due to general hygiene and everyday measures. If this result is correct, it would fundamentally question the sense of a “lockdown”. (About the study)
- The Swiss magazine Infosperber criticizes the information policy of authorities and the media: “Instead of informing, authorities conduct a PR campaign“. Misleading figures and graphics are used to spread at least partly unjustified fear.
- The Swiss consumer protection magazine Ktipp also criticises the information policy and media reporting: “Authorities provide misleading information“.
- A Swiss researcher has analysed the latest Covid19 report of the Federal Office of Public Health and comes to a very critical conclusion: the report is “scientifically unbalanced, patronising and misleading”. In consideration of the facts, the measures taken by authorities are “irresponsible and inducing fear”.
- In an open letter to the Swiss Minister of Health, Swiss doctors speak of a “discrepancy between the threat scenario, which has been fuelled above all by the media, and our reality. The Covid19 cases observed in the general population were few and mostly mild, but “anxiety disorders and panic attacks” are on the increase in the population and many patients no longer dare to come to important examination appointments. “And this in connection with a virus whose dangerousness, according to our perception, exists in Switzerland only in the media and in our heads.”
- Due to the very low patient workload, several clinics in Switzerland and Germany have now had to announce short-time work. The decrease in patients is up to 80%.
- The Swiss physician Dr. Paul Robert Vogt has written a highly shared article on Covid19. He criticizes a “sensationalistic press”, but also warns that this is not an “ordinary flu”. However, the physician is wrong in some points: lethality rate and median age are very much key variables, differentiation between with/by coronavirus is essential, respiratory masks and respirators are unsuitable in many cases (see below), and curfews are a questionable and possibly counterproductive measure.
Germany and Austria
- In a new paper, German health experts criticise the crisis policy of the Federal Government. They speak of long-term damage to the population caused by the partial shutdown. The figures published by the RKI were “only of limited significance”.
- In a statement, the Federal Association of German Pathologists demands that there must be autopsies of “corona deaths” (in order to determine the true cause of death) and thus explicitly contradicts “the recommendation of the Robert Koch Institute”, which spoke out against autopsies, allegedly because they were too dangerous.
- Dr. Martin Sprenger resigned his position in the Corona Expert Council of the Austrian Ministry of Health in order to “regain his civil and scientific freedom of opinion”. Dr. Sprenger previously criticized, among other things, that the government did not sufficiently differentiate the risk of the virus for different population groups and took too sweeping measures: “We must be careful that the loss of healthy life years due to inadequate care for other acute and chronic diseases is not a factor of 10 times higher than the loss of healthy life years caused by COVID-19”.
- In a German nursing home, an 84-year-old man tested positive for Covid19, after which the entire home was quarantined and mass tests were conducted. The initial test result later turned out to be false, however.
- The Norwegian Medical Association writes in an open letter to the Minister of Health that they are concerned that the measures taken could be more dangerous than the virus, as normal patients are no longer being examined and treated.
- A Swedish author explains in the British Spectator: “It is not Sweden that is conducting a mass experiment. It is all other countries that are doing it.”
- Professor Ansgar Lohse, Director at the Hamburg University Hospital, explains in an interview: “In my opinion, the Swedish measures are the most rational in the world. Of course, the question arises whether this can be kept up psychologically. Initially, the Swedes have to reckon with significantly more deaths, but in the medium to long term these will then be significantly reduced. The bill will be paid in a year – if the Swedes can hold out. Unfortunately, the fear of the virus often forces politicians to take actions that are not necessarily reasonable. Politics is driven also by the images in the media.”
- According to Swedish chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, Stockholm may now have reached a “plateau” with regard to Covid infections. (More news about Sweden)
US and Asia
- In the US, the authorities now also recommend that all test-positive deaths and even suspect cases without a positive test result be registered as “Covid deaths”. An American physician and state senator from Minnesota declared that this was tantamount to manipulation. Furthermore, there would be financial incentives for hospitals to declare patients as Covid19 patients. (Some humour on this topic).
- A Covid19 field hospital near Seattle in Washington State was closed after only three days without admitting any patients. This is reminiscent of the hospitals built at short notice near Wuhan, which were also mostly under-utilized or even empty and were then dismantled after a short time.
- Numerous media reported on alleged “corona mass graves” on Hart Island near New York. These reports are misleading in two respects: firstly, Hart Island has long been one of the best-known “cemeteries of the poor” in the US, and secondly the mayor of New York declared that no mass graves are planned, but that “unclaimed” deceased (i.e. without relatives) are to be buried on Hart Island.
- One of the leading Indian epidemiologists said that “We cannot run away to the moon“. He recommends the rapid development of a natural immunity in the population.
Regarding northern Italy, several potential risk factors have recently been discussed.
It is true that two major vaccination campaigns against influenza and meningococcus were carried out in Lombardy in the months immediately preceding the outbreak of Covid19, notably in the later hotspots of Bergamo and Brescia. Although it is theoretically possible that such vaccinations could interact with coronavirus infections, such a possibility has not been established at present.
It is also true that a high asbestos exposure was present in northern Italy in the past, which increases the risk of cancerous lung disease. But here again, there is no direct connection with Covid19.
Nevertheless, in general it is true that the lung health of the population in northern Italy has been affected for a long time by high levels of air pollution and other detrimental factors, making it particularly susceptible to respiratory diseases.
Swiss chief physician Pietro Vernazza
The Swiss chief physician of Infectiology, Professor Pietro Vernazza, has published four new articles on studies concerning Covid19.
- The first article is about the fact that there has never been medical evidence for the efficacy of school closures, as children in general do not develop the Covid disease nor are they among the vectors of the virus (unlike with influenza).
- The second article is about the fact that respiratory masks generally have no detectable effect, with one exception: sick people with symptoms (notably coughing) can reduce the spread of the virus. Otherwise the masks are rather symbolic or a “media hype”.
- The third article deals with the question of mass testing. The conclusion of Professor Vernazza: “Anyone who has symptoms of a respiratory disease stays at home. The same applies to the flu. There is no added value in testing.”
- The fourth article deals with the Covid19 risk groups. According to current knowledge, these include people with high blood pressure – it is suspected that the Covid19 virus uses cell receptors that are also responsible for regulating blood pressure. However, surprisingly, people with immunodeficiency and pregnant women (who naturally have a reduced immune system) are not at risk. On the contrary, the risk of Covid19 is often an overreaction of the immune system.
Intensive vs. palliative care
A German palliative physician explains in an interview that Covid19 is “not an intensive care disease”, as the severely affected people are typically people of old age who have multiple pre-existing conditions. When these people get pneumonia, they “have always been given palliative care (i.e. accompanying death)”. With a Covid19 diagnosis, however, this would now become an intensive care case, but “of course the patients still cannot be saved”.
The expert describes the current actions of many decision-makers as “panic mode”. At present, intensive care beds in Germany are still relatively empty. Respirators are free. For financial reasons, hospital managers may soon come up with the idea of admitting elderly people. “In 14 days, the wards will be full of unsalvageable, multimorbid old people. And once they are on the machines, the question arises as to who will switch them off again, as that would be a homicide.” An “ethical catastrophe” from greed may ensue, warns the physician.
Ventilation with Covid19
There has been and still is a worldwide rush for ventilators for Covid19 patients. This site was one of the first in the world to draw attention to the fact that invasive ventilation (intubation) may be counterproductive in many cases and may cause additional harm to patients.
Invasive ventilation was originally recommended because low oxygen levels led to the false conclusion of acute respiratory (lung) failure, and there was a fear that with more gentle, non-invasive techniques the virus could spread through aerosols.
In the meantime, several leading pulmonologists and intensive care physicians from the US and Europe have spoken out against invasive ventilation and recommend more gentle methods or indeed oxygen therapy, as already successfully used by South Korea.
- Why Some Doctors Are Now Moving Away From Ventilator Treatments (TIME)
- Ventilators aren’t a panacea for a pandemic like coronavirus (Dr. Matt Strauss)
- With ventilators running out, doctors say the machines are overused for Covid-19
- Covid-19 Does Not Lead to a “Typical” Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ATSJ)
- Do COVID-19 Ventilator Protocols Need a Second Look? (Medscape)
- German: „Too often intubation and invasive ventilation is used“ (Dr. Thomas Voshaar)
- German: COVID-19: Ventilation – and then what? (DocCheck)
- NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warns in a new interview that governments are using the coronavirus to build an “architecture of oppression“.
- Apple and Google have announced that they will work with national authorities to incorporate a so-called “contact tracing” into their mobile operating systems, which will allow authorities to monitor contacts within the population.
- German constitutional law expert Uwe Volkmann said on ARD that he knows “nobody” among his colleagues who considers the Corona measures to be in conformity with the constitution.
- The Italian government has set up a “task force” to “eliminate” false reports about Covid on the Internet. However, freedom of expression remains “untouched”, it was said.
- France has extended, due to Covid, the permitted pre-trial detention and suspended the examination by a judge. Complaints by lawyers’ associations were rejected.
- Denmark introduced “unprecedentedly tough emergency laws” at the beginning of April: “The health authorities can now order compulsory tests, compulsory vaccinations and compulsory treatment, and use the military and private security services in addition to the police to enforce their orders.”
- The police in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia are testing drones in “corona missions”, specifically to search for prohibited groups of people.
- The German state of Saxony wants to put quarantine objectors in psychiatric hospitals.
- A Swiss doctor critical of corona measures has been arrested and sent to psychiatry for “making threats against authorities and relatives”, the Swiss police said.
- In Germany, an attorney in medical law has filed a constitutional complaint against the Corona measures and published an open letter on the subject, in which she warns against slipping into a police state and called for demonstrations. The public prosecutor’s office and the police then started investigations against the lawyer for “calling for a criminal offence”, and the lawyer’s website was temporarily shut down. The constitutional complaint has since been rejected.
- In Austria, too, several lawyers have now lodged complaints against the Corona measures with the Constitutional Court. The lawyers argue that fundamental rights and separation of powers have been violated by the measures.
- The mayor of Los Angeles promised a reward for “snitches” who report their neighbours to the authorities if they violate the curfews.
- In the US, more than 16 million people are already unemployed due to the lockdown, which is about 10% of the working population. According to the International Labor Organization, 80% of the world’s 3.3 billion workers are currently affected by the measures, and 1.25 billion workers could be affected by “drastic or catastrophic” consequences.
April 7, 2020
- The latest figures from a special report by the German Robert Koch Institute show that the so-called positive rate (i.e. the number of test positives per number of tests) is increasing much more slowly than the exponential curves shown by the media and was only around 10% at the end of March, a value that is rather typical for corona viruses. According to the magazine Multipolar, there can therefore be “no question of a dangerously rapid spread of the virus”.
- Professor Klaus Püschel, head of forensic medicine in Hamburg, explains about Covid19: “This virus influences our lives in a completely excessive way. This is disproportionate to the danger posed by the virus. And the astronomical economic damage now being caused is not commensurate with the danger posed by the virus. I am convinced that the Corona mortality rate will not even show up as a peak in annual mortality.” In Hamburg, for example, “not a single person who was not previously ill” had died of the virus: “All those we have examined so far had cancer, a chronic lung disease, were heavy smokers or severely obese, suffered from diabetes or had a cardiovascular disease. The virus was the last straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. “Covid-19 is a fatal disease only in exceptional cases, but in most cases it is a predominantly harmless viral infection.”
In addition, Dr. Püschel explains: “In quite a few cases, we have also found that the current corona infection has nothing whatsoever to do with the fatal outcome because other causes of death are present, for example a brain haemorrhage or a heart attack. Corona in itself is a “not particularly dangerous viral disease”, says the forensic scientist. He pleads for statistics based on concrete examination results. “All speculations about individual deaths that have not been expertly examined only fuel anxiety.” Contrary to the guidelines of the Robert Koch Institute, Hamburg had recently started to differentiate between deaths “with the” and “by the” coronavirus, which led to a decrease in Covid19 deaths.
- The German virologist Hendrik Streeck is currently conducting a pilot study to determine the distribution and transmission routes of the Covid19 pathogen. In an interview he explains: “I took a closer look at the cases of 31 of the 40 people who died in the Heinsberg district – and was not very surprised that these people died. One of the deceased was older than 100 years, so even a common cold could have led to death.” Contrary to original assumptions, Streeck has not been able to prove transmission via door handles and the like (i.e. so-called smear infections).
- The first Swiss hospitals have to announce short-time work due to the very low capacity utilization: “The staff in all departments has too little to do and has reduced overtime in a first step. Now short-time work is also being registered. The financial consequences are severe.” As a reminder, a study by ETH Zurich based on largely unrealistic assumptions predicted the first bottlenecks in Swiss clinics by April 2. So far this has not happened anywhere.
- In Switzerland, there was a pronounced wave of influenza at the beginning of 2017. At that time, there were almost 1500 additional deaths in the over 65-year-old population in the first six weeks of the year. Normally, around 1300 people die in Switzerland every year as a result of pneumonia, 95% of whom are over 65 years old. By comparison, a total of 762 deaths with (not caused by) Covid19 are currently reported in Switzerland.
- The managing director of a German environmental laboratory suspects that the inhabitants of the northern Italian region of Lombardy are particularly susceptible to viral infections such as Covid19 due to a notoriously high legionella contamination: “If the lungs are weakened by a viral infection, as in the current situation, bacteria have an easy job, can negatively influence the course of the disease and cause complications.” In Lombardy, regional pneumonia outbreaks had already occurred in the past due to evaporation cooling systems contaminated with legionella.
- On the basis of information from China, medical protocols have been defined worldwide that rapidly provide invasive artificial respiration by intubation for test-positive intensive care patients. On the one hand, the protocols assume that a more gentle non-invasive ventilation through a mask is too weak, on the other hand there is the fear that the “dangerous virus” could otherwise spread through aerosols. As early as March, however, German physicians pointed out that intubation can lead to additional lung damage and has an overall poor chance of success. In the meantime, US physicians have also come forward who describe intubation as “more harm than good” for patients. Patients often do not suffer from acute lung failure, but rather from a kind of altitude sickness, which is made worse by artificial respiration with increased pressure. In February, South Korean physicians reported that critical Covid19 patients respond well to oxygen therapy without a ventilator. The US physician mentioned above warns that the use of ventilators must be urgently reconsidered in order not to cause additional damage.
- The official US Covid19 projections so far have overestimated hospitalisations by a factor of 8, ICU beds needed by a factor of 6.4, and ventilators needed by a factor of 40.5.
- Renowned US statistician Nate Silver explains why “coronavirus case counts are meaningless“, unless you know more about the number and way of testing.
- The website of Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, one of the earliest and internationally best known critics of the Covid19 panic, was deleted for a few hours today by the German provider Jimdo and only went online again after strong protests. It is not known whether the temporary deletion was due to general complaints or a political instruction.
- The university email address of emeritus professor Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, who wrote an Open Letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel, was deactivated earlier, but was also reactivated after protests.
- On April 2, the Danish Parliament adopted a new law that allows the authorities to block “fraudulent” websites on Covid19 without an initial court order and to impose a higher penalty on the operators. It is still unclear what this means for generally critical websites about Covid19 and government policy in this regard.
- The German author and journalist Harald Wiesendanger writes in an article that his profession is completely failing in the current crisis: “How a profession that is supposed to control the powerful as an independent, critical, impartial Fourth Estate can succumb as quickly as lightning to the same collective hysteria as its audience, almost unanimously, and give itself over to court reporting, government propaganda and expert deification: It’s incomprehensible to me, it disgusts me, I’ve had enough of it, I dissociate myself from this unworthy performance with complete shame.
- Currently, more than one third of humanity is in a “lockdown”, which is more people than lived during the Second World War.
- In the US, applications for unemployment benefits have skyrocketed to over six million (see chart), a figure unparalleled since the Great Depression of 1929.
- More than one hundred human rights and civil liberties organizations warn that the world is currently sleepwalking into a surveillance state. On Twitter, the hashtag #covid19 has been partially replaced by the hashtag #covid1984.
- US geostrategist Henry Kissinger writes in the Wall Street Journal, “The coronavirus pandemic will forever alter the world order.” The U.S. must “protect” its citizens from disease while starting “the urgent work of planning for a new epoch”.
April 5, 2020
- In a 40-minute interview, the internationally renowned epidemiology professor Knut Wittkowski from New York explains that the measures taken on Covid19 are all counterproductive. Instead of “social distancing”, school closures, “lock down”, mouth masks, mass tests and vaccinations, life must continue as undisturbed as possible and immunity must be built up in the population as quickly as possible. According to all findings to date, Covid-19 is no more dangerous than previous influenza epidemics. Isolation now would only cause a “second wave” later.
- The British Medical Journal (BMJ) reports that, according to the latest data from China, 78% of new test-positive individuals show no symptoms. An Oxford epidemiologist said that these findings are “very, very important.” He added that if the results are representative, “then we have to ask, ‘What the hell are we locking down for?’”
- Dr. Andreas Sönnichsen, head of the Department of General and Family Medicine at the Medical University of Vienna and chairman of the Network for Evidence-Based Medicine, considers the measures imposed so far to be “insane”. The whole state is being paralysed just to “protect the few it could affect”.
- In a world first, the Swedish government has announced that it is going to officially distinguish between deaths “by” and deaths “with” the coronavirus, which should lead to a reduction in reported deaths. Meanwhile, for some reason, international pressure on Sweden to abandon its liberal strategy is steadily increasing.
- The Hamburg health authority now has test-positive deaths examined by forensic medicine in order to count only “real” corona deaths. As a result, the number of deaths has already been reduced by up to 50% compared to the official figures of the Robert Koch Institute.
- As early as 2018, the German Doctors Journal reported a “multitude of pneumonia cases” in northern Italy, which worried the authorities. At the time, contaminated drinking water was suspected to be one of the causes.
- The German Pharmaceutical Newspaper points out that in the current situation, patients often “fall seriously ill, even die, without having developed respiratory symptoms beforehand”. Neurologists suspect in this regard that the corona viruses could also damage nerve cells. Another explanation, however, would be that these patients, who are often in need of care, die due to the very high stress.
- According to the latest figures from Switzerland, the most common symptoms of test-positive patients in hospitals are fever, cough and breathing difficulties, while 43% or about 900 people have pneumonia. Even in these cases, however, it is not a priori clear whether it was caused by the coronavirus or by other pathogens. The median age of the test positive deceased is 83 years, the range reaches up to 101 years.
- The British project “In Proportion” tracks mortality “with” Covid19 in comparison to influenza mortality and all-cause mortality, which in Great Britain is still in the normal range or below and is currently decreasing.
- In the US state of Indiana, calls to the mental health and suicide hotline have increased by over 2000% from 1000 to 25,000 calls per day due to the lockdown and its economic impact.
- The medical specialist portal Rxisk points out that various drugs can increase the risk of infection with corona viruses by up to 200% in some cases.
- The British journalist Peter Hitchens describes in an article entitled “We love Big Brother” how even previously critical people were “infected by fear” despite the lack of medical evidence. In an interview, he explains that criticism is “a moral duty” as fundamental rights are under threat
- The German historian René Schlott writes about the “Rendezvous with the police state“: “Buying a book, sitting on a park bench, meeting up with friends – that is now forbidden, is controlled and denounced. The democratic safeguards seem to be blown. Where and how will it end?”
- Several German law firms are preparing lawsuits against the measures and regulations that have been issued. A specialist in medical law writes in a press release: “The measures taken by the federal and state governments are blatantly unconstitutional and violate a multitude of basic rights of citizens in Germany to an unprecedented extent. This applies to all corona regulations of the 16 federal states. In particular, these measures are not justified by the Infection Protection Act, which was revised in no time at all just a few days ago. () Because the available figures and statistics show that corona infection is harmless in more than 95% of the population and therefore does not represent a serious danger to the general public.”
- The Open Letter from Professor Sucharit Bhakdi to Chancellor Angela Merkel is now available in German, English, French, Spanish, Russian, Turkish, Dutch and Estonian, other languages will follow.
- In a new interview, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warns that Covid19 is dangerous but temporary, while the destruction of fundamental rights is deadly and permanent.
April 3, 2020
Austria: In Austria, too, “corona deaths” are apparently defined “very liberally”, as the media report: “Do you also count as a corona death if you are infected with the virus but die of something else? Yes, say Rudi Anschober and Bernhard Benka, members of the Corona Task Force in the Ministry of Health. “There is a clear rule at present: Died with the corona virus or died from the corona virus both count for the statistics.” No difference is made as to what the patient actually died of. In other words, a 90-year-old man who dies with a fracture of the femoral neck and becomes infected with corona in the hours prior to his death is also counted as corona death. To name but one example.”
Germany: The German Robert Koch Institute now advises against autopsies of test-positive deceased persons because the risk of droplet infection by aerosols is allegedly too high. In many cases, this means that the real cause of death can no longer be determined.
A specialist in pathology comments on this as follows: “Who might think evil of it! Up to now, it has been a matter of course for pathologists to carry out autopsies with appropriate safety precautions even in the case of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, tuberculosis, PRION diseases, etc. It is quite remarkable that in a disease that is killing thousands of patients all over the world and bringing the economy of entire countries to a virtual standstill, only very few autopsy findings are available (six patients from China). From the point of view of both the epidemic police and the scientific community, there should be a particularly high level of public interest in autopsy findings. However, the opposite is the case. Are you afraid of finding out the true causes of death of the positively tested deceased? Could it be that the numbers of corona deaths would then melt away like snow in the spring sun?”
Italy: Russian experts have noticed “strange deaths” in nursing homes in Lombardy: “According to newspaper reports, several cases have been registered in the town of Gromo in which alleged corona virus-infected persons simply fell asleep and never woke up again. No real symptoms of the disease had been observed in the deceased until then. () As the director of the nursing home later clarified in an interview with RIA Novosti, it is unclear whether the deceased were actually infected with the coronavirus, because nobody in the home had been tested for it. () In the homes, where medical and nursing teams from Russia are working, corridors, bed rooms and dining rooms are disinfected.”
Similar cases have already been reported from Germany: Nursing patients without symptoms of illness die suddenly in the current exceptional situation and are then considered “corona deaths”. Here again the serious question arises: Who dies from the virus and who dies from the sometimes extreme measures?
Nursing staff: The Süddeutsche Zeitung reports: “Throughout Europe, the pandemic is endangering the care of elderly people at home because nursing staff can no longer visit them – or have left the respective country in a hurry to return home.”
Lastly: Stanford professor of medicine Dr. Jay Bhattacharya gave a half-hour interview in which he questions the “conventional wisdom” regarding Covid19. The existing measures had been decided on the basis of very uncertain and partly questionable data.
April 2, 2020 (I)
A Swiss biophysicist has visualized the fact that in the US (as in the rest of the world), it is not the number of “infected” people that is increasing exponentially, but the number of tests. The number of test-positive people in relation to the number of tests remains constant or increases slowly.
According to the latest influenza report of the German Robert Koch Institute, the number of acute respiratory diseases has “fallen sharply nationwide”. The values have “dropped in all age groups”.
By March 20, the total number of inpatient cases with acute respiratory diseases had also fallen significantly. In the age group from 80 years and older, the number of cases had almost halved compared to the previous week.
In the 73 hospitals examined, 7% of all cases with respiratory diseases were diagnosed with COVID-19. In the age groups 35-59 years it was 16% and in the age group 60-79 years it was 13% who received a COVID-19 diagnosis.
These figures correspond to those from other countries as well as to the typical prevalence of coronaviruses (5 to 15%).
Flu-like diseases in general (left) and acute respiratory diseases in hospitals (right) (Robert-Koch-Institut, weeks 13 and 12)
An article in DIE ZEIT discusses the issue of intensive care patients in Germany:
“At present politicians, experts and many citizens observe with concern the exponentially increasing number of people who are newly infected every day. However, this is not the decisive indicator for assessing how badly the corona crisis is and will hit Germany. For it is distorted above all by the number of tests, which have been increasing for weeks.
In order to measure the burden on the health system, the number of those who are so seriously ill that they need to be ventilated is particularly important. As long as there are enough ventilation places for them, a great many of them can be saved. Only when these beds become scarce does a situation like the one in Italy threaten.
The DIVI register now shows that the situation in the German intensive care units has been relaxed so far. “We are still in a comfortable area,” says Grabenhenrich. The number of seriously ill patients is not rising as steeply as the number of infected patients and even if it did, it would still be possible to provide a large number of intensive care beds with very good equipment.
The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health reports that approximately 139,330 Covid19 tests have been carried out so far, of which the result was positive in 15% of cases. This number also corresponds to the typical corona virus value known from other countries and, as far as can be seen, does not seem to be increasing rapidly in Switzerland either.
Only the number of tests often mentioned in the media is increasing exponentially, but not the number of “infected”, sick or even dead.
On March 31, however, a new weekly mortality statistic was published which for the first time forecasts an increase in overall mortality in the 65+ age group in Switzerland for the 12th calendar week (until 22 March) (see chart below). Specifically, total mortality is expected to increase by around 200 deaths per week.
According to the Federal Office, this increase is “an expression of the current pandemic”. The following problem arises here: up to 22 March there were a total of 106 test-positive deaths in Switzerland. An increase of 200 deaths per week would mean that a large part of the additional mortality is not caused by the virus but by the “countermeasures”.
Another explanation would be that the approximately 200 test-positive deaths of the following week (week 13) have already been included. This would mean that all test-positive deaths are assumed to be additional deaths. However, in view of the age and disease profile as well as international experience, this would be a very doubtful assumption.
In fact, the report adds the following disclaimer: “These initial estimates are still very uncertain, so that no exact figures can be published”.
If it turns out that a large proportion of test-positive deaths (median age: 83 years) are not additional deaths, either the overall mortality would not be increased, or it would be increased mainly because of the drastic measures, as some experts fear.
A Swiss newspaper has presented the current total mortality in comparison with previous years (see graph below). This illustrates that, even if actually increased, the current mortality rate is still below the stronger flu winters of recent years.
- Virus test kits destined for Great Britain had to be recalled because they already contained corona virus components.
- The British Imperial College study, which predicted hundreds of thousands of additional deaths but was never published in a journal or reviewed, was based on largely unrealistic assumptions, as has now been shown.
- The BBC asks, “Is coronavirus causing the deaths?“, and replies, “It could be the major cause, a contributory factor or simply present when they are dying of something else.” For example, an 18-year-old man was reported as the “youngest Corona victim” after a positive test the day before his death. However, the hospital later reported that the young man had died of a serious pre-existing condition.
- The European health authority ECDC has published very strict guidelines for handling test-positive or “presumed test-positive” corpses. In view of the very low mortality rates to date, such guidelines appear questionable from a medical point of view; however, they significantly increase the burden on the health and funeral services, and at the same time have a high media impact.
- A German state media outlet has published a critical commentary on Professor Sucharit Bhakdi’s Open Letter to Chancellor Merkel.
- The ARTE documentary “Profiteers of Fear” from 2009 shows how the mainly privately financed WHO “upgraded” a mild wave of influenza (the so-called “swine flu”) to a global pandemic so that vaccines worth several billion dollars could be sold to governments around the world. Some of the protagonists of that time are again prominently represented in the current situation.
- The former judge at the British Supreme Court, Jonathan Sumption, declared in a BBC interview on the British measures: “This is what a police state is like”.
April 2, 2020 (II)
- Already in 2018, the Guardian wrote that “Pollution and flu bring steep rise in lung-related illnesses“: Shortage of specialists adds to worries that surge in respiratory diseases is putting pressure on A&Es.
- Professor Martin Haditsch, specialist in microbiology, virology and infection epidemiology, sharply criticises the Covid19 measures. These are “completely unfounded” and would “trample on sound judgment and ethical principles”.
- Even representatives of German nursing homes are now complaining about the restrictive measures and inappropriate media coverage of Covid19: “Even before the coronavirus in the winter months, it often happened that many guests died in a relatively short time, but the television crew did not stand behind the door and did not show people in protective suits heroically exposing themselves to the risk of infection.”
- Figures from the northern Italian city of Treviso (near Venice) show that, despite 108 test-positive deaths by the end of March, overall mortality in municipal hospitals remained roughly the same as in previous years. This is a further indication that the temporarily increased mortality in some places is more likely to be due to external factors such as panic and collapse than due to the coronavirus alone.
- Professor John Oxford of Queen Mary University London, one of the world’s leading virologists and influenza specialists, comes to the following conclusion regarding Covid19: “Personally, I would say the best advice is to spend less time watching TV news which is sensational and not very good. Personally, I view this Covid outbreak as akin to a bad winter influenza epidemic. In this case we have had 8000 deaths this last year in the ‘at risk’ groups viz over 65% people with heart disease etc. I do not feel this current Covid will exceed this number. We are suffering from a media epidemic!”
April 1, 2020
On the situation in Italy
Italian doctors reported that they had already observed severe cases of pneumonia in northern Italy at the end of last year. However, genetic analyses now show that the Covid19 virus only appeared in Italy in January of this year. “The severe pneumonia diagnosed in Italy in November and December must therefore be due to a different pathogen,” a virologist noted. This once again raises the question what role the Covid19 virus, or other factors, actually play in the Italian situation.
On March 30, we mentioned the list of Italian doctors who died “during the Corona crisis”, many of whom were up to 90 years old and didn’t actively participate in the crisis at all. Today, all years of birth on the list have been removed (see however the last archive version). A strange procedure.
We have also received the following message from an observer in Italy, who gives further details about the dramatic situation there, which is obviously due to far more than a virus:
“In recent weeks, most of the Eastern European nurses who worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week supporting people in need of care in Italy have left the country in a hurry. This is not least because of the panic-mongering and the curfews and border closures threatened by the “emergency governments”. As a result, old people in need of care and disabled people, some without relatives, were left helpless by their carers.
Many of these abandoned people then ended up after a few days in the hospitals, which had been permanently overloaded for years, because they were dehydrated, among other things. Unfortunately, the hospitals lacked the personnel who had to look after the children locked up in their apartments because schools and kindergartens had been closed. This then led to the complete collapse of the care for the disabled and the elderly, especially in those areas where even harder “measures” were ordered, and to chaotic conditions.
The nursing emergency, which was caused by the panic, temporarily led to many deaths among those in need of care and increasingly among younger patients in the hospitals. These fatalities then served to cause even more panic among those in charge and the media, who reported, for example, “another 475 fatalities”, “The dead are being removed from hospitals by the army”, accompanied by pictures of coffins and army trucks lined up.
However, this was the result of the funeral directors’ fear of the “killer virus”, who therefore refused their services. Moreover, on the one hand there were too many deaths at once and on the other hand the government passed a law that the corpses carrying the coronavirus had to be cremated. In Catholic Italy, few cremations had been carried out in the past. Therefore there were only a few small crematoria, which very quickly reached their limits. Therefore the deceased had to be laid out in different churches.
In principle, this development is the same in all countries. However, the quality of the health system has a considerable influence on the effects. Therefore, there are fewer problems in Germany, Austria or Switzerland than in Italy, Spain or the USA. However, as can be seen in the official figures, there is no significant increase in the mortality rate. Just a small mountain that came from this tragedy.”
Hospital situation in the US, Germany and Switzerland
- The US television station CBS was caught using footage from an Italian intensive care unit in a piece on the current situation in New York.
- Contrary to media reports, the register of German intensive care units also shows no increased occupancy. An employee of a Munich clinic explained that they had been “waiting for weeks for the wave to hit”, but that there was “no increase in patient numbers”. He said that the politicians’ statements did not correspond with their own experience, and that the “myth of the killer virus” could “not be confirmed”.
- Also in Swiss clinics, no increased occupancy has been observed so far. A visitor to the cantonal hospital in Lucerne reports that there is “less activity than in normal times”. Entire floors have been closed for Covid19, but staff “are still waiting for patients”. The hospitals in Bern, Basel, Zug and Zurich have also been “emptied”. Even in Ticino, the intensive care units are not working to capacity, but patients are now being transferred to other parts of the country. From a purely medical point of view, this makes little sense.
- The director of the University Medical Center Hamburg, Dr. Ansgar Lohse, demands a quick end to curfews and contact bans. He argues that more people should be infected with corona. Kitas and schools should be reopened as soon as possible so that children and their parents can become immune through infection with the corona virus. The continuation of the strict measures would lead to an economic crisis, which would also cost lives, said the physician.
- In Spain, 15% of test-positives are doctors and nurses. Although many of them show no symptoms, they have to go into quarantine, causing the Spanish healthcare system to collapse.
- Dr. John Lee, professor emeritus of pathology, is writing about the highly misleading definition and communication of “corona deaths” in the British Spectator.
- The latest data from Norway, evaluated by a PhD in environmental toxicology, again show that the rate of test-positives does not increase – as would be expected in the case of an epidemic – but fluctuates in the normal range for coronaviruses between 2 and 10%. The average age of the test-positive deceased is 84 years, the causes of death are not publicly reported, and there is no excess mortality.
- Sweden, which has so far managed without radical measures and has not reported increased mortality (similar to Asian countries such as Japan or South Korea), is remarkably put under pressure from the international media to change its strategy.
- Data from New York State show that the hospitalization rate of test-positive individuals could be more than twenty times lower than originally assumed.
- An article on the specialist portal DocCheck deals with the problem of ventilating test-positive patients. In test-positive patients, simple ventilation through a mask is officially advised against, among other things to prevent the coronavirus from spreading through aerosols. Therefore, test positive intensive care patients are often intubated directly. However, intubation has poor chances of success and often leads to additional damage to the lungs (so-called ventilator-induced lung damage). As with medication, the question arises as to whether a more gentle treatment of patients would not be medically more sensible.
Reports on political developments
- A German state minister has called on the population to “be vigilant and report violations of the rules for containing the corona epidemic to the police”. “Eagerly reported” are, for example, “prohibited group formation, children in playgrounds, parties” and hikers.
- German constitutional law experts are raising the alarm for “serious encroachments on fundamental rights”. Constitutional law expert Hans Michael Heinig warns that the “democratic constitutional state could turn into a fascist-hysterical hygiene state in no time”. Professor Christoph Möllers of Berlin’s Humboldt University explains that the infection protection law “cannot serve as a basis for such far-reaching restrictions of citizens’ rights of freedom”. According to the former president of the German Federal Constitutional Court, Hans Jürgen Papier, “emergency measures do not justify the suspension of civil liberties in favour of an authoritarian and surveillance state”.
- Online petitions have been launched in several countries to end curfews and other encroachments on basic rights. At the same time, critical video contributions, even by doctors, are increasingly being deleted. In Berlin, a registered event on fundamental rights, at which the German constitution was distributed, was terminated by the police.
March 31, 2020 (I)
Dr. Richard Capek and other researchers have already shown that the number of test-positive individuals in relation to the number of tests performed remains constant in all countries studied so far, which speaks against an exponential spread of the virus and merely indicates an exponential increase in the number of tests.
Depending on the country, the proportion of test-positive individuals is between 5 and 15%, which corresponds to the usual spread of corona viruses. Interestingly, these constant numerical values are not actively communicated (or even removed) by authorities and the media. Instead, exponential but irrelevant and misleading curves are shown without context.
Such behavior, of course, does not correspond to professional medical standards, as a look at the traditional influenza report of the German Robert Koch Institute makes clear (p. 30, see chart below). Here, in addition to the number of detections (right), the number of samples (left, grey bars) and the positive rate (left, blue curve) are shown.
This immediately shows that during a flu season the positive rate rises from 0 to 10% to up to 80% of the samples and drops back to the normal value after a few weeks. In comparison, Covid19 tests show a constant positive rate in the normal range (see below).
Constant Covid19-positive rate using US data (Dr. Richard Capek). This applies analogously to all other countries for which data on the number of samples is currently available.
March 31, 2020 (II)
- A graphical analysis of the European monitoring data impressively shows that, irrespective of the measures taken, overall mortality throughout Europe remained in the normal range or below by March 25, and often significantly below the levels of previous years. Only in Italy (65+) was the overall mortality rate somewhat increased (probably for several reasons), but it was still below previous flu seasons.
- The president of the German Robert Koch Institute confirmed again that pre-existing conditions and actual cause of death do not play a role in the definition of so-called “corona deaths”. From a medical point of view, such a definition is clearly misleading. It has the obvious and generally known effect of putting politics and society in fear.
- In Italy the situation is now beginning to calm down. As far as is known, the temporarily increased mortality rates (65+) were rather local effects, often accompanied by mass panic and a breakdown in health care. A politician from northern Italy asks, for example, “how is it possible that Covid patients from Brescia are transported to Germany, while in the nearby Verona two thirds of intensive care beds are empty?”
- In an article published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, Stanford professor of medicine John Ioannidis criticizes the “harms of exaggerated information and non-evidence-based measures”. Even journals had published dubious claims at the beginning.
- A Chinese study published in the Chinese Journal of Epidemiology in early March, which indicated the unreliability of the Covid19 virus tests (approx. 50% false-positive results in asymptomatic patients), has since been withdrawn. The lead author of the study, the dean of a medical school, did not want to give the reason for the withdrawal and spoke of a “sensitive matter“, which could indicate political pressure, as an NPR journalist noted. Independent of this study, however, the unreliability of so-called PCR virus tests has long been known: In 2003, for example, a mass infection in a Canadian nursing home with SARS corona viruses was “found”, which later turned out to be common cold corona viruses (which can also be fatal for risk groups).
- Authors of the German Risk Management Network RiskNET speak in a Covid19 analysis of a “blind flight” as well as “insufficient data competence and data ethics”. Instead of more and more tests and measures a representative sample is necessary. The “sense and ratio” of the measures must be critically questioned.
- The Spanish interview with the internationally renowned Argentinian-French virologist Pablo Goldschmidt was translated into German. Goldschmidt considers the measures imposed to be medically counterproductive and notes that one must now “read Hannah Arendt” to understand the “origins of totalitarianism”.
- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, like other prime ministers and presidents before him, has largely disempowered the Hungarian parliament under an “emergency law” and can now govern essentially by decree.
March 30, 2020 (I)
- In Germany, some clinics can no longer accept patients – not because there are too many patients or too few beds, but because the nursing staff have tested positive, although in most cases they hardly show any symptoms. This case illustrates again how and why health care systems are getting paralysed.
- In a German retirement and nursing home for people with advanced dementia, 15 test-positive people have died. However, “surprisingly many people have died without showing symptoms of corona.” A German medical specialist informs us: “From my medical point of view, there is some evidence that some of these people may have died as a result of the measures taken. People with dementia get into high stress when major changes are made to their everyday lives: isolation, no physical contact, possibly hooded staff.” Nevertheless, the deceased are counted as “corona deaths” in German and international statistics. In connection with the “corona crisis”, it is now also possible to die of an illness without even having its symptoms.
- According to a Swiss pharmacologist, the Swiss Inselspital in Bern has forced staff to take leave, stopped therapies and postponed operations due to the fear of Covid19.
- Professor Gérard Krause, head of the Department of Epidemiology at the German Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, warns on German public television ZDF that the anti-corona measures “could lead to more deaths than the virus itself“.
- Various media reported that more than 50 doctors in Italy have already died “during the corona crisis”, like soldiers in a battle. A glance at the corresponding list, however, shows that most of the deceased are retired doctors of various kinds, including 90-year-old psychiatrists and pediatricians, many of whom may have died of natural causes.
- An extensive survey in Iceland found that 50% of all test-positive persons showed “no symptoms” at all, while the other 50% mostly showed “very moderate cold-like symptoms”. According to the Icelandic data, the mortality rate of Covid19 is in the per mille range, i.e. in the flu range or below. Of the two test-positive deaths, one was “a tourist with unusual symptoms”. (More Icelandic data)
- The British journalist Peter Hitchens writes, “There’s powerful evidence this great panic is foolish. Yet our freedom is still broken and our economy crippled.” Hitchens points out that in parts of the UK, police drones monitor and report “non-essential” walks in nature. In some cases, police drones are calling on people via loudspeaker to go home in order to “save lives”. (Note: Not even George Orwell had thought that far ahead.)
- The Italian secret service warns of social unrest and uprisings. Supermarkets are already being looted and pharmacies raided.
- Professor Sucharit Bhakdi has meanwhile published a video (German/English) in which he explains his Open Letter to German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel.
March 30, 2020 (II)
In several countries, there is increasing evidence in relation to Covid19 that “the treatment could be worse than the disease”.
On the one hand, there is the risk of so-called nosocomial infections, i.e. infections that the patient, who may only be mildly ill, acquires in hospital. It is estimated that there are approximately 2.5 million nosocomial infections and 50,000 deaths per year in Europe. Even in German intensive care units, about 15% of patients acquire a nosocomial infection, including pneumonia on artificial respiration. There is also the problem of increasingly antibiotic-resistant germs in hospitals.
Another aspect is the certainly well-intentioned but sometimes very aggressive treatment methods that are increasingly used in Covid19 patients. These include, in particular, the administration of steroids, antibiotics and anti-viral drugs (or a combination thereof). Already in the treatment of SARS-1 patients, it has been shown that the outcome with such treatment was often worse and more fatal than without such treatment.
March 29, 2020
- Dr Sucharit Bhakdi, Professor Emeritus of Medical Microbiology in Mainz, Germany, wrote an Open Letter to German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel, calling for an urgent reassessment of the response to Covid19 and asking the Chancellor five crucial questions.
- The latest data from the German Robert Koch Institute show that the increase in test-positive persons is proportional to the increase in the number of tests, i.e. in percentage terms it remains roughly the same. This may indicate that the increase in the number of cases is mainly due to an increase in the number of tests, and not due to an ongoing epidemic.
- The Milan microbiologist Maria Rita Gismondo calls on the Italian government to stop communicating the daily number of “corona positives” as these figures are “fake” and put the population in unnecessary panic. The number of test-positives depends very much on the type and number of tests and says nothing about the state of health.
- Dr. John Ioannidis, Stanford Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, gave an in-depth one-hour interview on the lack of data for Covid19 measures.
- The Argentinean virologist Pablo Goldschmidt, who lives in France, considers the political reaction to Covid19 as “completely exaggerated” and warns against “totalitarian measures”. In parts of France, the movement of people is already monitored by drones.
- Italian author Fulvio Grimaldi, born in 1934, explains that the state measures currently implemented in Italy are “worse than under fascism”. Parliament and society have been completely disempowered.
March 28, 2020
- A new study by the University of Oxford concludes that Covid19 may already have existed in the UK since January 2020 and that half of the population may already be immunised, with most people experiencing no or only mild symptoms. This would mean that only one in a thousand people would need to be hospitalised for Covid19. (Study)
- British media reported on a 21 year old woman “who died of Covid19 without any previous illnesses”. However, it has since become known that the woman did not test positive for Covid19 and died of a heart failure. The Covid19 rumor had arisen “because she had a slight cough”.
- The German media scientist Professor Otfried Jarren criticized that many media provide uncritical journalism that emphasizes threats and executive power. According to Professor Jarren, there is hardly any differentiation and real debate between experts.
March 27, 2020 (I)
Italy: According to the latest data published by the Italian Ministry of Health, overall mortality is now significantly higher in all age groups over 65 years of age, after having been below average due to the mild winter. Until March 14, overall mortality was still below the flu season of 2016/2017, but may have already exceeded it in the meantime. Most of this excess mortality currently comes from northern Italy. However, the exact role of Covid19, compared to other factors such as panic, healthcare collapse and the lockdown itself, is not yet clear.
France: According to the latest data from France, overall mortality at the national level remains within the normal range after a mild influenza season. However, in some regions, particularly in the north-east of France, overall mortality in the over-65 age group has already risen sharply in connection with Covid19 (see figure below).
France also provides detailed information on the age distribution and pre-existing conditions of test-positive intensive care patients and deceased patients (see figure below):
- The average age of the deceased is 81.2 years.
- 78% of the deceased were over 75 years old; 93% were over 65 years old.
- 2.4% of the deceased were under 65 years of age and had no (known) previous illness
- The average age of intensive care patients is 65 years.
- 26% of intensive care patients are over 75 years old; 67% have previous illnesses.
- 17% of intensive care patients are under 65 years of age and have no previous illnesses.
The French authorities add that “the share of the (Covid-19) epidemic in overall mortality remains to be determined.”
USA: A Canadian researcher has evaluated the official data on deaths from pneumonia in the US. There are usually between 3000 and 5500 deaths per week and thus significantly more than the current figures for Covid19. The total number of deaths in the US is between 50,000 and 60,000 per week. (Note: In the graph below, the latest figures for March 2020 have not yet been fully updated, so the curve is slumping).
- Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London now assumes that the UK has sufficient capacity in intensive care units to treat Covid19 patients.
- John Lee, Professor Emeritus of Pathology, argues that the particular way in which Covid-19 cases are registered leads to an overestimation of the risk posed by Covid19 compared to normal flu and cold cases.
- A preliminary study by researchers at Stanford University showed that 20 to 25% of Covid19-positive patients tested additionally positive for other influenza or cold viruses.
- The number of applications for unemployment insurance in the US skyrocketed to a record of over three million. In this context, a sharp increase in suicides is also expected.
- The first test-positive patient in Germany has now recovered. According to his own statement, the 33-year-old man had experienced the illness “not as bad as the flu”.
- Spanish media report that the antibody rapid tests for Covid19 only have a sensitivity of 30%, although it should be at least 80%.
- A study from China in 2003 concluded that the probability of dying from SARS is 84% higher in people exposed to moderate air pollution than in patients from regions with clean air. The risk is even 200% higher among people from areas with heavily polluted air.
- The German Network for Evidence-Based Medicine (EbM) criticises the media reporting on Covid19: “The media coverage does not in any way take into account the criteria of evidence-based risk communication that we have demanded. () The presentation of raw data without reference to other causes of death leads to an overestimation of the risk”.
March 27, 2020 (II)
- German researcher Dr. Richard Capek argues in a quantitative analysis that the “Corona epidemic” is in fact an “epidemic of tests”. Capek shows that while the number of tests has increased exponentially, the proportion of infections has remained stable and mortality has decreased, which speaks against an exponential spread of the virus itself (see below).
- German Virology professor Dr. Carsten Scheller from the University of Würzburg explains in a podcast that Covid19 is definitely comparable with influenza and has so far even led to fewer deaths. Professor Scheller suspects that the exponential curves often presented in the media have more to do with the increasing number of tests than with an unusual spread of the virus itself. For countries like Germany, Italy is less of a role model than Japan and South Korea. Despite millions of Chinese tourists and only minimal social restrictions, these countries have not yet experienced a Covid19 crisis. One reason for this could be the wearing of mouth masks: This would hardly protect against infection, but would limit the spread of the virus by infected people.
- The latest figures from Bergamo (city) show that total mortality in March 2020 increased from typically 150 people per month to around 450 people. It is still unclear what proportion of this was due to Covid19 and what proportion was due to other factors such as mass panic, systemic collapse and the lockdown itself. Apparently the city hospital was overrun by people from the whole region and collapsed.
- The two Stanford professors of medicine, Dr. Eran Bendavid and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, explain in an article that the lethality of Covid19 is overestimated by several orders of magnitude and is probably even in Italy only at 0.01% to 0.06% and thus below that of influenza. The reason for this overestimation is the greatly underestimated number of people already infected (without symptoms). As an example, the fully tested Italian community of Vo is mentioned, which showed 50 to 75% symptom-free test-positive persons.
- Dr. Gerald Gaß, President of the German Hospital Association, explained in an interview with the Handelsblatt that “the extreme situation in Italy is mainly due to the very low intensive care capacities”.
- Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, one of the early and vocal critics of a “Covid19 panic”, was provisionally excluded by the board of Transparency International Germany, where he headed the health working group. Wodarg had already been severely attacked by the media for his criticism.
- NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warns that governments are using the current situation to expand the surveillance state and restrict fundamental rights. The control measures currently put in place would not be dismantled after the crisis.
The increasing number of tests is finding a proportional number of infections, the ratio stays constant, speaking against an ongoing viral epidemic (Dr. Richard Capek, US data)
March 26, 2020 (I)
- USA: The latest US data of March 25 shows a decreasing number of flu-like illnesses throughout the country, the frequency of which is now well below the multi-year average. The government measures can be ruled out as a reason for this, as they have been in effect for less than a week.
USA: Decreasing flu-like illnesses (March 25, 2020, KINSA)
- Germany: The latest influenza report of the German Robert Koch Institute of March 24 documents a “nationwide decrease in activity of acute respiratory diseases”: The number of influenza-like illnesses and the number of hospital stays caused by them is below the level of previous years and is currently continuing to decline. The RKI continues: “The increase in the number of visits to the doctor cannot currently be explained either by influenza viruses circulating in the population or by SARS-CoV-2.”
Germany: Decreasing flu-like illnesses (20 March 2020, RKI)
- Italy: The renowned Italian virologist Giulio Tarro argues that the mortality rate of Covid19 is below 1% even in Italy and is therefore comparable to influenza. The higher values only arise because no distinction is made between deaths with and by Covid19 and because the number of (symptom-free) infected persons is greatly underestimated.
- UK: The authors of the British Imperial College study, who predicted up to 500,000 deaths, are again reducing their forecasts. After already admitting that a large proportion of test-positive deaths are part of normal mortality, they now state that the peak of the disease may be reached in two to three weeks already.
- UK: The British Guardian reported in February 2019 that even in the generally weak flu season 2018/2019 there were more than 2180 flu-related admissions to intensive care units in the UK.
- Switzerland: In Switzerland, the excess mortality due to Covid19 is apparently still zero. The latest “fatal victim” presented by the media is a 100-year-old woman. Nevertheless, the Swiss government continues to tighten restrictive measures.
March 26, 2020 (II)
- Sweden: Sweden has so far pursued the most liberal strategy in dealing with Covid19, which is based on two principles: Risk groups are protected and people with flu symptoms stay at home. “If you follow these two rules, there is no need for further measures, the effect of which is only marginal anyway,” said chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell. Social and economic life will continue normally. The big rush to hospitals has so far failed to materialize, Tegnell said.
- German criminal and constitutional law expert Dr. Jessica Hamed argues that measures such as general curfews and contact bans are a massive and disproportionate encroachment on fundamental rights of freedom and are therefore presumably “all illegal”.
- The latest European monitoring report on overall mortality continues to show normal or below-average values in all countries and all age groups, but now with one exception: in the 65+ age group in Italy a currently increased overall mortality is predicted (so-called delay-adjusted z-score), which is, however, still below the values of the influenza waves of 2017 and 2018.
March 25, 2020
- German immunologist and toxicologist, Professor Stefan Hockertz, explains in a radio interview that Covid19 is no more dangerous than influenza (the flu), but that it is simply observed much more closely. More dangerous than the virus is the fear and panic created by the media and the “authoritarian reaction” of many governments. Professor Hockertz also notes that most so-called “corona deaths” have in fact died of other causes while also testing positive for coronaviruses. Hockertz believes that up to ten times more people than reported already had Covid19 but noticed nothing or very little.
- The Argentinean virologist and biochemist Pablo Goldschmidt explains that Covid19 is no more dangerous than a bad cold or the flu. It is even possible that the Covid19 virus circulated already in earlier years, but wasn’t discovered because no one was looking for it. Dr. Goldschmidt speaks of a “global terror” created by the media and politics. Every year, he says, three million newborns worldwide and 50,000 adults in the US alone die of pneumonia.
- Professor Martin Exner, head of the Institute for Hygiene at the University of Bonn, explains in an interview why health personnel are currently under pressure, even though there has hardly been any increase in the number of patients in Germany so far: On the one hand, doctors and nurses who have tested positive have to be quarantined and are often hard to replace. On the other hand, nurses from neighbouring countries, who provide an important part of the care, are currently unable to enter the country due to closed borders.
- Professor Julian Nida-Ruemelin, former German Minister of State for Culture and Professor of Ethics, points out that Covid19 poses no risk to the healthy general population and that extreme measures such as curfews are therefore not justified.
- Using data from the cruise ship Diamond Princess, Stanford Professor John Ioannidis showed that the age-corrected lethality of Covid19 is between 0.025% and 0.625%, i.e. in the range of a strong cold or the flu. Moreover, a Japanese study showed that of all the test-positive passengers, and despite the high average age, 48% remained completely symptom-free; even among the 80-89 year olds 48% remained symptom-free, while among the 70 to 79 year olds it was an astounding 60% that developed no symptoms at all. This again raises the question whether the pre-existing diseases are not perhaps a more important factor than the virus itself. The Italian example has shown that 99% of test-positive deaths had one or more pre-existing conditions, and even among these, only 12% of the death certificates mentioned Covid19 as a causal factor.
March 24, 2020
- The UK has removed Covid19 from the official list of High Consquence Infectious Diseases (HCID), stating that mortality rates are “low overall”.
- The director of the German National Health Institute (RKI) admitted that they count all test-positive deaths, irrespective of the actual cause of death, as “coronavirus deaths”. The average age of the deceased is 82 years, most with serious preconditions. As in most other countries, excess mortality due Covid19 is likely to be near zero in Germany.
- Beds in Swiss intensive care units reserved for Covid19 patients are still “mostly empty”.
- German Professor Karin Moelling, former Chair of Medical Virology at the University of Zurich, stated in an interview that Covid19 is “no killer virus” and that “panic must end”.
March 23, 2020 (I)
- A new French study in the Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, titled SARS-CoV-2: fear versus data, concludes that “the problem of SARS-CoV-2 is probably overestimated”, since “the mortality rate for SARS-CoV-2 is not significantly different from that for common coronaviruses identified at the study hospital in France”.
- An Italian study of August 2019 found that flu deaths in Italy were between 7,000 and 25,000 in recent years. This value is higher than in most other European countries due to the large elderly population in Italy, and much higher than anything attributed to Covid-19 so far.
- In a new fact sheet, the World Health Organization WHO reports that Covid-19 is in fact spreading slower, not faster, than influenza by a factor of about 50%. Moreover, pre-symptomatic transmission appears to be much lower with Covid-19 than with influenza.
- A leading Italian doctor reports that “strange cases of pneumonia” were seen in the Lombardy region already in November 2019, raising again the question if they were caused by the new virus (which officially only appeared in Italy in February 2020), or by other factors, such as the dangerously high smog levels in Northern Italy.
- Danish researcher Peter Gøtzsche, founder of the renowned Cochrane Medical Collaboration, writes that Corona is “an epidemic of mass panic” and “logic was one of the first victims.”
March 23, 2020 (II)
- Former Israeli Health Minister, Professor Yoram Lass, says that the new coronavirus is “less dangerous than the flu” and lockdown measures “will kill more people than the virus”. He adds that “the numbers do not match the panic” and “psychology is prevailing over science”. He also notes that “Italy is known for its enormous morbidity in respiratory problems, more than three times any other European country.”
- Pietro Vernazza, a Swiss infectious disease specialist, argues that many of the imposed measures are not based on science and should be reversed. According to Vernazza, mass testing makes no sense because 90% of the population will see no symptoms, and lockdowns and closing schools are even “counterproductive”. He recommends protecting only risk groups while keeping the economy and society at large undisturbed.
- The President of the World Doctors Federation, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, argues that lockdown measures as in Italy are “unreasonable” and “counterproductive” and should be reversed.
- In Switzerland, despite media panic, excess mortality is still at or near zero: the latest test-positive “victims” were a 96-year-old in palliative care and a 97-year-old with pre-existing conditions.
- The latest statistical report of the Italian National Health Institute is now available in English.
March 22, 2020 (I)
Regarding the situation in Italy: Most major media falsely report that Italy has up to 800 deaths per day from the coronavirus. In reality, the president of the Italian Civil Protection Service stresses that these are deaths “with the coronavirus and not from the coronavirus” (minute 03:30 of the press conference). In other words, these persons died while also testing positive.
As Professors Ioannidis and Bhakdi have shown, countries like South Korea and Japan that introduced no lockdown measures have experienced near-zero excess mortality in connection with Covid-19, while the Diamond Princess cruise ship experienced an extrapolated mortality figure in the per mille range, i.e. at or below the level of the seasonal flu.
Current test-positive death figures in Italy are still less than 50% of normal daily overall mortality in Italy, which is around 1800 deaths per day. Thus it is possible, perhaps even likely, that a large part of normal daily mortality now simply counts as “Covid19” deaths (as they test positive). This is the point stressed by the President of the Italian Civil Protection Service.
However, by now it is clear that certain regions in Northern Italy, i.e. those facing the toughest lockdown measures, are experiencing markedly increased daily mortality figures. It is also known that in the Lombardy region, 90% of test-positive deaths occur not in intensive care units, but instead mostly at home. And more than 99% have serious pre-existing health conditions.
Professor Sucharit Bhakdi has called lockdown measures “useless”, “self-destructive” and a “collective suicide”. Thus the extremely troubling question arises as to what extent the increased mortality of these elderly, isolated, highly stressed people with multiple pre-existing health conditions may in fact be caused by the weeks-long lockdown measures still in force.
If so, it may be one of those cases where the treatment is worse than the disease. (See update below: only 12% of death certificates show the coronavirus as a cause.)
March 22, 2020 (II)
- In Switzerland, there are currently 56 test-positive deaths, all of whom were “high risk patients” due to their advanced age and/or pre-existing health conditions. Their actual cause of death, i.e. from or simply with the virus, has not been communicated.
- The Swiss government claimed that the situation in southern Switzerland (next to Italy) is “dramatic”, yet local doctors denied this and said everything is normal.
- According to press reports, oxygen bottles may become scarce. The reason, however, is not a currently higher usage, but rather hoarding due to fear of future shortages.
- In many countries, there is already an increasing shortage of doctors and nurses. This is primarily because healthcare workers testing positive have to self-quarantine, even though in many cases they will remain fully or largely symptom-free.
March 22, 2020 (III)
- A model from Imperial College London predicted between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths in the UK “from” Covid-19, but the authors of the study have now conceded that many of these deaths would not be in addition to, but rather part of the normal annual mortality rate, which in the UK is about 600,000 people per year. In other words, excess mortality would remain low.
- Dr. David Katz, founding director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, asks in the New York Times: “Is Our Fight Against Coronavirus Worse Than the Disease? There may be more targeted ways to beat the pandemic.”
- According to Italian Professor Walter Ricciardi, “only 12% of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus”, whereas in public reports “all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus”. This means that Italian death figures reported by the media have to be reduced by at least a factor of 8 to obtain actual deaths caused by the virus. Thus one ends up with at most a few dozen deaths per day, compared to an overall daily mortality of 1800 deaths and up to 20,000 flu deaths per year.
March 21, 2020 (I)
- Spain reports only three test-positive deaths under the age of 65 (out of a total of about 1000). Their pre-existing health conditions and actual cause of death are not yet known.
- On March 20, Italy reported 627 nationwide test-positive deaths in one day. By comparison, normal overall mortality in Italy is about 1800 deaths per day. Since February 21, Italy has reported about 4000 test-positive deaths. Normal overall mortality during this time frame is up to 50,000 deaths. It is not yet known to what extent normal overall mortality has increased, or to what extent it has simply turned test-positive. Moreover, Italy and Europe have had a very mild flu season in 2019/2020 that has spared many otherwise vulnerable people.
- According to Italian news reports, 90% of test-positive deceased in the Lombardy region have died outside of intensive care units, mostly at home or in general care sections. Their cause of death and the possible role of quarantine measures in their deaths remain unclear. Only 260 out of 2168 test-positive persons have died in ICUs.
- Bloomberg highlights that “99% of Those Who Died From Virus Had Other Illness, Italy Says”
March 21, 2020 (II)
- The Japan Times asks: Japan was expecting a coronavirus explosion. Where is it? Despite being one of the first countries getting positive test results and having imposed no lockdown, Japan is one of the least-affected nations. Quote: “Even if Japan may not be counting all those infected, hospitals aren’t being stretched thin and there has been no spike in pneumonia cases.”
- Italian researchers argue that the extreme smog in Northern Italy, the worst in Europe, may be playing a causative role in the current pneumonia outbreak there, as in Wuhan before.
- In a new interview, Professor Sucharit Bhakdi, a world renowned expert in medical microbiology, says blaming the new coronavirus alone for deaths is “wrong” and “dangerously misleading”, as there are other more important factors at play, notably pre-existing health conditions and poor air quality in Chinese and Northern Italian cities. Professor Bhakdi describes the currently discussed or imposed measures as “grotesque”, “useless”, “self-destructive” and a “collective suicide” that will shorten the lifespan of the elderly and should not be accepted by society.
March 20, 2020
- According to the latest European monitoring report, overall mortality in all countries (including Italy) and in all age groups remains within or even below the normal range so far.
- According to the latest German statistics, the median age of test-positive deaths is about 83 years, most with pre-existing health conditions that might be a possible cause of death.
- A 2006 Canadian study referred to by Stanford Professor John Ioannidis found that common cold coronaviruses may also cause death rates of up to 6% in risk groups such as residents of a care facility, and that virus test kits initially falsely indicated an infection with SARS coronaviruses.
March 19, 2020 (I)
The Italian National Health Institute ISS has published a new report on test-positive deaths:
- The median age is 80.5 years (79.5 for men, 83.7 for women).
- 10% of the deceased was over 90 years old; 90% of the deceased was over 70 years old.
- At most 0.8% of the deceased had no pre-existing chronic illnesses.
- Approximately 75% of the deceased had two or more pre-existing conditions, 50% had three more pre-existing conditions, in particular heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
- Five of the deceased were between 31 and 39 years old, all of them with serious pre-existing health conditions (e.g. cancer or heart disease).
- The National Health Institute hasn’t yet determined what the patients examined ultimately died of and refers to them in general terms as Covid19-positive deaths.
March 19, 2020 (II)
- A report in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera points out that Italian intensive care units already collapsed under the marked flu wave in 2017/2018. They had to postpone operations, call nurses back from holiday and ran out of blood donations.
- German virologist Hendrik Streeck argues that Covid19 is unlikely to increase total mortality in Germany, which normally is around 2500 people per day. Streeck mentions the case of a 78-year-old man with preconditions who died of heart failure, subsequently tested positive for Covid19 and thus was included in the statistics of Covid19 deaths.
- According to Stanford Professor John Ioannidis, the new coronavirus may be no more dangerous than some of the common coronaviruses, even in older people. Ioannidis argues that there is no reliable medical data backing the measures currently decided upon.
March 18, 2020
- A new epidemiological study (preprint) concludes that the fatality of Covid19 even in the Chinese city of Wuhan was only 0.04% to 0.12% and thus rather lower than that of seasonal flu, which has a mortality rate of about 0.1%. As a reason for the overestimated fatality of Covid19, the researchers suspect that initially only a small number of cases were recorded in Wuhan, as the disease was probably asymptomatic or mild in many people.
- Chinese researchers argue that extreme winter smog in the city of Wuhan may have played a causal role in the outbreak of pneumonia. In the summer of 2019, public protests were already taking place in Wuhan because of the poor air quality.
- New satellite images show how Northern Italy has the highest levels of air pollution in Europe, and how this air pollution has been greatly reduced by the quarantine.
- A manufacturer of the Covid19 test kit states that it should only be used for research purposes and not for diagnostic applications, as it has not yet been clinically validated.
- The mortality profile remains puzzling from a virological point of view because, in contrast to influenza viruses, children are spared and men are affected about twice as often as women. On the other hand, this profile corresponds to natural mortality, which is close to zero for children and almost twice as high for 75-year-old men as for women of the same age.
- The younger test-positive deceased almost always had severe pre-existing conditions. For example, a 21-year-old Spanish soccer coach had died test-positive, making international headlines. However, the doctors diagnosed an unrecognized leukemia, whose typical complications include severe pneumonia.
- The decisive factor in assessing the danger of the disease is therefore not the number of test-positive persons and deceased, which is often mentioned in the media, but the number of people actually and unexpectedly developing or dying from pneumonia (so-called excess mortality). So far, this value remains very low in most countries.
- In Switzerland, some emergency units are already overloaded simply because of the large number of people who want to be tested. This points to an additional psychological and logistical component of the current situation.
March 17, 2020 (II)
- Italian immunology professor Sergio Romagnani from the University of Florence comes to the conclusion in a study on 3000 people that 50 to 75% of the test-positive people of all ages remain completely symptom-free – significantly more than previously assumed.
- The occupancy rate of the North Italian ICUs in the winter months is typically already 85 to 90%. Some or many of these existing patients could also be test-positive by now. However, the number of additional unexpected pneumonia cases is not yet known.
- A hospital doctor in the Spanish city of Malaga writes on Twitter that people are currently more likely to die from panic and systemic collapse than from the virus. The hospital is being overrun by people with colds, flu and possibly Covid19 and doctors have lost control.
March 14, 2020
According to the latest data of the Italian National Health Institute ISS, the average age of the positively-tested deceased in Italy is currently about 81 years. 10% of the deceased are over 90 years old. 90% of the deceased are over 70 years old.
80% of the deceased had suffered from two or more chronic diseases. 50% of the deceased had suffered from three or more chronic diseases. The chronic diseases include in particular cardiovascular problems, diabetes, respiratory problems and cancer.
Less than 1% of the deceased were healthy persons, i.e. persons without pre-existing chronic diseases. Only about 30% of the deceased are women.
The Italian Institute of Health moreover distinguishes between those who died from the coronavirus and those who died with the coronavirus. In many cases it is not yet clear whether the persons died from the virus or from their pre-existing chronic diseases or from a combination of both.
The two Italians deceased under 40 years of age (both 39 years old) were a cancer patient and a diabetes patient with additional complications. In these cases, too, the exact cause of death was not yet clear (i.e. if from the virus or from their pre-existing diseases).
The partial overloading of the hospitals is due to the general rush of patients and the increased number of patients requiring special or intensive care. In particular, the aim is to stabilize respiratory function and, in severe cases, to provide anti-viral therapies.
(Update: The Italian National Institute of Health published a statistical report on test-positive patients and deceased, confirming the above data.)
The following aspects should also be taken into account:
Northern Italy has one of the oldest populations and the worst air quality in Europe, which had already led to an increased number of respiratory diseases and deaths in the past and is likely an additional risk factor in the current epidemic.
South Korea, for instance, has experienced a much milder course than Italy and has already passed the peak of the epidemic. In South Korea, only about 70 deaths with a positive test result have been reported so far. As in Italy, those affected were mostly high-risk patients.
The few dozen test-positive Swiss deaths so far were also high-risk patients with chronic diseases, an average age of more than 80 years and a maximum age of 97 years, whose exact cause of death, i.e. from the virus or from their pre-existing diseases, is not yet known.
Furthermore, studies have shown that the internationally used virus test kits may give a false positive result in some cases. In these cases, the persons may not have contracted the new coronavirus, but presumably one of the many existing human coronaviruses that are part of the annual (and currently ongoing) common cold and flu epidemics.
Thus the most important indicator for judging the danger of the disease is not the frequently reported number of positively-tested persons and deaths, but the number of persons actually and unexpectedly developing or dying from pneumonia (so-called excess mortality).
According to all current data, for the healthy general population of school and working age, a mild to moderate course of the Covid-19 disease can be expected. Senior citizens and persons with existing chronic diseases should be protected. The medical capacities should be optimally prepared.