Conspiracy Theorists, Why is Westminster Lifting All COVID Restrictions?


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  • #79328 Reply
    Clark

    Bad news.

    We have a new variant in the UK, a variation of Delta with two new mutations. It’s called AY.4.2 so far. It’s out-competing Delta, spreading rapidly; maybe around 25% more infective.

    #79329 Reply
    glenn_nl

    I wonder if conspiracy peddlers like ‘J’ actually bother to examine the references they provide?

    It really is laziness compounded. Just send on an article which they haven’t bothered to read properly, containing references they never looked at, and claim this proves their case, and also shows up members of the reality-based community to be stooges, stupid, sheeple and so on.

    In her testimony to US Congress last week, Haugen spoke of Facebook’s approach was to increase conflict and division wherever possible, because this gets more attention, and attention means more revenue.

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/oct/05/facebook-frances-haugen-whistleblower-regulation

    They could ensure that people pass on information from more reliable sources, and check that people actually bother looking at an article before forwarding it, but creating this ‘friction’ would slow down the sensational aspect of whatever ‘news’ users are so keen to pass around.

    Remember a few years back, we were looking at the Wakefield scandal, concerning MMR and autism? One of our correspondents produced a paper which provided absolute proof, so it was claimed. We took the trouble to actually look at it, and follow the links provided. The links either had nothing whatsoever to do with the subject they purportedly proved, or had a tangential bearing – it did reference vaccines – but still proved absolutely nothing concerning a MMR/autism link. They didn’t even talk about it.

    The behaviour of conspiracy peddlers like ‘J’ is truly reprehensible. Not only are they too lazy to study the behaviour they are promoting, they are also dishonest enough to ignore solid refutations when they are made.

    This isn’t some abstract exercise, like questioning the validity of the moon landings, or indulging in speculation on the WTC demolition – Covid denialism is costing lives, by the thousand, every day. It is blighting the health of millions, and promoting a disease which could eventually kill vastly more – by mutating into a very much more deadly form in the unvaccinated.

    One should have to be so sure of their case, that only mental health problems or a very significant expertise would provide that certainty. I am sure – particularly in the case of denialists we see here – we can rule out any expertise whatsoever.

    #79336 Reply
    Dawg

    “I wonder if conspiracy peddlers like ‘J’ actually bother to examine the references they provide?”

    Apparently not. Here’s a case in point. In Point 1, J said:

    “Several studies proving the efficacy of a number of treatments, as attested to by the WHO’s own work in India using Doxycycline and Ivermectin: https://www.who.int/india/news/feature-stories/detail/uttar-pradesh-going-the-last-mile-to-stop-covid-19

    As there’s no mention of Doxycycline or Ivermectin in the linked report (from 7 March), it can hardly attest to their efficacy. It only states that Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) will be deployed widely and the results will be monitored centrally. There’s no mention of any findings because the monitoring project was only starting at the time.

    How can advance notice of a forthcoming study be used to imply efficacy? The implication must be that because the state of Uttar Pradesh started conducting a study of these purportedly therapeutic drugs, that they must therefore be effective. That argument is a bit presumptive. J continues:

    “Within five weeks of this WHO trial, cases dropped to just 22 in Uttar-Pradesh and nearly zero deaths despite 5% vaccination, compared to thirty thousand cases and two hundred deaths a day at the same time in Kerala, with 20% vaccinated.”

    Really? Who says?? (Maybe ‘WHO’ says?) That’s the essential part of J’s argument which requires a reliable source. But none is provided.

    The sources I’ve consulted say different. It turns out that the study found the drugs were *not* effective so they were dropped from the Indian government’s recommended treatment protocol.

    Here’s an update to the story published a month after the report linked above: https://www.asiafinancial.com/ivermectin-loses-favour-in-indias-covid-treatment-protocol

    June 8, 2021
    (AF) India’s Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) on Monday announced revised guidelines for treating Covid, dropping all medicines including the widely-used and controversial Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine and Favipiravir as approved drugs, except antipyretic and antitussive drugs for asymptomatic and mild cases.

    As Indian states like Goa, Karnataka, and Uttarkhand allowed the use of Ivermectin to all its adult residents as a Covid prophylactic, New Delhi in April 2021 too joined the bandwagon to “recognise” the low evidence of Ivermectin therapy and said that it “may be” used for those with mild cases and in home isolation.

    In May, the ICMR also updated its guidelines and started suggesting Ivermectin or Hydroxychloroquine as optional treatments for mild cases.

    However, alarmed by its overuse, in mid-May World Health Organization jumped in and warned that the general use of Ivermectin is for treatment of parasitic infections – not for Covid.

    “Safety and efficacy are important when using any drug for a new indication. WHO recommends against use of Ivermectin for Covid except within clinical trials,”’ Soumya Swaminathan, WHO’s chief scientist, tweeted.

    ‘J’ didn’t mention that (rather crucial) part of the story: “the WHO’s own work in India” which he cited as an endorsement of those “bandwagon” drugs in fact proved they were so ineffective that the WHO advised health boards to stop using them.

    “All the necessary data is in”, indeed.

    #79349 Reply
    Clark

    What? You mean, health authorities and governments all over the world aren’t distorting scientific data to lure us to our deaths with vaccines? But they’re always doing that! They’ve killed me three times already!
    – – – – – – –

    Look J, you don’t get it. Power systems effectively farm populations, or rather, it’s a lot like farming except that the producers are also the consumers.

    Capitalism diverts a proportion of every transaction towards capital, hence the name, and those who hold significant capital are called “the rich”. The more producers and consumers, the more transactions to divert a proportion from, so the “depopulation” conspiracy theory is bunk. Vaccines are about “reopening society” ie. getting the plebs back to work where they’ll make more plastic toot, and back into the shops, pubs and other venues where they’ll buy it and then throw it “away” (wherever that is), so that yet more said toot can be churned out.

    It’s not a conspiracy, it’s an exploitation cycle, but covid keeps stopping it because people would rather avoid losing their sense of smell, gasping for breath, and possibly dying. The rewards of the exploitation cycle just don’t seem worth that sort of commitment, especially among the middle classes who have more of a choice, so bits of the system keep grinding to a halt, hence all the shortages.

    I know it’s evil, but there’s no need to complicate it by pretending that lying Republican homophobes are your only allies.

    #79358 Reply
    michael norton

    Russia admits it is not doing too well against covid, lack of people getting jabbed, partly to blame.

    “The situation with Covid-19 in Moscow has worsened significantly and the occupancy of the city’s primary coronavirus hospital in Kommunarka is quickly increasing due to the low number of citizens vaccinated against the virus.”

    https://www.rt.com/russia/537260-situation-covid-in-moscow-worsened/
    Today Russia had just shy of a thousand covid deaths.

    #79367 Reply
    J

    It’s amazing but true that when one is determined not to understand something, it is therefore impossible to understand it.

    One example of where Ivermectin was used in India: https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/uttar-pradesh-government-says-ivermectin-helped-to-keep-deaths-low-7311786/

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/09/huge-uttar-pradesh-india-announces-state-covid-19-free-proving-effectiveness-deworming-drug-ivermectin/

    Overall, the state has a total of 199 active cases, while the positivity rate came down to less than 0.01 per cent. The recovery rate, meanwhile, has improved to 98.7 per cent. As per the state’s health bulletin, Uttar Pradesh reported only 11 new Covid-19 cases and zero deaths in the last 24 hours.

    One example of where Ivermectin was not used in India: https://www.thedesertreview.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/tamil-nadu-leads-india-in-new-infections-denies-citizens-ivermectin/article_32634012-ba66-11eb-9211-ab378d521f9a.html

    Sixty four studies showing the efficacy of Ivermectin: https://ivmmeta.com/

    Brian Tyson, M.D. and George Fareed, M.D. on their studies into Ivermectin: https://www.thedesertreview.com/opinion/columnists/doctors-story-of-light-and-life-the-covid-19-darkness-overcome-part-i/article_5ae16f0c-f614-11eb-8351-cf0d67e94c25.html

    We made the news in late September and October when we started publishing our data, and people realized that we had seen more COVID-19 patients face-to-face than probably anyone in the nation, and maybe even worldwide. We did that and have not recorded a single death for anyone that was placed on (our) treatment.

    Are we learning yet?

    #79378 Reply
    Clark

    I’ll take the most sciency-looking one first:

    Misleading clinical evidence and systematic reviews on ivermectin for COVID-19 – BMJ

    Different websites (such as ivmmeta.com,  c19ivermectin.com, tratamientotemprano.org/estudios-ivermectina/, among others) have conducted meta-analyses with ivermectin studies, showing unpublished colourful forest plots which rapidly gained public acknowledgement and were disseminated via social media, without following any methodological or report guidelines. These websites do not include protocol registration with methods, search strategies, inclusion criteria, quality assessment of the included studies nor the certainty of the evidence of the pooled estimates. Prospective registration of systematic reviews with or without meta-analysis protocols is a key feature for providing transparency in the review process and ensuring protection against reporting biases, by revealing differences between the methods or outcomes reported in the published review and those planned in the registered protocol. These websites show pooled estimates suggesting significant benefits with ivermectin, which has resulted in confusion for clinicians, patients and even decision-makers. This is usually a problem when performing meta-analyses which are not based in rigorous systematic reviews, often leading to spread spurious or fallacious findings.

    – Concluding, research related to ivermectin in COVID-19 has serious methodological limitations resulting in very low certainty of the evidence, and continues to grow.37–39 The use of ivermectin, among others repurposed drugs for prophylaxis or treatment for COVID-19, should be done based on trustable evidence, without conflicts of interest, with proven safety and efficacy in patient-consented, ethically approved, randomised clinical trials.

    We also have this:

    “The recovery rate, meanwhile, has improved to 98.7 per cent.”

    Well, those who didn’t recover presumably died, so 100% – 98.7% = 1.3% death rate – that is absolutely nothing to be proud of; it’s around two and a half times worse than commonly expected figures!

    And then this. From the opinion of Vikssendu Agrawal, Uttar Pradesh State Surveillance Officer as reported in the Indian Express in March 2020 (aeons ago in terms of the pandemic, before Delta had evolved and when India suffered a rather small wave):

    He said that apart from aggressive contact tracing and surveillance, the lower positivity and fatality rates may be attributed to the large-scale use of Ivermectin use in the state…

    Yes, we already knew that contact tracing with testing and quarantine was highly successful. And isn’t that craze for ivermectin the one that was later found to be ineffective, as Dawg reported earlier? And why are you resorting to such old news? Knowledge improves; that’s the whole point of science.
    – – – – – – – –

    J, I have no particular stance on ivermectin, except that the most trusted authorities worldwide say that so far it doesn’t seem to help but they’re continuing to look into it. But you have only reported one side of a story, apparently without checking. Again. Why? And what about all the other points you were wrong about? Are you starting to learn yet?

    #79382 Reply
    Clark

    Sorry, the Indian Express article concerns events from May to August 2020; I don’t know where I got March from, but that was still pre-Delta and the big waves. The article itself is from May this year. On the other hand, it’s interesting that the article actually has a photo’ of the tablets’ bubble-pack complete with brand logos; companies often pay for such “advertising equivalent” content, in fact the companies often compile such articles themselves and submit them to overworked journalists with deadlines to meet.

    Furthermore, J’s argument seems to be to use ivermectin (and doxycycline?!) instead of vaccination, yet the ivmmeta.com meta analysis (flagged as dodgy in the BMJ) says, fourth bullet point, in bold:

    While many treatments have some level of efficacy, they do not replace vaccines and other measures to avoid infection. Only 25% of ivermectin studies show zero events in the treatment arm.

    …’events’ being hospitalisation, ventilation, ICU and death, so ivermectin can’t be a miracle cure.

    Still, we already know not to expect J to actually read articles before linking to them.

    #79388 Reply
    Clark

    J, 17:48

    “Brian Tyson, M.D. and George Fareed, M.D. on their studies into Ivermectin

    Er, no. Hydroxychloroquine. Tyson and Fareed don’t mention ivermectin.

    (frustration) J, read your own damn links!!!

    #79390 Reply
    Clark

    Glenn_nl, 13:49, sorry, I meant to reply much earlier but I’ve been too busy mopping up all the foam from J’s mouth. I’ll start with my criticism because it’s the part that could have serious consequences. You wrote:

    “…promoting a disease which could eventually kill vastly more – by mutating into a very much more deadly form in the unvaccinated.”

    The current covid vaccines are ‘leaky’ ie. they reduce but don’t completely stop transmission. Leaky vaccines have been shown to apply selection pressure among the vaccinated, thus promoting vaccine-resistant variants. I posted a comment about this last week.

    I commend the rest of your comment:

    “Haugen spoke of Facebook’s approach to increase conflict and division wherever possible…”

    Yes, social media typically do this, and it shows in the sort of discussion they provoke, doesn’t it? Strident, inaccurate, ill-considered and aggressive.

    “They could ensure that people pass on information from more reliable sources, and check that people actually bother looking at an article before forwarding it…”

    Well they could, but they’d need to drastically improve their moderator to contributor ratio and that would cost them extra wages, so they won’t.

    #79391 Reply
    J

    Er, no. Hydroxychloroquine. Tyson and Fareed don’t mention ivermectin.

    (frustration) J, read your own damn links!!!

    Clark, do you your own damn research, they’ve definitely trialed Ivermectin, but because I didn’t link to where it is discussed that means they didn’t use it? Are you really as stupid as you are trying to appear?

    #79394 Reply
    J

    General point: With the best will in the world, in my circle of friends, family and acquaintances I do not know of a single Covid death but I know of three vaccine injuries, two nearly fatal, one permanent as far as the doctors can tell. Speaking from my own personal experience, what would you have me make of that? Should I deny my personal experience and accept your fear and terror of covid?

    #79397 Reply
    Clark

    Well I never. While poking about to find facts with which to answer J’s evangelical ranting, I have found that doxycycline actually was being trialled, in combination with hydroxychloroquine and zinc. The following however needs updating:

    Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine during the COVID-19 pandemic – Wikipedia

    I guess even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    #79400 Reply
    Clark

    J, regarding your personal experiences, try asking around. Two of the Quaker meeting I attend have died of covid, and one attendee’s mother. One attendee has lost six friends, five of them elderly but one healthy and in his prime.

    A friend of mine was working through the January wave in a care home near Colchester; among other kitchen duties she prepared the meal lists. The staff were complaining of covid symptoms but, against government guidance, management wouldn’t give them time off unless their lateral flow test came back positive because they couldn’t get replacement workers. Staff were calling the place “a covid cess-pit”. First my friend saw the residents confined to their rooms. Then she saw the meal list getting shorter and shorter as the residents died. She got symptoms, her lateral flow test came back positive two days later and she was given time off. She had classic symptoms; loss of smell, fever, shortness of breath, weakness. When she got back to work the residents had fallen from sixty to forty and the chef had died.

    So that’s 29 deaths I have heard of through friends, yet only two people that I actually knew personally, and both were very elderly. I have heard of one vaccine injury through someone I’ve actually met.

    I was personally frightened of covid at first but over time the fear faded; I got used to living amid a pandemic. I’m still very careful to avoid covid, despite being vaccinated. It’s a very nasty, very weird virus – that’s because it infiltrates cells via the ACE2 receptor, which means that multiple tissue types are vulnerable to it, including nerve cells and therefore the brain:

    Here’s Why COVID-19 Is Much Worse Than Flu – Infection Control Today

    Personally I strongly suspect it escaped from Wuhan Institute of Virology; a US-funded gain-of-function research programme to see if SARS-like bat viruses could be made more infectious to humans. It seems to have worked too well. The real problem isn’t so much the death rate, though that is quite bad; about 0.5% so long as the hospitals don’t overload, but maybe several times that if they did. But it is true that most of those people would be very elderly.

    The first major problem is the incredible rate at which it spreads, overwhelming the hospitals. What would we do with all the gasping people if it was allowed to spread without restriction? Post security at hospitals to keep out anyone having difficulty breathing? The army would be needed because there would be literally hundreds of thousands, probably millions of them. And many would die very horribly, without even drugs to relieve their distress.

    The other major problem is long covid. Many times more people survive but suffer long term effects than the number who die, and a much greater proportion of these people are younger and fit. Covid frequently does long term damage, and we don’t even know how long yet, because only eighteen months have passed for us to find out. We are yet to see what damage the long-term attrition will do to society. I had days of fatigue just from my vaccinations, yet the vaccines can’t multiply in our cells like the virus does.

    Our society is very individualistic, and immersed in such attitudes, even against our best intentions, we come to think individualistically. This is why the real problems of covid have been overlooked; because covid is primarily a social problem. Individually, if we’re under seventy we’re not too likely to die of it. But without either social restrictions or vaccination or both, we’d be overwhelmed with people gasping for breath and dying, the hospitals would be stuffed, 80% of sufferers wouldn’t even get into hospital, and all our healthcare workers would be burned out or dying from repeated, high-concentration exposure.

    Covid is a threat to individuals, but to society it’s a disaster.

    #79402 Reply
    Clark

    J – “…in my circle of friends, family and acquaintances I do not know of a single Covid death”

    That may be to do with where you live. Covid is a “highly clustered” disease. Japan realised this early on and exploited it to their advantage, keeping transmission admirably low for a long time, though a subsequent wave overwhelmed them. But not everywhere has been badly hit. It clusters at all scales, so on the distribution map, as you zoom in on a hot-spot, you see almost unaffected areas amid even hotter spots. Mostly it spreads through “super-spreader” events, which probably cluster in poorly ventilated spaces.

    I’ll bet that Chelmsford post office (in W H Smiths) was a super-spreader location last Christmas – unventilated back of shop, stuffy, huge queue, only the manager doing his best to serve everyone. I saw the situation and left immediately.

    #79407 Reply
    J

    “J, regarding your personal experiences, try asking around. Two of the Quaker meeting I attend have died of covid”

    Are you as mad as you appear?

    #79408 Reply
    Clark

    And I’d definitely, definitely rather take a man-made vaccine than catch a man-made virus.

    #79412 Reply
    Clark

    “Are you as mad as you appear?”

    Probably. Why? You know someone sane in this world that’s careening towards collapse? 😀

    Quakers are activists for peace and justice. You may have seen Neil on the threads on this site; he helped Craig with the Philip Cross problem:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:NSH001

    Most of my Quaker Meeting are atheists, as I am myself. That’s because it’s Chelmsford, birthplace of radio, and the town that Peter Wright’s Spycatcher starts in. Lots of retired engineers and their families here.

    #79430 Reply
    Dawg

    J, I notice that web searches turn up multiple instances of the argument you’re making along with the same references, most commonly on sites with an extreme rightwing bias (examples below). It’s obvious where you’re sourcing them from, and I would caution that those sites are not renowned for rigorous self-criticism.

    There are of course two sides to this controversy, and Clark is correct that you’re conveniently overlooking counterarguments that could undermine your position – which is a reasonable strategy in a debate, after all: you’re staking a claim and trying to defend it. With the adversarial way you’ve kicked off the discussion, you leave it up to others to attempt to undermine your firm position. Fine. Challenge accepted.

    To cut to the chase, this spat is essentially going to boil down to “My sources are more reliable than your sources” like some kind of playground taunting game. I’ll set out my argument that your sources are very dubious and lack credibility, whereas the sources I’ll cite which comment on the same phenomena have a superior reputation for objective reporting. Your next logical move would be to try to undermine their good reputation with allusions to high-level conspiracies between official agencies. Just so we know we’re going. So, on with the game …

    Your first reference (from the Indian Express) suffers from the same flaw as the report you mentioned previously in Point 1: it was published on May 12, well before the Indian observational study concluded. In effect, it simply reiterates some people’s attribution of the relatively low incidence of Covid last year to Ivermectin, together with their confidence that the observational study will show that it was effective. So what? Well, for one thing that expression of faith alludes to their motives in conducting the study – which could be quite relevant to consideration of confirmation bias in their subsequent conclusions.

    Your next reference is to an article on the Gateway Pundit (which is hardly noted as a reliable source of truth – indeed it’s one of those “extreme right” loon sites mentioned earlier: https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-gateway-pundit/ https://www.allsides.com/news-source/gateway-pundit ). It summarises the argument for Ivermectin thus: the state of Uttar Pradesh is now Covid-free, and the government of UP issued a recommendation for the use of Ivermectin in August 2020, so there must be a link between them (mustn’t there, ey?). Post hoc ergo propter hoc. The first major flaw is that the observation they regard as ‘post hoc’ is very dubious indeed (as explained in the quote directly below). The second major flaw is that there was a myriad of different factors at play, and there is no reliable statistical method to trace the likely cause to an antecedent drug.

    The counterarguments are set out in a review of the evidence for the efficacy of Ivermectin produced by the Alberta Health Services Covid-19 Scientific Advisory Group (SAG):

    2. Commentary on Ivermectin Use in Uttar Pradesh, India

    Multiple social media sources have also reported that ivermectin might have been responsible for reducing COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh, India, with claims that the low rate of new cases in spite of low vaccination rates in this region is related to distribution of ivermectin-containing medication kits. There are several potential issues with these lines of reasoning, including:

    • Both observational trial data and “real world” data sources need careful evaluation using these key principles of review: expert peer review of evidence, assessment of errors in reporting, assessment of due scientific diligence, and careful consideration of confounders. These principles have not been applied to this data.
    • This observational data is much lower quality evidence compared with randomized trials (which also can vary in quality and require assessment). There is variability in assessment of infection rates and outcome reporting at a population level, as well as confounding.
    • Multiple sources suggest the infection rate and death toll of COVID-19 in India in general, and Uttar Pradesh in particular, has been underestimated and current transmission is likely lower because of post infection immunity in survivors given prior waves of the pandemic:
      • India’s death toll (and associated case counts) is estimated to be at least 7-13X higher than reported, suggesting actual population infection rates have been 6070%, confirmed by seroprevalence data. Multiple resources indicate that cremations outstripped official death estimates considerably in this area.
      • A preprint analysis of excess mortality for India related to COVID-19 (which found up to 2% of the population died up to June, 2021) had to omit data from Uttar Pradesh because of significant reporting irregularities (including districts that reported NO deaths for months)
      • Public health seroprevalence data reported by the Center for Global Development suggested extreme underreporting of cases and deaths in Uttar Pradesh, and Indian Council of Medical Research data (reported by press release) showed 71% seroprevalence in Uttar Pradesh in spite of only 29% initial dose vaccinated in July.

    It is also noted that many districts in India used ivermectin over a period in which the evidence was less clear, based on national guidelines, so regions cannot be compared based on use or non-use. Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine have recently been removed from the national COVID-19 guidelines in India for lack of efficacy.

    In summary, this would suggest Uttar Pradesh had a devastating prior COVID-19 surge with high case rates and significant uncounted mortality, with current evidence of partial population immunity in people who survived COVID-19 infection and increasing numbers of vaccinated people.

    You may or may not find those counterpoints and alternative explanations persuasive. Anyway, the excerpt does at least demonstrate that the observational reports from UP are considered too unreliable to be taken seriously by this medical review panel. And of course the WHO itself, not to mention India’s own government, holds the same position.

    Your next reference is just a letter to the editor of the Desert Review, which is described by Media Bias Fact Check as (would you believe it?) a rightwing conspiracy theory site “based on the frequent promotion of pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, and misinformation regarding covid-19”. It doesn’t say much for the credibility of your sources, does it? The letter itself contains a number of false assertions, such as that the ICMR added Ivermectin to their treatment protocol (which the ICMR has strongly refuted: https://news.abplive.com/health/fact-check-icmr-did-not-prescribe-any-drug-to-prevent-covid-19-1337718 ). Anyway, it’s only a letter to the editor, so neither the publication nor the author face any real-world consequences for spreading such misinformation.

    There are further good reasons to be suspicious of the integrity of the purported UP study conclusions. If Ivermectin was found to be effective there, then studies conducted elsewhere should demonstrate the same result … which brings us neatly onto the meta-analysis question.

    You provide a link to a meta-analysis study hosted on a truther site called “ivmmeta” which was set up precisely for the purpose of disseminating that material. It wasn’t peer reviewed or published by an independent editorial board. So, in poker-playing terms, I ‘see’ your questionable meta-analysis, and raise you a proper one (link: https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD015017.pub2/full ) by the Cochrane Collaboration (which as I’m sure you know is the leading authority of scientific meta-analyses and systematic reviews). It raises some complex issues, so here’s a helpful summary (from the AHS review cited earlier):

    1. Guidelines and Evidence Review Update: Fraudulent Data Withdrawn

    A recent Cochrane systematic review by Popp et al. (July 2021) is in alignment with AHS and other jurisdictions (including the US National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization and the US Food & Drug Administration). It concludes that the reliable evidence available to date does not support the use of ivermectin for treatment or prevention of COVID19 (outside of well-designed randomized trials). The authors found that the available studies varied widely in the dosages used, the other medications included as comparators, and the outcomes examined, and that many of the studies were at high risk of bias (meaning any differences noted across groups were likely due to other factors).

    This Cochrane review excluded a study (Elgazzar et al.) that contributes to the positive findings noted in some other meta-analyses. It should be noted that the Elgazzar et al. RCT, which reported results that were very favorable to ivermectin, has been withdrawn from the preprint server for possible data fraud, so any reviews or meta-analyses that include it are not valid. For details on the issues identified in the Elgazzar et al. study, please see the article published in Nature (some of the issues include duplicated patient records, patients whose records indicate they died before the study started, and phrases that were identical to other published work).

    The SAG is aware that there has been considerable social media attention related to ivermectin as an effective therapy for COVID-19, in part due to the study by Elgazzar and meta-analyses using that study as well as other lesser quality observational trials with significant data issues including impossible numbers, unexplainable mismatches between trial registry updates and published patient demographics, and nonfeasible timelines. Given the ongoing investigation of these studies, more may be withdrawn over the coming months.

    Concerns regarding the lack of assessment of quality of these studies have been published, stating that

    “relying on low-quality or questionable studies in the current global climate presents severe and immediate harms. The enormous impact of COVID-19 and the consequent urgent need to demonstrate the clinical efficacy of new therapeutic options provides fertile ground for even poorly evidenced claims of efficacy to be amplified, both in the scientific literature and on social media. This context can lead to the rapid translation of almost any apparently favorable conclusion from a relatively weak trial or set of trials into widespread clinical practice and public policy.”

    Is that enough refutation for you, or do you want more? Maybe we could go on to examine the credibility of the Tyson & Fareed OP (nb: it’s definitely not an objective “study”) – which once again is published (in line with their self-described “battle for truth”) on the rightwing CT site Desert Review. But for the moment I’ll leave it to others to peruse that laughable propaganda piece and form their own impression.

    Credible sources? Pah! Go and find something that’ll stand up to some scrutiny.

    #79517 Reply
    glenn_nl

    This should give everyone a laugh, and is a good lesson for the denialists out there:

    An Anti-vaxxer parade is marching through some downtown street in California with a crowd of bobble-heads, demanding to know why the homeless aren’t all dead. After all, if there _really is_ a virus, they should be, right?

    One of the homeless she’s referring to (as if they were incapable of speaking for themselves) answers the question:

    “Because I’m vaccinated, you dumb fuck!”

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by degmod.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by degmod.
    #79593 Reply
    michael norton

    There seems to be a crisis of confidence in some PCR testing labs.
    This is shocking. Either complacency or corruption.
    We currently have extraordinarily high levels of covid in the U.K.
    Much of Eastern Europe is rocketing up, especially Russia, Ukraine, Romania and Poland.
    It is not done yet. Yet U.K. is removing all the brakes.

    #79615 Reply
    michael norton

    The U.K. is returning very, very high number of covid positive cases. If you compare recent figures, the percentage death, with say Spain, it is illustrative.

    15/10/2021
    U.K. cases = 44,932 – deaths = 145 – percentage died = 0.32
    Spain cases = 2,248 – deaths = 57 – percentage died = 2.53
    Poland cases = 2,771 – deaths = 49 – percentage died = 1.76
    Germany cases = 4,849 – deaths = 31 – percentage died = 0.64
    Italy cases = 2,732 – deaths = 42 – percentage died = 1.53
    Romania cases = 15,828 – deaths = 363 – percentage died = 2.29
    Ukraine cases = 13,624 – deaths = 202 – percentage died = 1.48
    Serbia cases = 6,424 – deaths = 50 – percentage died = 0.77

    So currently the U.K. is likely testing people who are not that ill.

    #79620 Reply
    ET

    You’ll need to see where those figures are in 10-14 days as there is a lag between case numbers increasing and hospitalisations/deaths/ICU admissions increasing. I keep referring to ourworldindata because with their graphs you can choose which countries you want included and see the timelines because they have parameters graphed over the whole course of the pandemic and you can see how the relationships between the different parameters and different countries very well.
    It isn’t as simple as the UK is just testing too much. This is countered by the number of tests per case, positivity rates etc. all of which data is available for you to peruse.

    #79623 Reply
    Pigeon English

    ET

    Are you saying that statistics is more complex than adding and dividing numbers?

    #79632 Reply
    Clark

    I’m worried about Craig; there are four confirmed cases on the same corridor as him. They’re not testing much in HMP Edinburgh – they seem to test only when an inmate becomes symptomatic:

    The persons testing positive for infection had become symptomatic. As of 17:30 today neither Craig nor reportedly anyone else on the same corridor had been tested for COVID19.

    #79638 Reply
    ET

    “Are you saying that statistics is more complex than adding and dividing numbers?”

    Festina lente Pidgeon

    #79642 Reply
    michael norton

    Well, I was not suggesting those “figures” I showed are representative of anything |¬¶|
    other than a time-slot glimpse as to what is currently being reported as to what is going on.

    Next door to me a man and a woman and their three children are recovering from covid, one of the girls brought it home from her first week at Secondary school, then all of them had it, within a few days.
    Also near me, in Wokingham, a woman friend took her elder children and herself to be Surge-Tested in a playing field, she said they proved negative.
    In Wokingham (a high income area) it is rife, mainly with Secondary school children but then passed on to friends and family.
    My neighbour, told me one of her twins tested at home for covid, so my neighbour rang the school and said the girl with covid must stay at home but the other two must come to school.
    Then they all got it and no doubt, passed on to others.

    This seems government (local or national) advice, as if they actually want children to catch it and give us some sort of herd immunity?

    #79696 Reply
    Clark

    Vaccination against covid can give children and young people myocarditis; isn’t that right, J?
    Covid can put young people in hospital, in ICU, and kill them.

    Risks versus benefits:

    https://twitter.com/chrischirp/status/1449437854325743618/photo/1

    As J said, “the data is in, and it makes a devastating case”.

    Read the whole thread:

    An excerpt:

    “Long Covid cases are already increasing in young people after summer surges. Kids will suffer too – Israel seeing high demand now for its child long covid clinics after high summer cases. […] We also still don’t yet know the long term impacts of Covid on health – but we know it can affect other organs. Covid can cause heart damage, it can cause long term breathlessness and it has been linked to increased risk of developing diabetes – inc in children.”

    #79697 Reply
    Clark

    Michael, this answers some of your questions as to why prevalence in the UK is so high compared with other European countries:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FB1rA7UXMAcdOdx?format=jpg&name=4096×4096

    #79717 Reply
    michael norton

    It would seem most people now being taken into hospital for covid have chosen not to be vaccinated?

    “Among the over-50s, who have accounted for 49 in every 50 Covid-related deaths, vaccination rates are even higher, at 96 per cent for single dose and 94 per cent for two doses.

    This has weakened the link, to paraphrase Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, between Covid infections, serious disease and death. In fact, of the 51,281 Covid-related deaths in England in the first six months of 2021, 98.8 per cent were people not double-vaccinated, according to the Office for National Statistics.

    Clark I can not make your link work?

    #79743 Reply
    SA

    This article in the Guardian is worth reading. It talks about the ‘Wellness’ movement and its background as an alternative industry in itself and its now connection with the far right but how it is also seductive to some elements of the left because of its anti-establishment foundation. It really makes me think that it is futile to discuss these matters being discussed here with those who subscribe to the various alternative explanations for this pandemic, whether it is those who believe it is a ‘plandemic’ and that the virus is not real and that the PCR is unreliable, or that vaccines control your genetics. The various degrees of delusion are just that, various degrees of delusion. Nothing will alter these people’s ‘beliefs’, for that is what it is. ‘Faith’ has to be blind and unquestioning. It is sometimes nice to try and refute the misinformation but there is no effect on the misinformed because they want to be the exception, they do not want to be the sheeple, even though these sheeple are better informed and frankly, often more able to analyse the facts in a scientific way.

    What surprises me however is why do such people still persist in writing in forums such as here where most commentators are better informed than usual? Why do they not instead write for OffGuardian to self congratulate and wallow in self delusion? OffGuardian now does not tolerate dissent, they may publish one or two adverse comments but censor any that challenge them. As a result OffGuardian has gone from being a left wing leading site for anti imperialism, to being a conspiracy website with rather mediocre self congratulating commenters.

    I now comment much less because life is too short and frankly we will not change the views of the conspiracists by cogent arguments bolstered by references from scientific sources.

    #79745 Reply
    Clark

    Michael, my mistake. My link was to photo 2 in Tweet number 21 in Christina Pagel’s thread (linked above, my – Oct 16, 23:56). This is the link for that specific Tweet:

    There are four images (the bottom right one is an image of text). Clicking on any one of them will open a sort of slide-show, with back and forth arrows on the left and right. But Twitter displays the images a bit too small for me, so: in Firefox (probably works similarly in other browsers), whichever image you are on, you can right-click on it and then click “Open image in new tab” to display that image full size – and it was that tab I used for my link, but it seems that such links don’t work unless you “come in through the front door” as it were. The specific image I linked to was the one in this display:

    https://twitter.com/chrischirp/status/1449437958252138498/photo/2

    Damn over-automated Twitter!

    #79788 Reply
    Clark

    SA, Oct 17, 19:41, post #79743

    “This article in the Guardian […] really makes me think that it is futile to discuss these matters being discussed here with those who subscribe to the various alternative explanations for this pandemic […] there is no effect on the misinformed…”

    But SA, this discussion proceeds in public, and the public cannot be neatly divided into “informed” and “misinformed”. Even if the likes of J will not reconsider, other readers will weigh the balance of the arguments presented.

    #79791 Reply
    mods-cm-org

    That’s a timely point, Clark. As it happens, after several days’ silence, ‘J’ submitted 4 replies to this thread last night. None contains any mention or allusion to the foregoing ivermectin debate.

    The first reply comprised a lengthy excerpt from an academic paper (which has been copied and reposted on numerous covid-sceptic websites) purporting to show a correlation between higher rates of vaccination and higher rates of infection. The insinuation that the study proves that the vaccines are ineffective, based on an implicit premise that they are intended to halt transmission, has already been debunked elsewhere.

    The second reply was a link to a 2013 horror film portraying a community’s false confidence in a ritual involving children’s blood. J asserted that it is somehow analogous to the covid pandemic.

    The third consisted of a taunt that the authors of the academic study mentioned in the first reply can hardly be considered right-wing.

    The fourth included a passage from a legal letter, submitted on behalf of a doctor, relating to failures in recording procedures for adverse reactions to covid vaccines.

    As these contributions aren’t relevant to the thread title (the lifting of covid restrictions by Westminster) and don’t follow on from any earlier post in this thread, J should create a new topic with an appropriate title for each separate issue, to avoid multiple overlapping discussions on a single thread.

    #79794 Reply
    SA

    It is very noticeable that the whole discussion has now shifted away from Covid. It is now acceptable to have more than 40,000 positives per day, it is acceptable to have 150 deaths a day and rising, it is acceptable to have 11 hour queues for ambulances in A&E. Covid has now been ‘normalized’ and is just part of the background. Even the tiny token of self restraint that is symbolized by wearing a mask has now been banished as a sign of repression as ‘freedom day’ was declared.

    Together with everything else disastrous that is going on, from the aftermath of Brexit to fuel price hikes and shortages, and with a total lack of meaningful opposition, this country is hurtling towards disaster.

    #79800 Reply
    SA

    mods
    It would be difficult to maintain many different threads about covid in my view. Would it not be better to leave this as a general covid thread? In fact what has happened, from your description is typical of those covid deniers, to evade questions, to change topics and to indulge in whataboutery.

    #79810 Reply
    J

    Will the Mods kindly, publicly acknowledge the censorship of five consecutive posts? Does the current moderator wish to have this discussion here or elsewhere? Is this not deeply ironic, considering what is being done to Craig Murray even as you censor in his name?


    [ Mod: It’s not clear what definition of “censor” you’re working with. As mentioned previously, 4 consecutive posts from you weren’t approved because they were starting new conversations unconnected to the foregoing debates. You were advised to post them as new forum topics, which you haven’t so far attempted. There’s no record of a fifth post from you being suspended over the last few days; but maybe you have a personal definition of “consecutive” too. ]

    #79815 Reply
    Clark

    Mods, thanks for the behind-the-scene information. I was wondering whether J had disengaged, or had become too inflammatory to get past moderation. Please publish this comment despite it being addressed to the moderators.

    #79816 Reply
    michael norton

    “Last month Mr. Boris Johnson unveiled his “plan B” for tackling the covid pandemic if a rise in cases and hospitalisations risked overwhelming the NHS.”

    Time to get on it Boris, we are the stand out bad boys of Europe, with Russia.
    11 hour waits for ambulance.

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1507626/UK-Covid-latest-cases-lockdown-Boris-Johnson-coronavirus-deaths-vaccine

    #79817 Reply
    michael norton

    “Yesterday the U.K. recorded 45,140 new coronavirus cases, with the seven-day average up 15.1 percent.”

    Wokingham, near me, it is now, completely out of control, 249 new positive cases, yesterday.

    Weekly/100,00 rate = 574.9

    I think that’s almost the worse in the country.

    Thought to be mostly care homes and school children.

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