- The Facts:
Four professors from Stanford School of Medicine have published a paper showing that lockdowns, stay at home orders and business closures are not an effective tool for stopping the spread of COVID. There are many studies claiming the same.
- Reflect On:
Why is information, science and evidence that opposes recommendations that governments are making sometimes ridiculed, censored, and largely unacknowledged? Why is scientific debate being discouraged?
Before you begin...
Over the last few months, I have seen academic articles and op-eds by professors retracted or labeled “fake news” by social media platforms. Often, no explanation is provided. I am concerned about this heavy-handedness and, at times, outright censorship. – source)(
What Happened: A study published by four medical professors from Stanford University has failed to find evidence supporting the use of what they call “Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions” (NPIs) like lockdowns, social-distancing, business closures and stay at home orders. According to the study, these measures have not been sufficient and are not sufficient to stop the spread of COVID and therefore are not necessary to combat the spread of the virus. Although they do mention that “the data cannot fully exclude the possibility of some benefits” they mention that “even if they exist, these benefits may not match the numerous harms of these aggressive measures.”
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The authors used England, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, South Korea, Sweden and the United States for the study. They found “No clear, significant, beneficial” effects of the methods being implemented (lockdowns, business closures, stay at home orders etc) to combat COVID case growth in any country.
You can access the full study here for a deeper discussion/analysis.
This Isn’t The Only Study: The recently published study by the Stanford professors is not the first. There are many examples.
“A country level analysis measuring the impact of government actions, country preparedness and socioeconomic factors on COVID-19 mortality and related health outcomes” by Rabail Chaudhry, George Dranitsaris, Talha Mubashir, Justyna Bartoszko, Sheila Riazi. EClinicalMedicine 25 (2020) 100464. “[F]ull lockdowns and wide-spread COVID-19 testing were not associated with reductions in the number of critical cases or overall mortality.”
“Was Germany’s Corona Lockdown Necessary?” by Christof Kuhbandner, Stefan Homburg, Harald Walach, Stefan Hockertz. Advance: Sage Preprint, June 23, 2020. “Official data from Germany’s RKI agency suggest strongly that the spread of the coronavirus in Germany receded autonomously, before any interventions became effective. Several reasons for such an autonomous decline have been suggested. One is that differences in host susceptibility and behavior can result in herd immunity at a relatively low prevalence level. Accounting for individual variation in susceptibility or exposure to the coronavirus yields a maximum of 17% to 20% of the population that needs to be infected to reach herd immunity, an estimate that is empirically supported by the cohort of the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Another reason is that seasonality may also play an important role in dissipation.”
“Comment on Flaxman et al. (2020): The illusory effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 in Europe” by Stefan Homburg and Christof Kuhbandner. June 17, 2020. Advance, Sage Pre-Print. “In a recent article, Flaxman et al. allege that non-pharmaceutical interventions imposed by 11 European countries saved millions of lives. We show that their methods involve circular reasoning. The purported effects are pure artefacts, which contradict the data. Moreover, we demonstrate that the United Kingdom’s lockdown was both superfluous and ineffective.”
Did COVID-19 infections decline before UK lockdown? by Simon N. Wood. Cornell University pre-print, August 8, 2020. “A Bayesian inverse problem approach applied to UK data on COVID-19 deaths and the disease duration distribution suggests that infections were in decline before full UK lockdown (24 March 2020), and that infections in Sweden started to decline only a day or two later. An analysis of UK data using the model of Flaxman et al. (2020, Nature 584) gives the same result under relaxation of its prior assumptions on R.”
Professor Ben Israel’s Analysis of virus transmission. April 16, 2020. “Some may claim that the decline in the number of additional patients every day is a result of the tight lockdown imposed by the government and health authorities. Examining the data of different countries around the world casts a heavy question mark on the above statement. It turns out that a similar pattern – rapid increase in infections that reaches a peak in the sixth week and declines from the eighth week – is common to all countries in which the disease was discovered, regardless of their response policies: some imposed a severe and immediate lockdown that included not only ‘social distancing’ and banning crowding, but also shutout of economy (like Israel); some ‘ignored’ the infection and continued almost a normal life (such as Taiwan, Korea or Sweden), and some initially adopted a lenient policy but soon reversed to a complete lockdown (such as Italy or the State of New York). Nonetheless, the data shows similar time constants amongst all these countries in regard to the initial rapid growth and the decline of the disease.”
“Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions against COVID-19 in Europe: a quasi-experimental study” by Paul Raymond Hunter, Felipe Colon-Gonzalez, Julii Suzanne Brainard, Steve Rushton. MedRxiv Pre-print May 1, 2020. “The current epidemic of COVID-19 is unparalleled in recent history as are the social distancing interventions that have led to a significant halt on the economic and social life of so many countries. However, there is very little empirical evidence about which social distancing measures have the most impact… From both sets of modelling, we found that closure of education facilities, prohibiting mass gatherings and closure of some non-essential businesses were associated with reduced incidence whereas stay at home orders and closure of all non-businesses was not associated with any independent additional impact.”
“Full lockdown policies in Western Europe countries have no evident impacts on the COVID-19 epidemic” by Thomas Meunier. MedRxiv Pre-print May 1, 2020. “This phenomenological study assesses the impacts of full lockdown strategies applied in Italy, France, Spain and United Kingdom, on the slowdown of the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak. Comparing the trajectory of the epidemic before and after the lockdown, we find no evidence of any discontinuity in the growth rate, doubling time, and reproduction number trends. Extrapolating pre-lockdown growth rate trends, we provide estimates of the death toll in the absence of any lockdown policies, and show that these strategies might not have saved any life in western Europe. We also show that neighboring countries applying less restrictive social distancing measures (as opposed to police-enforced home containment) experience a very similar time evolution of the epidemic.”
“Lockdowns and Closures vs COVID – 19: COVID Wins” by Surjit S Bhalla, executive director for India of the International Monetary Fund. “For the first time in human history, lockdowns were used as a strategy to counter the virus. While conventional wisdom, to date, has been that lockdowns were successful (ranging from mild to spectacular) we find not one piece of evidence supporting this claim.”
There are dozens upon dozens of examples of published research showing and claiming that lockdown and other non-pharmacological methods for combating COVID have no benefit whatsoever on reducing the spread of the virus, so why are we being forced into these measures?
Below is a video of Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician and epidemiologist (also one of the authors of the study mentioned at the beginning of this article) where the initiators of the declaration. Together, they created The Great Barrington Declaration. The declaration has an impressive list co-signers, and has also now been signed by more than 50,000 doctors and scientists and more than 700,000 concerned citizens, which is pretty impressive given the fact that it’s received no attention from mainstream media. Follow their twitter account here.
The declaration explains why these health professionals and scientists strongly oppose lockdown measures, and also brings up the topic of herd immunity. In the video below they explain their belief of why there should be a different response to the pandemic.
The Consequences of Lockdown: The consequences of lockdown are many. And we are doing so for a virus with a 99.95 percent survival rate for people under the age of 70, and a 95 percent survival rate for people over the age of 70.
In Ontario, Canada, a member of Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s caucus is speaking out against his own government’s policies and calling for an end to the province-wide pandemic lockdown.“The lockdown isn’t working,” writes York Centre Progressive Conservative MPP Roman Baber in a letter to Ford. “It’s causing an avalanche of suicides, overdoses, bankruptcies, divorces and takes an immense toll on our children. Dozens of leading doctors implored you to end the lockdowns.” (source)
A letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Open Schools, Covid-19, and Child and Teacher Morbidity in Sweden” has found that “Despite Sweden’s having kept schools and preschools open, we found a low incidence of severe Covid-19 among schoolchildren and children of preschool age during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic…No child with Covid-19 died…Among the 1,951,905 million children who were 1 to 16 years of age, 15 children had Covid-19, MIS-C, or both conditions and were admitted to an ICU, which is equal to 1 child in 130,000.”
Many experts who are opposing lockdowns are not advocating for no measures to be taken, instead many of them believe we don’t have to shut down businesses and keep people inside to protect the vulnerable. They advocate for a more focused type of protection, especially in light of all the harms that lockdown measures seem to be creating.
These harms were pondered early on in the pandemic, a report published in the British Medical Journal titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″ has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom as a result of the new coronavirus may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May .
A response by Professor David Paton, Professor of Economics at the University of Nottingham and Professor Ellen Townsend, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Nottingham School of Medicine, to an article published in the the BMJ in November titled “Screening the healthy population for covid-19 is of unknown value, but is being introduced worldwide” states,
Taken together, the data are clear both that national lockdowns are not a necessary condition for Covid-19 infections to decrease and that the Prime Minister was incorrect to suggest to MPs that infections were increasing rapidly in England prior to lockdown and that without national measures, the NHS would be overwhelmed…Lockdowns have never previously been used in response to a pandemic. They have significant and serious consequences for health (including mental health), livelihoods and the economy. Around 21,000 excess deaths during the first UK lockdown were not Covid-19 deaths. These are people who would have lived had there not been a lockdown.
It is well established that the first lockdown had an enormously negative effect on mental health in young people as compared to adults. The more we lockdown, the more we risk the mental health of young people, the greater the likelihood the economy will be destroyed, the greater the ultimate impact on our future health and mental health. Sadly, we know that global economic recession is associated with increased poor mental health and suicide rates.
According to a recent study published in Pediatrics, lockdown and social distancing measures are strongly correlated with an increase in suicidal thoughts, attempts and behaviour.
According to Dr. John Lee, a former Professor of Pathology and NHS consultant pathologist,
Lockdowns cannot eradicate the disease or protect the public…They lead to only economic meltdown, social despair and direct harms to health from other causes…Scientifically, medically and morally lockdowns have no justification in dealing with Covid.
Bhattacharya, MD, PhD wrote an article for The Hill titled “Facts, not fear, will stop the pandemic.” In that points out a number of facts regarding the implications of lockdown measures.
The media have paid scant attention to the enormous medical and psychological harms from the lockdowns in use to slow the pandemic. Despite the enormous collateral damage lockdowns have caused, England, France, Germany, Spain and other European countries are all intensifying their lockdowns once again.
By lockdowns, we mean the all-too-familiar shuttered schools and universities, closed playgrounds and parks, silent churches and bankrupt stores and businesses that have become emblematic of American civic life these past months. The relative dearth of reporting on the harms caused by lockdowns is odd, since lives lost from lockdown are no less important than lives lost from COVID infection. But they’ve received much less media attention.
The harms from lockdown have been catastrophic. Consider the psychological harm. Reader, since you’re reading this in lockdown, you can undoubtedly relate to the isolation and loneliness that these policies can cause by shutting down typical channels for social interaction. In June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that one in four young adults had seriously considered suicide. Opioid and other drug related deaths are on a sharp and unsurprising upswing.
The burden of these policies falls disproportionately on some of the most vulnerable. For example, isolation led to a 20 percent increase in dementia-related deaths among our elderly population. Moreover, retrospective analysis of the lockdown in the United States shows that patients skipped cancer screenings, childhood immunizations, diabetes management visits and even treatment for heart attacks.
Internationally, the lockdowns have placed 130 million people on the brink of starvation, 80 million children at risk for diphtheria, measles and polio, and 1.8 million patients at risk of death from tuberculosis. The lockdowns in developed countries have devastated the poor in poor countries. The World Economic Forum estimates that the lockdowns will cause an additional 150 million people to fall into extreme poverty, 125 times as many people as have died from COVID.
Other Strange Happenings: A lot of people are also raising concerns about COVID deaths being marked as COVID when they’re not really a result of COVID. You can read more about that, in detail here.
Concerns have also been raised with regards to PCR testing, you can read more about that in detail here.
Furthermore corruption and conflicts of interest also seem to be a big concern, you can read more about that in detail here.
The Takeaway: Never before have we seen actions taken by Western governments come under such scrutiny from so many people. COVID has really been a catalyst for more people to question what we are doing here on planet Earth, why we live the way we do and why we give so much power to governments that may not have the ability to make the best decisions for us due to a number of different factors.
The suppression and muzzling of scientists, journalists, doctors and people during this pandemic for simply providing information, evidence and opinions that oppose mainstream rhetoric has also forced many more people to question what’s happening here. The shutdown of open scientific debate is quite concerning, and social media platforms have completely banned the accounts of what seems to be thousands of health professionals, journalists and independent media outlets while someone like Dr. Anthony Fauci is given instant virality on television when expressing his views.
Why is it that we fail to have proper conversations about controversial topics and viewpoints? Why do we have to shut them down, ridicule them and ignore them? What’s going on here? Is there a battle to control the perception of the masses when it comes to not only this pandemic, but other topics as well? Why do we continue to listen to and rely on entities that don’t really have our best interests at hand? Is the political realm really a representation of truth? Can it provide us with the answers and advice we are looking for and ones that are actually good for us? Should we give governments such power where they can shut down the planet at will when so many people across the globe disagree? Should people have the freedom to do as they please? Should business closures, isolation, and stay at home orders simply be shifted to recommendations? Should people be able to choose what measures they wish to take and respect the decisions of others who oppose them? When everything is not so black and white as sometimes it is made out to be, I believe freedom of choice should always remain, what do you think? I don’t have the answers, but I do know that asking questions and having discussions is very important.
New Lancet Article Suggests 50-75% of “Positive” PCR Tests Are Not Infectious People
- The Facts:
A recent article published in The Lancet medical journal explains that PCR tests can be "positive" for up to five times longer than the time an infected person is actually infectious.
- Reflect On:
Why are certain viewpoints, opinions, studies, scientists and doctors being censored and/or ignored for presenting data that completely contradicts what we are receiving from government health authorities.
Before you begin...
PCR testing (polymerase chain reaction testing) has come under fire from numerous doctors, scientists, politicians and journalists since the beginning of this pandemic. Not everyone would know this if their only source of information was mainstream media however, as they’ve chosen not to cover the controversy surrounding it. This is not to say that PCR testing hasn’t been praised as a useful tool to determine a covid infection, but again, there are great causes for concern that aren’t really being addressed.
As far back as 2007, Gina Kolata published an article in the New York Times about how declaring pandemics based on PCR testing can end in a disaster. The article was titled Faith in Quick Test Leads to Epidemic That Wasn’t. In July, professor Carl Heneghan, director for the centre of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, an outspoken critic of the current UK response to the pandemic, wrote a piece titled “How many Covid diagnoses are false positives?” He has argued that the proportion of positive tests that are false in the UK could also be as high as 50%.
The Deputy Medical Officer of Ontario, Canada, Dr. Barbara Yaffe recently stated that COVID-19 testing may yield at least 50 percent false positives. This means that people who test positive for COVID may not actually have it. Former scientific advisor at Pfizer, Dr. Mike Yeadon, argued that the proportion of positive tests that are false may actually be as high as 90%.
Furthermore, 22 researchers have put out a paper explaining why, according to them, it’s clear that the PCR test is not effective in identifying COVID-19 cases, and that as a result we may be seeing a significant amount of false positives. You can read more about that here.
These are simply a few of many examples from the recent past, and it’s concerning because lockdown measures and more are based on supposed positive “cases.”
Another concern recently raised comes from an article published in The Lancet medical journal titled “Clarifying the evidence of SARS-CoC-2 antigen rapid tests in public health responses to COVID-19.”
In it, the authors explain that most people infected with COVID are contagious for approximately one week, and that “specimens are generally not found to contain culture-positive (potentially contagious) virus beyond day 9 after the onset of symptoms, with most transmission occurring before day 5.” They go on to explain:
This timing fits with the observed patterns of virus transmission (usually 2 days before to 5 days after symptom onset), which led public health agencies to recommend a 10-day isolation period. The sort window of transmissibility contrasts with a median 22-33 days of PCR positivity (longer with severe infections and someone shorter among asymptomatic individuals). This suggests that 50-75% of the time an individual is PCR positive, they are likely to be post-infectious.
Once SARS-CoV-2 replication has been controlled by the immune system, RNA levels detectable by PCR on respiratory secretions fall to very low levels when individuals are much less likely to infect others. The remaining RNA copies can take weeks, or occasionally months, to clear, during which time PCR remains positive.
However, for public health measures, another approach is needed. Testing to help slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 asks not whether someone has RNA in their nose from earlier infection, but whether they are infectious today. It is a net loss to the health, social, and economic wellbeing of communities if post-infectious individuals test positive and isolate for 10 days. In our view, current PCR testing is therefore not the appropriate gold standard for evaluating a SARS-CoV-2 public health test.
An article published in the British Medical Journal explains:
It’s also unclear to what extent people with no symptoms transmit SARS-CoV-2. The only test for live virus is viral culture. PCR and lateral flow tests do not distinguish live virus. No test of infection or infectiousness is currently available for routine use. As things stand, a person who tests positive with any kind of test may or may not have an active infection with live virus, and may or may not be infectious.
The relations between viral load, viral shedding, infection, infectiousness, and duration of infectiousness are not well understood. In a recent systematic review, no study was able to culture live virus from symptomatic participants after the ninth day of illness, despite persistently high viral loads in quantitative PCR diagnostic tests. However, cycle threshold (Ct) values from PCR tests are not direct measures of viral load and are subject to error.
Searching for people who are asymptomatic yet infectious is like searching for needles that appear and reappear transiently in haystacks, particularly when rates are falling. Mass testing risks the harmful diversion of scarce resources. A further concern is the use of inadequately evaluated tests as screening tools in healthy populations.
The UK’s testing strategy needs to be reset in line with the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies’ recommendation that “Prioritizing rapid testing of symptomatic people is likely to have a greater impact on identifying positive cases and reducing transmission than frequent testing of asymptomatic people in an outbreak area.”
The academics who published this paper are one of many explaining how another approach is needed, given the fact that PCR tests are the basis of lockdowns that might have already, and will kill more people than COVID itself, all for a virus with a 99.95% recovery rate for people under the age of 70. Many are in fact calling for the end of testing for asymptomatic people.
Michael Levitt, a medical professor at Stanford University and a Nobel Laureate for chemistry is one of many who has been emphasizing this:
“Getting tested right to avoid making more mistakes going forward [is crucial].” He writes, “very disturbing that PCR test can be positive for up to FIVE times longer than the time an infected person is actually infectious. Many implications.”
Rosamond A K Jones, a retired consultant paediatrician, and part of the Health Advisory & Recovery Team (HART) in Slough, UK, writes with regards to testing in UK schools:
If testing 5 million secondary school pupils twice a week, those 10 million tests would be expected to generate 30,000 false positives. These children would presumably all be sent home from school, with their 30 classmates, leading to almost a million children incorrectly out of school each week.
According to an article written by Robert Hagen MD, who recently retired from Lafayette Orthopaedic Clinic in Indiana:
By base rate fallacy/false positive paradox, if the specificity of a test is 95%, when used in a population with a 2% incidence of disease — such as healthy college students and staff — there will be 5 false positives for every 2 true positives. (The actual incidence of active COVID-19 in college age students is not known but estimated to be less than 0.6% by Indiana University/Fairbanks data. Even using a test with 99% specificity with a 1% population incidence generates 10 false positives for every 9 true positives.
Using the same test on patients with COVID-19 symptoms, because their incidence of disease is 50% or greater, the test does not have to be perfect. Even using a test with only 90% specificity, the number of false positives will be much less significant.
Another issue is with PCR testing is the cycle threshold. PCR seeks the genetic code of the virus from nose or throat swabs and amplifies it over 30–40 cycles, doubling each cycle, enabling even minuscule, potentially single, copies to be detected. I first learned about this when Elon Musk revealed he had completed four rounds of COVID-19 testing, tweeting that something “bogus” is going on because two of the tests came back false, and the other two came back positive.
He also mentioned he was “doing tests from several different labs, same time of day, administered by RN & am requesting N1 gene PCR cycle threshold. There is no official standard for PCR testing. Not sure people realize this.”
And therein lies the problem, something that the World Health Organization finally addressed recently. On January 13th the WHO published a memo regarding the problem of asymptomatic cases being discovered by PCR tests, and suggesting any asymptomatic positive tests be repeated. This followed up their previous memo, instructing labs around the world to use lower cycle thresholds (CT values) for PCR tests. The higher the cycle threshold the greater the chance for false positive rates.
Is this why case rates around the world have started to decline? It seems plausible since the same time cases dropped the WHO told labs to monitor the cycle thresholds which means false positives would reduce.
A Portuguese court has determined that the PCR tests used to detect COVID-19 are not able to prove an infection beyond a reasonable doubt, and thus determined that the detainment of four individuals was unlawful and illegal. In the Portuguese appeal hearing, Jaafar et al. (2020) was cited, explaining how a high CT is correlated with low viral loads.
“If someone is testing by PCR as positive when a threshold of 35 cycles or higher is used (as is the rule in most laboratories in Europe and the US), the probability that said person is infected is <3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97%.” (source)
The court further noted that the cycle threshold used for the PCR tests currently being made in Portugal is unknown. You can read more about that story here.
“Cases” Are The Basis of Lockdowns
The information above is indeed telling, because PCR tests are being used to justify lockdown measures and yet there is a huge amount of controversy and inaccuracy with them.
Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight covid as have died of covid.
A study published by four medical professors from Stanford University has failed to find evidence supporting the use of what they call “Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions” (NPIs) like lockdowns, social-distancing, business closures and stay at home orders. According to the study, these measures have not been sufficient and are not sufficient to stop the spread of COVID and therefore are not necessary to combat the spread of the virus.
A group of doctors and scientists published an essay for the American Institute for Economic Research explaining and presenting the data as to why they believe lockdowns are not only harmful, but useless to combat COVID. In the essay they present a multitude of studies supporting the same conclusions found in the Stanford study cited above. You can read that here.
Lockdown harms were pondered early on in the pandemic, a report published in the British Medical Journal titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″ has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom as a result of the new coronavirus may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May .
Bhattacharya, MD, PhD wrote an article for The Hill titled “Facts, not fear, will stop the pandemic.” In it he points out a number of facts regarding the implications of lockdown measures, which also include that fact that:
Is a Great Reset Really required? Or should we just go back to normal? Even if we weren’t in a lockdown, should we still be questioning how we feel about our “normal.” You can dive into a deeper discussion about that here.
The one thing that has many more people questioning their government with regards to COVID seems to be the fact that countless amounts of scientists, doctors, journalists and more are being heavily censored for sharing their information, data, research and opinions about COVID when they don’t fit within the accepted framework of mainstream culture.
For example, the Swedish government has said that it will strengthen laws on academic freedom after a leading Swedish academic announced that he was quitting his work on COVID-19 because of an onslaught of intimidating comments from people who disagreed or disliked his research findings. (source) This is one of many examples, you can see more here.
Dr. Kamran Abbasi, former (recent) executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal, editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, and a consultant editor for PLOS Medicine. He is editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and JRSM Open recently published a piece in the BMJ, titled “Covid-19: politicisation, “corruption,” and suppression of science.” I reference this quite a bit in many of my articles so I apologize if you’ve come across it already.
Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. –
I say it in almost every article I write about COVID, should we not have the right to examine information openly and transparently and determine for ourselves what is and what isn’t? Why is it that someone like Dr. Anthony Fauci gets to make an appearance on television with instant virality anytime he desires, while other experts presenting opposing viewpoints are completely ignored? Can the mainstream media make the “consensus” or the majority seem like the minority and the minority seem like the majority?
How are we going to make sense of what is going on and make effective decisions about it all if we are not allowed to talk about certain ideas?
Texas & Mississippi Both Lift Mask Mandates & Some Business Restrictions
- The Facts:
Texas and Mississippi have both lifted many COVID-19 restrictions, including the removal of mandated face masks. Some restrictions will come off by March 10th, others starting tomorrow.
- Reflect On:
Regardless of what we think the causes are for why case numbers rise or drop, why are we seeing only a small handful of people given a chance to speak while other credible individuals are sidelined and ridiculed for having a different perspective?
Before you begin...
This will feel like good news to many, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has just lifted many of the Covid-19 restrictions in his state. Businesses will be allowed to operate at 100% capacity starting March 10th, and citizens will no longer be required to wear face masks.
The news was given during a speech to the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce on March 2nd, letting small businesses and community leaders know that a path towards rebuilding their livelihood is being paved.
NEW: Issuing an executive order to lift the mask mandate and open Texas to 100 percent. pic.twitter.com/P4UywmWeuN
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) March 2, 2021
The governor also added these words with regards to still abiding by certain safety practices instilled since COVID began:
Today’s announcement doesn’t abandon safe practices that Texans have mastered over the past year. Instead, it’s a reminder that each person has a role to play in their own personal safety & the safety of others.
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) March 2, 2021
Following Texas’ announcement, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said he plans to end the state’s mask mandate and end all COVID related business restrictions as well. The Governor feels that improved case and hospitalization numbers are a sign that things are ready to return to normal.
Starting tomorrow, we are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules. Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) March 2, 2021
Mississippi Governor Reeves feels his latest order “will be one of my last executive orders regarding Covid-19.” The new order replaced the current restrictions with much milder ones that are considered to now be recommendations starting on march 3. There will still be a rule limiting indoor arenas to 50-percent capacity, as well as restrictions on K-12 schools.
Governor Reeves does still remind people that maintaining proper social distancing and other basic safety guidelines is a good idea.
Are we about to see a wave of more states opening up? Might this spread to other countries around the world? We shall see. But the sort of openness and enthusiasm seen by the Governors of Texas and Mississippi is not shared by all, and other health officials feel now is not the time to consider easing restrictions.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Monday: “Now is not the time to relax the critical safeguards …”
Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) on Tuesday: “It is now time to open Texas 100%.”pic.twitter.com/OlOYhgOabN
— The Recount (@therecount) March 2, 2021
Both governor’s stand in stark contrast to that of President Joe Biden, who believes the idea of masks is crucial in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Biden also expects all Americans will remain obedient and in support of masks until at least 2022 and plans to have enough Covid-19 vaccines to vaccinate every citizen the around May of 2021.
Why Have Case Counts Dropped?
Answering this questions is very difficult, and this has been the issue with COVID since the start. If you take an honest look at multiple sources, you will see that no one can agree on why anything is happening the way it is. Further to that, open inquiry and proper scientific dialogue is not allowed nor happening. We’ve seen the greatest crisis in collective sense-making I can recall.
Are cases dropping because the WHO updated their instructions for medical professionals in determine what a ‘positive’ result from a PCR test is? A move that would inevitably remove thousands upon thousands of false positives?
Is it because of the lockdowns? Again, some believe they are effective, while other studies show a completely opposite perspective.
You will hear arguments stated assertively from many different camps, but the truth is, no one really knows all that firmly why cases dropped, and to some extent this is normal in a new and developing scientific story.
But all that aside, one thing we do know is that anyone who disagrees with the way COVID is being handled is not allowed to have a platform to speak. What does that tell us? You decide.
Click here to check out a recent podcast interview with Charles Eisenstein where we spoke about the current sensemaking crisis with COVID as well as how it’s affecting our everyday culture.
Click here for more of our COVID-19 coverage.
Two Leading Swedish Health Experts Explain That COVID Lockdowns Have Killed Millions of People
- The Facts:
Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight covid as have died of covid.
- Reflect On:
Why are scientists who publish data and share their research and opinions that go against the mainstream narrative censored, ridiculed, ignored and never given any air time on mainstream media networks? Are they in the majority?
Before you begin...
“Over the course of this pandemic I have often wished that Hans Rosling was still alive. For those who are unaware, he was a medical doctor and a professor at Karolinska Institutet who had a particular interest in global health and development. In 2012, Time magazine declared him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. During the last few months of his life, in 2017, he wrote an excellent book called “Factfulness”, that summed up most of his thinking, and described how many of the things people “know” about the world are completely wrong. Hans Rosling is something of a hero of mine, and if he was still alive, I’m sure he would have contributed to bringing some sanity to the current situation. With his global influence, I think people would have listened….Two of Hans Rosling’s former colleagues at Karolinska Instituet, professor Anna-Mia Ekström and professor Stefan Swartling Peterson, have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and come to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight covid as have died of covid directly.”
The quote above comes from Sebastian Rushworth, a medical doctor in Sweden. Reading his recent blog post, I came across the fact that, as you can see above, two of Hans Rosling’s former colleagues at Karolinska Instituet, professor Anna-Mia Elkström and professor Stefan Swartling Peterson, have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and come to the conclusion that least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight COVID as have died of COVID directly. I verified this using multiple sources, and it’s true, these professors did in fact come to this conclusion, and there are many sources expressing this. They have been interviewed about their findings on SVT, the Swedish public broadcaster. If you speak Swedish, you can watch a documentary that discusses their conclusions here. (source)(source)
Before we go any further, I’d like to mention that lockdowns may have in fact killed more people already given the fact that we know deaths being marked as “COVID” deaths, in many cases are not actually a result of COVID. For example, Ontario public health clearly states that deaths will be marked as COVID deaths whether or not it’s clear if COVID was the cause or contributed to the death.
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health stated the following during the first wave of the pandemic,
If you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death, despite if you died of a clear alternative cause it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone who is listed as a COVID death that doesn’t mean that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death.
Professor Anna-Mia Elkström and professor Stefan Swartling Peterson haven’t been the only ones to express concerns. The consequences of lockdowns are many, and we are choosing this approach for a virus with a 99.95 percent survival rate for people under the age of 70, and a 95 percent survival rate for people over the age of 70. That said, we do know that the primary reason is to avoid hospital systems from becoming overburdened by apparent COVID cases.
Let’s not forget about the mental/psychological consequences of lockdowns as well, along with the economic factors.
Furthermore, many scientific publications have shown that lockdowns have no impact on the spread of the virus. For example, a study published by four medical professors from Stanford University has failed to find evidence supporting the use of what they call “Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions” (NPIs) like lockdowns, social-distancing, business closures and stay at home orders. According to the study, these measures have not been sufficient and are not sufficient to stop the spread of COVID and therefore are not necessary to combat the spread of the virus.
Another issue with the pandemic is the problem of false positives. A number of reputable sources, including many public health officials have raised concerns about the potential of false positives, especially when testing asymptomatic people. Many of these people, and based on my research the majority of them, will actually be “false positives.” Meaning they don’t have the virus, and/or are not capable of transmitting it to others. Of course, Facebook fact checkers and others argue otherwise, and herein lies another challenge. With fact checking comes censorship of differing opinions, and thus many are not hearing about these other perspectives because they are being shut out. Should we not be allowed to explore other credible perspectives?
You can find read more about that (PCR testing and false positives) and access sources for that claim, here.
The Censorship of Science
What’s plagued scientists who share the type of information shared above is the censorship they experience. For example, a letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Open Schools, Covid-19, and Child and Teacher Morbidity in Sweden” expressed that:
“Despite Sweden’s having kept schools and preschools open, we found a low incidence of severe Covid-19 among schoolchildren and children of preschool age during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic…No child with Covid-19 died…Among the 1,951,905 million children who were 1 to 16 years of age, 15 children had Covid-19, MIS-C, or both conditions and were admitted to an ICU, which is equal to 1 child in 130,000.”
According to a recent article published in the British Medical Journal:
“The Swedish government has said that it will strengthen laws on academic freedom after a leading Swedish academic announced that he was quitting his work on COVID-19 because of an onslaught of intimidating comments from people who disagreed or disliked his research findings.”
The leading Swedish academic is the one who published the paper referenced above.
Below is a tweet from Professor Jay Bhattacharya, a medical professor from Stanford who is also referenced earlier in the article.
This is ironic because the community standards of a free country militate against exactly the kind of censorship that @facebook is enacting. It is a modern form of book burning.
Professor Jay Bhattacharya. pic.twitter.com/cgGfhjADro
— Great Barrington Declaration (@gbdeclaration) February 9, 2021
At the end of the day, what does it say about our world when so many scientists, credible information, and data is censored? What does it say when only one side of the coin is emphasized and pushed by our governments and mainstream media while the other side is ridiculed, ignored, unacknowledged and, when it does manage to gain traction and reach the masses, it’s labelled as a “conspiracy theory?”
Below is a tweet from Martin Kulldorff, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard University. Along with Bhattacharya and Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology and one of the world’s foremost infectious disease experts, the Great Barrington Declaration started.
Media/Twitter/Facebook are full of silly smears and false conspiracy theories about the #GreatBarringtonDeclaration @gbdeclaration. Weirdly, it is actually a compliment, since it means that opponents lack public health arguments against focused protection.https://t.co/0BIA4Lo34D
— Martin Kulldorff (@MartinKulldorff) February 26, 2021
If there’s one thing that’s for certain, it’s the fact that open and transparent scientific debate should be encouraged, not shut down and censored. I’ve said it many times before, it’s odd how someone like Dr. Anthony Fauci can achieve instant virality through mainstream media yet tens of thousands of experts in the field never see the light of day.
Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. – Dr. Kamran Abbasi, executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal, editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, and a consultant editor for PLOS Medicine. He is editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and JRSM Open. Taken from his published a piece in the BMJ, titled “Covid-19: politicisation, “corruption,” and suppression of science.”
Even If We Weren’t In A Lockdown, We Should Still Be Questioning Our “Normal.
“This is an important question at the moment, and we are seeing it in everything from alternative media to mainstream media. As we saw with Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, even politicians are warning their citizens that what you see happening now will be the ‘new normal’ to some extent. What do they mean by this? Should we want things to go back to how they were prior to this pandemic? Do we have a future of even more restrictions in sight?
From my perspective, I don’t want things to go back to ‘normal’. Why do I say this? Because I ask myself the question: was life prior to, and even during this pandemic, truly allowing humanity to thrive? Was it anywhere even close to what humanity is capable of? Or is it a society and world designed out of programming that has convinced us to accept basic survival as being how we should live… as normal?
This can be a question for everyone no matter where you live on this planet. Whether the weekly rat race is reality or whether having to worry about whether you will get your next meal is your reality, is this truly how we want to live and what humanity is capable of?
If not, then how can we shift the conversation to begin exploring how we might change the way we live in our society?
Read more here.
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