Defund the CDC

Why is the CDC lying about vaccine efficacy, incorrectly
calling it a "pandemic of the unvaccinated" —
when the data from England, Israel, Singapore, and
Iceland contradicts the U.S. breakthrough counts?

New York Times: There’s much to learn about how the virus spreads
By David Leonhardt
July 30, 2021

"In the U.S., cases started falling rapidly in early January. The decline began before vaccination was widespread and did not follow any evident changes in Americans’ Covid attitudes."

Every U.S. media outlet has repeatedly used this July 16, 2021 CDC phrase and statistic, "pandemic of the unvaccinated", allegedly with "97% of the hospitalizations are unvaccinated" (Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the C.D.C. director). The majority of the hospitalizations used to create this CDC statistic are from January 2021 and February 2021, when less than 2% of Americans were fully vaccinated. Obviously its a "pandemic of the unvaccinated" when almost nobody is technically "fully vaccinated."
Spread the word of this blatant CDC corruption.

CDC data to used to create "pandemic of the unvaccinated" lie (from July 16, 2021)
Using mostly data from when almost nobody was vaccinated

(Over 90% of these fatalities happened when vaccines were not available)
 January February March April     MayJune 1-15
Vaccines NOT available to all Americans
18+ eligible April 19; 12+ eligible May 10
Vaccines available to
all Americans over 18
% counted as
Fully Vaccinated
0%2% 7%19% 41%48%
Majority of CDC
Data from when
less than 2% vaccinated
72% of data that
CDC used was
before vaccines
Alpha variant disappearing
before vaccines
Delta variant surge
data after June 15
not included
Official Covid19
(vaccinated and
105,06148,240 22,97518,490 14,6384284
Percent of CDC
Data used for
this time period
49%23% 11%9% 6%2%
90% of data that CDC used was
before April 19, before vaccines available to 18+
only this 8% of data
might be valid
% Americans
2 weeks after
Fully Vaccinated
0%2% 7%19% 41%48%
*Why did the CDC start with January 2021 data to do this analysis?
Over 90% of these fatalities in this data happened before widespread
vaccine rollout. Of course it is a "pandemic of the unvaccinated"
if almost all of the data they used was before vaccines.
This deceptive data does NOT prove that the vaccines are working.

National Public Radio
The White House Is Expected To Announce A 6-Prong Plan To Address The Pandemic

Heard on Morning Edition
September 9, 2021 7:15 AM ET

"CELINE GOUNDER: It should not be a political decision. It should be coming down through the scientific and regulatory agencies. ... STEIN: And there are other concerns. You know, why is testing still so hard to get? Why is the U.S. relying on Israeli and British data to make crucial decisions? Why isn't the CDC tracking and analyzing all vaccinated people with breakthrough infections in this country way more closely? Here's Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel at the University of Pennsylvania. He's another former Biden adviser. EZEKIEL EMANUEL: The CDC has not done the job it should do for monitoring genetic variants as well as breakthrough. I mean, in May, we stop recording breakthrough infections systematically."

Vaccine effectiveness against hospitalization drops, CDC says
Aug 30, 11:48 am

"The COVID-19 vaccines' ability to keep people out of the hospital appears to be dropping slightly, particularly for those 75 and older, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday during an advisory panel.... The CDC has previously estimated that 97% of people in the hospital being treated for COVID-19 are unvaccinated, but that data was collected before the spread of delta ... "

Statistics show the stark risks of not getting vaccinated against COVID-19
COVID-19 has become a "pandemic of the unvaccinated."
July 19, 2021, 10:02 AM 8 min read
By Meredith Deliso

New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said the vaccines are "astonishingly effective" while sharing that over 98% of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in the city between Jan. 1 and June 15 were in people who were not fully vaccinated.

The national picture is unclear, [January 1st] through in mid-June, former White House COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt said in an interview with The Washington Post that "98, 99-plus percent of people that are being hospitalized and dying with COVID have not been vaccinated."

Planet Money Investigates The Base Rate Fallacy As It Pertains To The Pandemic
August 20, 2021 5:07 AM ET
Heard on Morning Edition

"She found that over one month this summer, 67% of COVID infections there were in people who were fully vaccinated, which sounds really bad.... So in this case, the base rate that we care about is what percentage of the country's population has already been vaccinated. And the answer is 71%. Seventy-one percent of the total population of Iceland has been vaccinated. So that's a lot of people."

Chris Whitty warns of ‘very sick’ Covid patients as he urges people to get a jab
Aine Fox, Ian Jones and Joe Gammie, PA
20 August 2021, 0:08 pm 5-min read

"The UK’s vaccine programme has so far seen around three-quarters of adults in the UK double-jabbed.... Of the 1,076 deaths of people aged 50 or over, 318 (30%) were unvaccinated, 93 (9%) had received one dose of vaccine and 652 (61%) [fully vaccinated] had received both."

Biden's big COVID challenge: Fading vaccines may demand boosters
By Caitlin Owens, Sam Baker
Aug 12, 2021 - Health

"Experts trying to parse how well the vaccines are performing are relying heavily on data from other countries, in part, because the CDC has released very little formal data about the U.S. experience in the months since Delta became dominant."

The Washington Post
Experts ask to see data behind new policy
Joel Achenbach, Yasmeen Abutaleb, Ben Guarino and Carolyn Y. Johnson
July 28, 2021

But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not publish the new research. In the text of the updated masking guidance, the agency merely cited "CDC COVID-19 Response Team, unpublished data, 2021." Some outside scientists have their own message: Show us the data. "They're making a claim that people with delta who are vaccinated and unvaccinated have similar levels of viral load, but nobody knows what that means," said Gregg Gonsalves, an associate professor at the Yale School of Public Health. "It's meaningless unless we see the data."

The Washington Post
A majority of Americans in highly vaccinated counties now live in covid hot spots, according to Post analysis
Fenit Nirappil
August 12, 2021, 8:24 PM 7 min read

Two-thirds of Americans in highly vaccinated counties now live in coronavirus hot spots, according to an analysis by The Washington Post

Vaccinated people make up 75% of recent COVID-19 cases in Singapore
Aradhana Aravindan and Chen Lin
Fri, July 23, 2021, 6:47 AM 3 min read

"Of Singapore's 1,096 locally transmitted infections in the last 28 days, 484, or about 44%, were in fully vaccinated people, while 30% were partially vaccinated and just over 25% were unvaccinated, Thursday's data showed.... Singapore uses the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in its national vaccination programme."

COVID: the reason cases are rising among the double vaccinated
July 22, 2021 6.01am EDT
Updated July 22, 2021 6.08am EDT

Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, has announced that 40% of people admitted to hospital with COVID in the UK have had two doses of a coronavirus vaccine. ... There are several factors at play that explain why such a high proportion of cases are in the fully vaccinated.

Israel data 'preliminary signal' Delta variant can bypass vaccine: expert
JULY 5, 2021

Rising coronavirus cases in Israel, where most residents are inoculated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, offer "a preliminary signal" the vaccine may be less effective in preventing mild illness from the Delta variant, a top expert said Monday.

Vaccinated people: Your odds of a COVID 'breakthrough' infection have gone up.
Hilary Brueck
Tue, July 20, 2021, 10:30 AM 8 min read

....The CDC doesn't encourage any of the 160 million vaccinated people across the US who are exposed to COVID-19 to get tested for it, unless they go on to develop symptoms. Instead, the country relies on data from the UK and Israel to figure out how well COVID-19 can dodge our vaccines. This puts the US at a disadvantage as the virus continues to morph, doing its best to survive. With Delta around, we know vaccinated people are not as well protected as they once were. Now, we risk missing the signals of a more dangerous variant - something that our existing vaccines would barely combat. Young is frustrated that the data on her own breakthrough case - which was detected with an at-home test - won't be recorded anywhere by the CDC. Young said her doctor didn't encourage her to seek out confirmation with a laboratory test. Instead they said, "You just have to quarantine, and you should be fine." Dean said, given the low level of testing and sequencing being done on fully vaccinated people right now, there's no way the US can keep tabs on the virus well enough. If we want to know how decent the vaccine protection of the country really is, Dean said, we need to know when vaccinated people are getting infected, what variant they have, and how severe their case is. "It's very concerning to me that we're 20 months into the pandemic and we don't have that capability yet," she said.

Study: Vaccinated people can carry as much virus as others
July 30, 2021

In another dispiriting setback for the nation’s efforts to stamp out the coronavirus, scientists who studied a big COVID-19 outbreak in Massachusetts concluded that vaccinated people who got so-called breakthrough infections carried about the same amount of the coronavirus as those who did not get the shots.

This Is How Common Breakthrough Infections Really Are, New Data Says
By Zachary Mack
Wed, August 18, 2021, 10:14 AM 4 min read

"Now, early data has found that breakthrough infections are more common than we originally thought—as are resulting hospitalizations and deaths, The New York Times reports.... Analysis showed that in six of the states, breakthrough infections made up 18 to 28 percent of all newly diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the past several weeks. Results also found that fully vaccinated people made up 12 to 24 percent of all COVID-related hospitalizations, and while the number of deaths was too small to be considered significant, it is likely higher than the original Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates of .5 percent.... The figures on non-hospitalized breakthrough infections are also assumed to be underestimations since many fully vaccinated people who become infected may not feel sick enough to be tested for the virus, The Times reports. Official data has also been scarce since the CDC stopped recording cases that didn't lead to hospitalization or death in May."

CBS Higher COVID Rate Found In Some Counties With Higher Vaccination Rate
By Julie Watts
July 26, 2021 at 10:11 pm

"A new analysis finds several counties with above-average vaccination rates also have higher COVID case rates, while case rates are falling in counties with below-average vaccination rates."

Wall Street Journal Israel, Widely Vaccinated, Suffers Another Covid-19 Surge
By Dov Lieber
Updated Aug. 12, 2021 2:01 pm ET

After becoming one of the first countries to open up thanks to a widespread Covid-19 vaccination campaign, Israel is again on guard, this time against the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.... Health officials are warning that Israel could face a fourth lockdown during the Jewish holiday season in September if the country doesn’t deliver more booster shots and improve on its wider vaccination rate; 60% of the total population are fully vaccinated, making up around 80% of adults.

Delta infections among vaccinated likely contagious; Lambda variant shows vaccine resistance in lab
By Nancy Lapid
August 2, 2021 3:25 PM EDT

Among people infected by the Delta variant of the coronavirus, fully vaccinated people with "breakthrough" infections may be just as likely as unvaccinated people to spread the virus to others, new research suggests.

Vaccines less protective in Colorado county with Delta variant surge - CDC study
By Manas Mishra
Fri, August 6, 2021, 2:52 PM 2 min read

(Reuters) -COVID-19 infections in a Colorado county with a Delta variant surge this spring were more common among fully vaccinated people than in the state's other counties where it was circulating at lower levels, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released on Friday showed.

Washington Post
CDC study shows three-fourths of people infected in Massachusetts coronavirus outbreak were vaccinated
By Carolyn Y. Johnson, Yasmeen Abutaleb and Joel Achenbach
July 30, 2021 at 6:35 p.m. EDT

A sobering scientific analysis published Friday found that three-quarters of the people infected during an explosive coronavirus outbreak fueled by the delta variant were fully vaccinated. The report on the Massachusetts cases, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, offers key evidence bolstering the hypothesis that vaccinated people can spread the more transmissible variant and may be a factor in the summer surge of infections.

Hawaii, Masked and Vaccinated, Still Falls Prey to Delta Strain
Nic Querolo and Jonathan Levin
August 7, 2021

(Bloomberg) -- Hawaii has one of the country’s most comprehensive mask mandates and a highly effective vaccine campaign. Despite that, Covid-19 cases on the islands are climbing with a ferocity that’s outstripping every other U.S. state.

Help restore democracy for the people, not the rich!

Science? Peer-reviewed scientific studies
show Covid19 measures had no effect
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS)
Evaluating the effects of shelter-in-place policies during the COVID-19 pandemic
Christopher R. Berry, Anthony Fowler, Tamara Glazer, Samantha Handel-Meyer, and Alec MacMillen
April 13, 2021

We estimate the effects of shelter-in-place (SIP) orders during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. We do not find detectable effects of these policies on disease spread or deaths.
Effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19: A Tale of Three Models
Vincent Chin, John P.A. Ioannidis, Martin A. Tanner, Sally Cripps
December 10, 2020

Objective: To compare the inference regarding the effectiveness of the various non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) for COVID-19 obtained from different SIR models. Conclusions: Inferences on effects of NPIs are non-robust and highly sensitive to model specification. Claimed benefits of lockdown appear grossly exaggerated.
Covid-19 Mortality: A Matter of Vulnerability Among Nations Facing Limited Margins of Adaptation
Quentin De Larochelambert, Andy Marc, Juliana Antero, Eric Le Bourg and Jean-Francois Toussaint
November 19, 2020

Results: Higher Covid death rates are observed in the [25/65] latitude and in the [-35/-125] longitude ranges. The national criteria most associated with death rate are life expectancy and its slowdown, public health context (metabolic and non-communicable diseases (NCD) burden vs. infectious diseases prevalence), economy (growth national product, financial support), and environment (temperature, ultra-violet index). Stringency of the measures settled to fight pandemia, including lockdown, did not appear to be linked with death rate.

Study: Mask Mandates Didn't Help Slow Spread of COVID-19
Elizabeth Nolan Brown
5.27.2021 10:00 AM

A new study suggests state mask mandates didn't help slow COVID-19 transmission. The pre-publication study found "qualitatively comparable courses of viral spread" among states with early, late, and no mask mandates.... Going into the study, lead author Damian D. Guerra, an assistant professor of biology at the University of Louisville, and co-author Daniel J. Guerra, of VerEvMed, "hypothesized that statewide mask mandates and mask use are associated with lower COVID-19 case growth rates." .... However, the study does add to evidence that mandating mask use may have made little difference. "Case growth was not significantly different between mandate and non-mandate states at low or high transmission rates," they found.

The Telegraph
Lockdown 'had no effect' on coronavirus pandemic in Germany
Justin Huggler
June 3, 2021, 9:10 AM 2 min read

A new study by German scientists claims to have found evidence that lockdowns may have had little effect on controlling the coronavirus pandemic. Statisticians at Munich University found “no direct connection” between the German lockdown and falling infection rates in the country. ..... “You can't tell from the data that the lockdown was unnecessary,” Prof Ralph Brinks, one of the study’s co-authors, told German television.

Landmark Danish study shows face masks have no significant effect
19 November 2020, 7:45am

Do face masks work? ....Yesterday marked the publication of a long-delayed trial in Denmark which hopes to answer that very question. The ‘Danmask-19 trial’ was conducted in the spring with over 3,000 participants, when the public were not being told to wear masks but other public health measures were in place. Unlike other studies looking at masks, the Danmask study was a randomised controlled trial – making it the highest quality scientific evidence.... In the end, there was no statistically significant difference between those who wore masks and those who did not when it came to being infected by Covid-19.

New York Times: There’s much to learn about how the virus spreads
By David Leonhardt
July 30, 2021

Consider these Covid-19 mysteries:
  • In India — where the Delta variant was first identified and caused a huge outbreak — cases have plunged over the past two months. A similar drop may now be underway in Britain. There is no clear explanation for these declines.
  • In the U.S., cases started falling rapidly in early January. The decline began before vaccination was widespread and did not follow any evident changes in Americans’ Covid attitudes.
  • In March and April, the Alpha variant helped cause a sharp rise in cases in the upper Midwest and Canada. That outbreak seemed poised to spread to the rest of North America — but did not.
  • This spring, caseloads were not consistently higher in parts of the U.S. that had relaxed masking and social distancing measures (like Florida and Texas) than in regions that remained vigilant.
  • Large parts of Africa and Asia still have not experienced outbreaks as big as those in Europe, North America and South America.

    ... “We’ve ascribed far too much human authority over the virus,” ... much of the ebb and flow of a pandemic cannot be explained by changes in human behavior...

    Is there a pattern of inaccurate information from the CDC?

    National Public Radio
    The White House Is Expected To Announce A 6-Prong Plan To Address The Pandemic

    Heard on Morning Edition
    September 9, 2021 7:15 AM ET

    "CELINE GOUNDER: It should not be a political decision. It should be coming down through the scientific and regulatory agencies. ... STEIN: And there are other concerns. You know, why is testing still so hard to get? Why is the U.S. relying on Israeli and British data to make crucial decisions? Why isn't the CDC tracking and analyzing all vaccinated people with breakthrough infections in this country way more closely? Here's Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel at the University of Pennsylvania. He's another former Biden adviser. EZEKIEL EMANUEL: The CDC has not done the job it should do for monitoring genetic variants as well as breakthrough. I mean, in May, we stop recording breakthrough infections systematically."

    This Is How Common Breakthrough Infections Really Are, New Data Says
    By Zachary Mack
    Wed, August 18, 2021, 10:14 AM 4 min read

    "Now, early data has found that breakthrough infections are more common than we originally thought—as are resulting hospitalizations and deaths, The New York Times reports.... Analysis showed that in six of the states, breakthrough infections made up 18 to 28 percent of all newly diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in the past several weeks. Results also found that fully vaccinated people made up 12 to 24 percent of all COVID-related hospitalizations, and while the number of deaths was too small to be considered significant, it is likely higher than the original Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates of .5 percent.... The figures on non-hospitalized breakthrough infections are also assumed to be underestimations since many fully vaccinated people who become infected may not feel sick enough to be tested for the virus, The Times reports. Official data has also been scarce since the CDC stopped recording cases that didn't lead to hospitalization or death in May."

    The Washington Post
    Experts ask to see data behind new policy
    Joel Achenbach, Yasmeen Abutaleb, Ben Guarino and Carolyn Y. Johnson
    July 28, 2021

    But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not publish the new research. In the text of the updated masking guidance, the agency merely cited "CDC COVID-19 Response Team, unpublished data, 2021." Some outside scientists have their own message: Show us the data. "They're making a claim that people with delta who are vaccinated and unvaccinated have similar levels of viral load, but nobody knows what that means," said Gregg Gonsalves, an associate professor at the Yale School of Public Health. "It's meaningless unless we see the data."

    New York Times
    A Misleading C.D.C. Number
    By David Leonhardt
    May 11, 2021

    When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines last month for mask wearing, it announced that “less than 10 percent” of Covid-19 transmission was occurring outdoors. Media organizations repeated the statistic, and it quickly became a standard description of the frequency of outdoor transmission..... But the number is almost certainly misleading..... In truth, the share of transmission that has occurred outdoors seems to be below 1 percent and may be below 0.1 percent, multiple epidemiologists told me. ... Saying that less than 10 percent of Covid transmission occurs outdoors is akin to saying that sharks attack fewer than 20,000 swimmers a year. (The actual worldwide number is around 150.) It’s both true and deceiving.... This isn’t just a gotcha math issue. It is an example of how the C.D.C. is struggling to communicate effectively, and leaving many people confused about what’s truly risky. C.D.C. officials have placed such a high priority on caution that many Americans are bewildered by the agency’s long list of recommendations.

    The Washington Post
    They're called mild cases. But people with breakthrough covid can still feel pretty sick.
    Fenit Nirappil, The Washington Post
    Aug. 31, 2021

    "Kinsey and other vaccinated people who develop breakthrough cases of covid-19, the illness caused by the virus, are learning a mild case may not seem so mild to the person enduring the infection."

    The Science of Masking Kids at School Remains Uncertain

    Aug. 20, 2021
    By David Zweig

    "These findings cast doubt on the impact of many of the most common mitigation measures in American schools. Distancing, hybrid models, classroom barriers, HEPA filters, and, most notably, requiring student masking were each found to not have a statistically significant benefit. In other words, these measures could not be said to be effective..... In the realm of science and public-health policy outside the U.S., the implications of these particular findings are not exactly controversial. Many of America’s peer nations around the world — including the U.K., Ireland, all of Scandinavia, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Italy — have exempted kids, with varying age cutoffs, from wearing masks in classrooms. .... These countries, along with the World Health Organization, whose child-masking guidance differs substantially from the CDC’s recommendations, have explicitly recognized that the decision to mask students carries with it potential academic and social harms for children and may lack a clear benefit ....The study published by the CDC was both ambitious and groundbreaking. It covered more than 90,000 elementary-school students in 169 Georgia schools from November 16 to December 11 and was, according to the CDC, the first of its kind to compare COVID-19 incidence in schools with certain mitigation measures in place to other schools without those measures. Scientists I spoke with believe that the decision not to include the null effects of a student masking requirement (and distancing, hybrid models, etc.) in the summary amounted to “file drawering” these findings, a term researchers use for the practice of burying studies that don’t produce statistically significant results. “That a masking requirement of students failed to show independent benefit is a finding of consequence and great interest,” says Vinay Prasad, an associate professor in University of California, San Francisco’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. “It should have been included in the summary.” “The summary gives the impression that only masking of staff was studied,” says Tracy Hoeg, an epidemiologist and the senior author of a separate CDC study on COVID-19 transmission in schools, “when in reality there was this additional important detection about a student-masking requirement not having a statistical impact.” ... “Mask-wearing among children is generally considered a low-risk mitigation strategy; however, the negatives are not zero, especially for young children,” said Lloyd Fisher, the president of the Massachusetts chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “It is important for children to see facial expressions of their peers and the adults around them in order to learn social cues and understand how to read emotions.” ... “There are very good reasons that the World Health Organization has repeatedly affirmed their guidance for children under 6 to not wear masks,” said a pediatrician who has both state and national leadership roles in the AAP but who wished to remain anonymous because they did not want to jeopardize their roles in the organization. “Reading faces is critical for social emotional learning. And all children are actively learning language the first five years of life, for which seeing faces is foundational,” the pediatrician said."

    Science? Aerosolization, not droplets.
    Exactly when did Fauci, the CDC, and
    the World Health Organization know that handwashing,
    social distancing, and masks would have
    little effect on this virus?

    The 60-Year-Old Scientific Screwup That Helped Covid Kill
    May 13, 2021 06:00 AM

    [Linsey] Marr is an aerosol scientist at Virginia Tech and one of the few in the world who also studies infectious diseases. To her, the new coronavirus looked as if it could hang in the air, infecting anyone who breathed in enough of it. .... But the WHO didn’t seem to have caught on. Just days before, the organization had tweeted “FACT: #COVID19 is NOT airborne.” That’s why Marr was skipping her usual morning workout to join 35 other aerosol scientists.
    They were trying to warn the WHO it was making a big mistake.... They ticked through a growing list of superspreading events ... instances where people got sick even when they were across the room from a contagious person. The incidents contradicted the WHO’s main safety guidelines of keeping 3 to 6 feet of distance between people and frequent handwashing. If SARS-CoV-2 traveled only in large droplets that immediately fell to the ground, as the WHO was saying, then wouldn’t the distancing and the handwashing have prevented such outbreaks? Infectious air was the more likely culprit, they argued. But the WHO’s experts appeared to be unmoved.... Along with 237 other scientists and physicians, they warned that .... airborne spread of SARS-CoV-2 would undermine even the most vigorous testing, tracing, and social distancing efforts. ... [Linsey Marr] started talking to Kimberly Prather, an atmospheric chemist at UC San Diego, who had the ear of prominent public health leaders within the CDC and on the White House Covid Task Force. In July, the two women sent slides to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. One of them showed the trajectory of a 5-micron particle released from the height of the average person’s mouth. It went farther than 6 feet ----- hundreds of feet farther. A few weeks later, speaking to an audience at Harvard Medical School, Fauci admitted that the 5-micron distinction was wrong—and had been for years.

    MIT researchers say you're no safer from Covid indoors at 6 feet or 60 feet in new study challenging social distancing policies
    Published Fri, Apr 23 2021 12:15 PM EDT

    MIT professor Martin Bazant: "This emphasis on distancing .... is based on studies of coughs and sneezes, where they look at the largest particles that might sediment onto the floor and even then it's very approximate, you can certainly have longer or shorter range, large droplets... The distancing isn't helping you that much and it's also giving you a false sense of security because you're as safe at 6 feet as you are at 60 feet if you're indoors. .... It really has no physical basis because the air a person is breathing while wearing a mask tends to rise and comes down elsewhere in the room."

    Penn Medicine (University of Pennsylvania)
    COVID-19: Droplet or Airborne Transmission? Penn Medicine Epidemiologists Issue Statement
    August 02, 2020

    With the publication of a letter from 239 scientists petitioning the WHO to revise its recommendations to recognize the airborne spread of SARS-CoV-2, the simmering question of SARS-CoV-2 transmission came to a boil again. At issue is the constantly shifting interpretation of droplet size with reference to SARS-CoV-2. Traditionally, droplets are defined as large (>5 microns) aqueous bodies. However, airborne (or aerosolized) transmission of the virus has been proposed as a source of infection almost since the inception of the COVID pandemic. By comparison to droplets, aerosolized particles are infinitesimal. ..... Shortly after publication of the letter, the WHO reiterated its position that SARS-CoV-2 is spread from person to person by droplet-bound virions that fall to earth within a short distance of their source.

    States without lockdowns did better than states with restrictions

    NPR: Pandemic Approaches: The Differences Between Florida, California
    February 18, 2021
    Heard on Morning Edition
    National Public Radio

    "California had this sustained, horrible surge of infections, the worst in the nation, for many weeks after the second lockdown was ordered. And the fact is, California's deaths per capita numbers, which, you know, officials have used throughout the pandemic to defend these very tough restrictions, are in many cases either the same or worse than many states that have been far less restrictive.... Florida never went to another lockdown. According to the CDC, the results haven't been too bad. We've had - Florida's have fewer cases per capita than California... in Florida, most businesses are open, and they have been for months now. Theme parks actually were allowed to reopen in June. So in terms of the economy, Florida's not doing too badly compared with the rest of the nation."

    NEW YORK TIMES: Floridians are out and about and pandemic restrictions have been lifted.
    March 13, 2021

    "Florida reopened months before much of the rest of the nation, which only in recent days has begun to emerge from the better part of a year under lockdown. .... None of this feels particularly new in Florida, which slowed during the worst of the pandemic but only briefly closed. To the contrary, much of the state has a boomtown feel, a sense of making up for months of lost time.... Yet Florida’s death rate is no worse than the national average, and better than that of some other states that imposed more restrictions, despite its large numbers of retirees, young partyers and tourists...... Florida never imposed a statewide mask mandate, and the governor in September banned local governments from enforcing their own local orders. This week, Mr. DeSantis wiped out any outstanding fines related to virus restrictions, stating that most of the restrictions “have not been effective.”.... Florida ranks in the lower third of states when it comes to vaccinations."

    NEWSWEEK: Texas COVID Cases Drop to Record Low Nearly Three Weeks After Mask Mandate Lifted
    On 3/29/21 at 10:51 AM EDT
    By Matthew Impelli

    Coronavirus cases have dropped to a record low in Texas roughly three weeks after the state lifted its mask mandate and reopened businesses..... Mississippi also removed its COVID-19 restrictions around the same time. Like Texas, Mississippi has seen a drop in virus cases and hospitalizations. According to CDC data, as of Saturday Mississippi was seeing an average of 254 daily cases, which is a decrease from the previous month, where the state was averaging around 520. ... Before the decreases in cases and hospitalizations in Texas and Mississippi, they received criticism for their coronavirus policies, including from President Joe Biden. Shortly after both states said they were lifting their COVID-19 restrictions, Biden said, "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking, that, in the meantime, everything's fine, take off your mask, forget it. It still matters."

    Coronavirus mask mandates are quickly destroying our planet

    Disposable plastic face masks pose huge environmental risks, with 3 million used a minute, researchers warn
    March 11, 2021
    Around the world 129 billion face masks are now used every month

    The huge demand for face masks in the year since the coronavirus pandemic has swept the globe has resulted in enormous production of disposable masks, but it is now feared that undisposed of properly, they pose a major threat to the natural world. ....Researchers now warn the huge volume of mask, with their plastic composition, pose a growing environmental threat and are urging action to prevent it from becoming the next plastic problem. ... Environmental toxicologist Elvis Genbo Xu from the University of Southern Denmark and professor Zhiyong Jason Ren, an expert in civil and environmental engineering at Princeton University, said: “Disposable masks are plastic products, that cannot be readily biodegraded but may fragment into smaller plastic particles, namely micro- and nanoplastics that widespread in ecosystems..... But they said unlike plastic bottles, of which approximately 25 per cent are recycled, there is no official guidance on mask recycling, making them more likely to be disposed of in inappropriate ways, the researchers said.

    2020 coronavirus fears disproportionate to overall causes of deaths

    (differences between 2017 to 2020 in blue)
    1. Car crash/accident
    2. Drug overdose/suicide
    3. Guns/homocide
    1. Car crash/accident
    2. Drug overdose/suicide
    3. Guns/homocide
    1. Drug overdose/suicide
    2. Car crash/accident
    3. Guns/homocide
    1. Drug overdose/suicide
    2. Car crash/accident
    3. Guns/homocide
    1. Cancer
    2. Heart disease
    3. Drug overdose/suicide
    1. Drug overdose/suicide
    2. Cancer
    3. Heart disease
    1. Heart disease
    2. Cancer
    3. Respiratory disease*
    1. Heart disease
    2. Cancer
    3. Respiratory disease*
    * includes all influenza and coronaviruses (including Covid19)


    COVID-19 not the sole cause of excess U.S. deaths in 2020
    April 13, 2021
    by University of Pennsylvania

    By the year 2017, the United States was already suffering more excess deaths and more life years lost each year than those associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, according to research from demographers Samuel Preston of the University of Pennsylvania and Yana Vierboom of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research.

    In 2017, the United States suffered an estimated 401,000 total excess deaths, those beyond the "normal" number of deaths expected to have occurred. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 376,504 deaths related to COVID-19 in 2020.

    Death and Lockdowns
    There’s no proof that lockdowns save lives but plenty of evidence that they end them.
    By John Tierney
    March 21, 2021

    John Tierney is a contributing editor of City Journal, a contributing science columnist for the New York Times, and coauthor of The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It.

    City Journal is a publication of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (MI), a leading free-market think tank.

    "The best gauge of the pandemic’s impact is what statisticians call “excess mortality,” which compares the overall number of deaths with the total in previous years. That measure rose among older Americans because of Covid-19, but it rose at an even sharper rate among people aged 15 to 54, and most of those excess deaths were not attributed to the virus."

    Washington Post Editorial Board: Don’t bring back restrictions.
    July 27, 2021 at 4:46 p.m. EDT

    A research team at Johns Hopkins led by Makary looked at 48,000 children under 18 diagnosed with covid-19, and found a mortality rate of zero among children without a preexisting medical condition, such as pediatric cancer. Indeed, there is no official government data to show whether any healthy children have died as a result of covid-19."

    Help restore democracy for the people, not the rich!

    Table of Contents:

    $12 billion a year (CDC budget) can go to
    help the environment, schools, and working class jobs.

    Help restore democracy for the people, not the rich!

    Working people were hit hardest by the ineffective measures
    -- while the rich got richer

    Fortunes of US billionaires grew by $434B since coronavirus crisis
    By Noah Manskar
    May 22, 2020 | 1:22pm | Updated

    The combined fortunes of America’s billionaires ballooned by $434 billion during the coronavirus pandemic, even as millions of Americans lost their jobs, a new report says.

    'Heads we win, tails you lose': how America's rich have turned pandemic into profit
    Dominic Rushe and Mona Chalabi
    The Guardian
    April 26, 2020

    Never let a good crisis go to waste: as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the world, America’s 1% have taken profitable advantage of the old saying.

    Amazon sales jumped 40%, Facebook profit increased by 98% and Apple posted more than $11BILLION profit in last quarter

    Mollie Mansfield
    Jul 31 2020, 9:48 ET
    Updated: Jul 31 2020, 9:55 ET

    AMAZON sales have jumped by 40 percent, Facebook's profit has increased by 98 percent and Apple has posted more than $11billion profit in the last quarter.

    The companies have all seen a rise despite the coronavirus pandemic causing stores to shut and employees to work from home.

    Debt, wealth destruction and lower pay will be coronavirus’ legacy
    Satyajit Das
    April 23, 2020

    Financial fallout from the health crisis will widen the gap dividing rich and poor

    Jeff Bezos Gains $24 Billion While World’s Rich Reap Bailout Rewards
    Sophie Alexander, Tom Maloney and Tom Metcalf
    April 14, 2020

    (Bloomberg) -- The world’s richest person is getting richer, even in a pandemic, and perhaps because of it.

    “All These Rich People Can’t Stop Themselves”: The Luxe Quarantine Lives of Silicon Valley’s Elite
    Travis Kalanick is throwing (outdoor) parties, private-jet owners are hopping from safe zone to safe zone, and dinner party hosts are administering 15-minute COVID-19 rapid tests—all business as usual. “Coronavirus is a poor person’s virus,” says one source.

    By Nick Bilton
    August 13, 2020

    Back to top

    Covid19 Laws used as excuse to crackdown on the poor, minorities, and rights activists

    How the Pandemic Economy Could Wipe Out a Generation of Black-Owned Businesses
    March 4, 2021 5 a.m. EST
    by Lydia DePillis

    "There are disparities between American businesses owned by white people and those owned by all minority groups, but the widest ones are typically with Black entrepreneurs, who tend to have modest family wealth and thin professional networks to help recruit talent and cut deals. Although the number of Black-owned businesses has grown in recent years... those years of compounding disadvantage have been exacerbated by the pandemic. For example, 18.4% fewer self-employed Black people were working in July 2020 than there had been a year previously, compared to 6.2% fewer self-employed white people (the dips for Asian and Hispanic people were even smaller). And minority-owned businesses overall have also been at the back of the line for relief programs, which were initially designed without factoring in the unique challenges of small businesses owned by people of color."

    June 16, 2020 / 4:14 PM
    U.S. racial inequality
    3 Min Read

    The unrest has sharpened the public focus on economic plight of black and Latino families, who on average continue to earn less, have higher unemployment, and are harder hit when economic shocks like the coronavirus hit.

    NPR National
    Vaccine Passports: 'Scarlet Letter' Or Just The Ticket?
    April 9, 2021 7:06 AM ET
    Heard on Morning Edition
    Tovia Smith

    "Being Jewish, I've always had this apprehension about anyone saying 'Show us your papers!'" Greenberg says, because it harkens back to the horrors Jews experienced in Nazi Germany. She's quick to acknowledge a vaccine passport is hardly the same thing, but she worries it would be prone to abuse. "It'll create two classes of human beings, almost like a caste system of vaccinated and unvaccinated. So then, what's next? It just makes me a little bit uneasy."... John Calvin Byrd III, has similar qualms. The self-described "far-left militant black man" lives in Los Angeles, and says he cringes at the thought of being seen as sharing the same concerns as "Trumpers," but he believes vaccine passports would impinge on his civil liberties. He says he and his family are not vaccinating, because they don't trust how fast the COVID-19 vaccines were rushed through the emergency authorization process, and because he doesn't trust Big Pharma. But he thinks it's unfair to penalize people like him, by restricting his ability to go out for dinner, travel, or visit a park, museum, or grocery store. "It's not like we committed a crime," he says. "We should be able to go and play and do whatever we want." He's also feeling pressure from his boss to vaccinate, and fears his decision not to, may cost him his job. ... More broadly, Byrd worries that vaccine passports will exacerbate inequities for Black and Brown people, who are still less likely to be vaccinated — either by choice or because of lack of access. "It puts people into separate groups, and one group has privileges and the other group does not ... That keeps myself, my family and people like us in the margins," Byrd says.

    Black leaders react to South Beach spring break curfew, crackdown: ‘unnecessary force’
    By Martin Vassolo
    March 21, 2021 12:40 PM

    "After weeks of uninhibited partying on South Beach by spring breakers, police turned away throngs of people — many of them Black — from world-famous Ocean Drive with a SWAT truck, pepper balls and sound cannons."

    Democrat Miami Mayor Dan Gelber justifies crackdown on African-Americans, while letting the white crowds enjoy their privilege: "I don't see this [group dispursed by police] is a sort of spring break thing, because I don't think these are college kids," said Mayor Gelber.
    Because Covid19 restrictions are sacralized, we see no political outrage from Congress or Biden White House on discriminatory "social distancing" enforcement.

    NPR National
    Human Rights Advocacy Is Changing Tones Under The Biden Administration
    March 30, 2021 4:08 PM ET
    Heard on All Things Considered
    Michele Kelemen

    "The coronavirus pandemic has created more problems. The State Department says some governments have used the crisis as a pretext to restrict human rights."

    A tale of two parks: Enjoying the sun in wealthy Manhattan, social distancing under police scrutiny in the Bronx
    Yahoo News
    May 6, 2020

    Thousands of New Yorkers flocked to city parks all over the five boroughs last weekend to enjoy sunny spring weather and temperatures in the 70s. .... But not all parts of the city were enjoying the respite equally. .... This image was in stark contrast to a viral image Conde also took on May 2, showing Christopher Street Pier, on the edge of Greenwich Village, packed with New Yorkers enjoying the sun, in close proximity without masks. No officers were in sight, according to Conde. In another image Conde took at the same park on May 3, an officer is calmly passing out face masks to visitors. ... “I guess in the police force’s eyes, people of color need to be policed,” Conde said in an interview with Yahoo News.... It seems like two different cities: residents of affluent and mostly white neighborhoods enjoying the warm weather and receiving masks from friendly officers, while police cars patrol parks in the mostly Latino and black Bronx communities, an implied warning to residents not to enjoy the warm weather too much.

    Amazon Fires Worker Who Led Strike Over Virus
    Bloomberg News
    March 31, 2020

    (Bloomberg) -- Chris Smalls, an Inc. fulfillment center employee, said the company fired him after he led a strike at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York, over coronavirus safety conditions.....Amazon confirmed it fired Smalls, saying he violated safety regulations, including failing to abide by a 14-day quarantine required after being exposed to an employee with a confirmed case of Covid-19.

    Governments use pandemic to crack down on online dissent: watchdog
    October 14, 2020, 8:54 AM 2 min read

    NPR 'Pandemic Pods' Raise Concerns About Equity
    July 28, 2020 3:48 PM ET
    Heard on All Things Considered
    Anya Kamenetz

    "KAMENETZ: Melinda Anderson is a journalist covering education and equity. Opportunity hoarding is a sociological concept that basically means a group in power is grabbing up resources and excluding a less powerful group. Anderson says..... ANDERSON: Parents forming pandemic pods and micro-schools did not create school inequalities. But they're certainly exacerbating inequalities by seeking out options unavailable to everyone.... PRUDENCE CARTER: I think parents are just trying to do what they have to do to survive in this moment."

    Governments and police must stop using pandemic as pretext for abuse
    17 December 2020, 00:01 UTC

    Abusive policing and excessive reliance on law enforcement to implement COVID-19 response measures have violated human rights and in some instances made the health crisis worse, Amnesty International said today.

    Boston Mayor Kim Janey compares vaccine passports to slave papers, birtherism
    Updated: 4:47 PM EDT Aug 3, 2021

    "There's a long history in this country of people needing to show their papers," said Janey. "During slavery, post-slavery, as recent as you know what immigrant population has to go through here. We heard Trump with the birth certificate nonsense. Here we want to make sure that we are not doing anything that would further create a barrier for residents of Boston or disproportionally impact BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) communities."

    Back to top

    Excess deaths caused by virus or by virus restrictions?

    COVID-19 has torn a particularly lethal path through the 1 in 10 Americans with diabetes, including many who never caught the virus

    Filed Aug. 12, 2021, 11 a.m. GMT

    “She was afraid COVID would kill her,” Heaston said. “Instead, it isolated her, and her diabetes got worse. She didn’t need to die at 42.” .... This grim toll is the result of a public-health failure that long predates the pandemic – and that is almost certain to persist after COVID-19 abates. After years of advances in treating diabetes, progress stalled about a decade ago. Since then, despite billions of dollars spent on new treatments, the prognosis for people with diabetes has been getting worse as the number of patients with the disease has increased, especially among working-age and even younger people. Late in the last century and early in this one, medical breakthroughs steadily chipped away at rates of diabetes-related deaths and complications in the United States. But the trend reversed as rising obesity and its consequences — like diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease — more than offset improved therapies. From 2009 to 2015, CDC data show that among diabetes patients, rates of hospitalization for hyperglycemic crises soared by 73%, and deaths by 55%.

    NPR: Drug Overdose Deaths Surge Among Black Americans During Pandemic
    March 3, 2021
    Heard on Morning Edition

    Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say fatal drug overdoses nationwide have surged roughly 20% during the pandemic, killing more than 83,000 people in 2020.

    NPR: They Lost Sons To Drug Overdoses: How The Pandemic May Be Fueling Deaths Of Despair
    January 26, 2021
    Heard on Morning Edition

    "Once COVID is in the rear-view mirror, we still have a lot of work to do to try to bring down the numbers of people who are dying annually in the U.S. from suicide, drug overdose, and from alcohol," Case said.

    Drug overdoses just one example of 'excess deaths' during pandemic
    Updated Oct 6, 2020

    Drug overdoses aren’t the only cause of death that have spiked since the beginning of the spread of the novel coronavirus. The number of deaths in Colorado caused by heart disease, stroke, liver disease and Alzheimer’s are all up over recent years, adding to the understanding of the noncoronavirus “excess deaths” phenomenon.

    Deaths from all causes — not just Covid-19 — are up since the pandemic started, a CDC report found.
    By Julia Belluz
    Oct 21, 2020, 10:10am EDT

    It’s important to track excess deaths during a pandemic because official mortality counts may not capture undiagnosed fatal infections, or those who died of causes indirectly related to the virus [restrictions], such as interruptions in health care. We know of a few such interruptions in the US already: people experiencing heart attacks have been forgoing emergency room visits, and drop-offs in cancer screenings. We also know, from Brazil to Indonesia, excess deaths are way up this year.

    Young people experienced the greatest relative increase in excess deaths

    The most attention-grabbing finding relates to the pandemic’s toll on young people: For 25- to 44-year-olds, the excess death rate is up 27 percent. That’s the largest percentage increase of any age group.

    ....Drug overdoses and suicides were major contributors to the trend — and the arrival of the coronavirus may be exacerbating these factors.

    “If young adults were already dying at higher rates from drug overdoses and suicide before the pandemic, the additional stresses brought on by the pandemic [fear-mongering] could not have helped matters,” said Woolf.

    Back to top

    Every year, a new virus strain of influenza or coronavirus
    permeates the global ecosystem until an approximately 15% (1-in-7)
    saturation threshold is reached -- regardless of vaccine.

    Every year, 1 billion (1-in-7) are infected worldwide from new virus strains,
    45 million Americans (1-in-7) are infected every year (CDC) by new strains

    Source: World Health Organization 14 December 2017 and 11 March 2019 and CDC 2018

    Why has the CDC not told us when each Covid-19 strain reached
    its 1-in-7 threshold, rather than falsely credit the vaccine?

    The United States infection rate started plummeting
    before January 5, 2021, at 17% already infected,
    With 0% of the population fully vaccinated.
    This was the third wave the virus disappeared before
    any vaccines were administered.

    New York Times: There’s much to learn about how the virus spreads
    By David Leonhardt
    July 30, 2021

    "In the U.S., cases started falling rapidly in early January. The decline began before vaccination was widespread and did not follow any evident changes in Americans’ Covid attitudes."

    Why ARE COVID cases plummeting?
    Health Reporter For and Associated Press
    February 3, 2021

    Health experts say it is too soon for vaccines to be playing a major role in the decline with just 8% of the population having received the first shot and fewer than 2% being fully immunized.

    Roughly 35.2 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the US, according to CDC
    7:12 p.m. ET, February 4, 2021
    From CNN's Deidre McPhillips

    [Despite major declines, only] about 2% have been fully vaccinated, CDC data shows.

    17% of US has been infected, model estimates
    Jan. 23, 2021

    Approximately 17% of people in the U.S. have been infected with the coronavirus, a model by researches at the University of Washington estimates. Current data suggests that at least 7% of Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, but the model by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation assumes that testing isn't detecting all of the cases present in the population.

    New Covid-19 cases down 16 percent last week: WHO
    February 16, 2021

    The number of new cases of Covid-19 reported worldwide fell by 16 percent last week to 2.7 million, the World Health Organization said... WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday that the number of new cases had declined for a fifth consecutive week, dropping by almost half, from more than five million cases in the week of January 4.

    The 'one big reason to think' COVID-19 cases could start to decline soon
    Brendan Morrow, Staff Writer
    September 1, 2021, 8:28 AM 1 min read

    That question was posed Wednesday by The New York Times' David Leonhardt and Ashley Wu, who in the Times morning newsletter pointed to a "regular — if mysterious — cycle" that COVID-19 cases have frequently followed since the start of the pandemic: surging for about two months and then beginning to decline. ... As far as why COVID-19 surges seem to run out of gas after two months, experts aren't sure. "We still are really in the cave ages in terms of understanding how viruses emerge, how they spread, how they start and stop, why they do what they do," University of Minnesota epidemiologist Michael Osterholm said.

    New York was hit early, and hit hard in 2020, and then
    infection rates started plummeting April 15, 2020
    at 17% infected, with 0% of the population vaccinated.

    1-in-7 New Yorkers May Have Already Gotten Covid-19
    April 15, 2020

    Of the 215 women who delivered babies at New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center in Upper Manhattan from March 22 through April 4, 214 were tested for the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Thirty-three of them, or more than 15%, tested positive, even though only a few had symptoms. In Gangelt, a German town that makes a big deal out of Karneval (aka Mardi Gras) and had a major coronavirus outbreak after this February’s festivities, 500 residents were tested for evidence of either the virus or the antibodies that indicate one has recovered from it, and 15% of them tested positive as well.

    New York first state to pass peak
    June 3, 2020

    "New York state reports lowest daily coronavirus death toll yet" [soon after over 15% threshold already infected]

    NY releases figures estimating 14 percent in state, 20 percent in NYC have had COVID-19
    By Jessie Hellmann - 04/23/20 12:43 PM EDT

    Preliminary data shows about 13.9 percent of the population of New York state — about 2.7 million people — have at some point been infected with the coronavirus.

    About 3,000 people were randomly tested at grocery stores and other public locations to allow officials to get a broader sense of how widely the virus has spread in New York and how many people might now have immunity.

    Studies show 14-17% threshold saturation ends the spread
    without any vaccinations administered.

    Household secondary attack rate of COVID-19 and associated determinants in Guangzhou, China: a retrospective cohort study
    Published:June 17, 2020

    Between Jan 7, 2020, and Feb 18, 2020, we traced 195 unrelated close contact groups (215 primary cases, 134 secondary or tertiary cases, and 1964 uninfected close contacts). By identifying households from these groups, assuming a mean incubation period of 5 days, a maximum infectious period of 13 days, and no case isolation, the estimated secondary attack rate among household contacts was 12·4% (95% CI 9·8–15·4) when household contacts were defined on the basis of close relatives and 17·1% (13·3–21·8) when household contacts were defined on the basis of residential address.

    CDC Community Transmission of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, Shenzhen, China, 2020
    Volume 26, Number 6—June 2020

    We found a sharply increasing proportion of infected children (from 2% before January 24 to 13% for January 25–February 5; p<0.001), implying that increased exposure for children and intrafamily transmission might contribute substantially to the epidemic.

    (NIH) Probable Secondary Infections in Households of SARS Patients in Hong Kong
    Emerg Infect Dis. 2004 Feb; 10(2): 236–243.

    A case-control analysis identified risk factors for secondary infection. Secondary infection occurred in 14.9% (22.1% versus 11% in earlier and later phases) of all households and 8% (11.7% versus 5.9% in the earlier and later phases) of all household members.

    COVID antibody test in German town shows 15 percent infection rate
    Scientists randomly sampled 1,000 people in Gangelt
    April 10, 2020

    ...The 15 percent figure from Gangelt is interesting because it matches two previous studies. Firstly, there was the accidental experiment of the cruise ship the Diamond Princess, which inadvertently became a floating laboratory when a passenger showing symptoms of COVID-19 boarded on January 20 and remained in the ship, spreading the virus, for five days. The ship was eventually quarantined on February 3 and all its 3,711 passengers tested for the virus. It turned out the 634 of them — 17 percent — had been infected, many of them without symptoms. The mortality rate on the vessel was 1.2 percent — although, inevitably being a cruise ship, it was a relatively elderly cohort.

    We gained another insight into SARS-CoV-2 from a Chinese study into 391 cases of COVID-19 in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. In this case, scientists tested everyone who shared a household with people who were found to be suffering from the disease. It turned out 15 percent of this group had gone on to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 themselves. Again, many showed no symptoms.

    Volume 26, Number 10—October 2020
    CDC: Contact Tracing during Coronavirus Disease Outbreak, South Korea, 2020

    We analyzed reports for 59,073 contacts of 5,706 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) index patients reported in South Korea during January 20–March 27, 2020. Of 10,592 household contacts, 11.8% had COVID-19.

    Spouses, Adults Most Likely to Get COVID-19 Infection from Household Member
    MAY 07, 2020

    The results show that overall, the rate of infection among household members was 16.3%, with adults facing a greater likelihood of infection than children.

    CDC Public Health Responses to COVID-19 Outbreaks on Cruise Ships — Worldwide, February–March 2020
    Weekly / March 27, 2020 / 69(12);347-352
    On March 23, 2020, this report was posted online as an MMWR Early Release.

    During February 11–21, 2020, the Grand Princess cruise ship sailed roundtrip from San Francisco, California, making four stops in Mexico (voyage A).... During land-based quarantine in the United States, all persons were offered SARS-CoV-2 testing. As of March 21, of 469 persons with available test results, 78 (16.6%) had positive test results for SARS-CoV-2.

    Nearly half of Diamond Princess cruise ship passengers and crew who had coronavirus were asymptomatic when tested, CDC report says
    By Amir Vera and Shelby Lin Erdman, CNN
    Updated 12:50 AM ET, Tue March 24, 2020

    The CDC's report also detailed the other cruise ship, the Grand Princess, which was in limbo for days off the coast of California. Of the 469 people with available test results on that ship, 78 -- or 17% -- of them tested positive for coronavirus.

    Back to top

    Do quick and strong responses save lives --- or increase death?

    "Really? What am I going to do with 40 ventilators when I need 30,000?"
    ---New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

    Ventilators are being overused on COVID-19 patients, world-renowned critical care specialist says
    Italian experts say many patients fare poorly on ventilators; Toronto expert says more data needed
    CBC News
    Posted: Apr 17, 2020 4:00 AM ET

    Doctors in New York state and elsewhere have voiced similar concerns about putting patients on ventilators too soon and with the pressure too high. Many have begun to delay their use, after New York authorities reported a death rate of 80 per cent for people who go on ventilators.

    Newsweek: Cuomo Requests 30,000 Ventilators
    By Jeffery Martin On 3/26/20 at 10:36 PM EDT

    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a Wednesday news conference. "Really? What am I going to do with 40 ventilators when I need 30,000?"

    80% of NYC's coronavirus patients who are put on ventilators ultimately die, and some doctors are trying to stop using them
    Sinéad Baker
    Apr 9, 2020, 6:56 AM

    * Some doctors are trying to reduce their reliance on ventilators for coronavirus patients because of reports of abnormally high death rates for patients using the machines, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
    * New York City officials have said at least 80% of coronavirus patients who were on ventilators in the city died, the AP reported. Unusually high death rates have also been recorded elsewhere in the US and the world.

    New analysis recommends less reliance on ventilators to treat coronavirus patients
    By Sharon Begley
    April 21, 2020

    By using ventilators more sparingly on Covid-19 patients, physicians could reduce the more-than-50% death rate for those put on the machines, according to an analysis published Tuesday in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

    Study: Most N.Y. COVID Patients on Ventilators Died
    By Robert Preidt
    HealthDay Reporter

    WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The largest analysis of hospitalized U.S. COVID-19 patients to date finds that most did not survive after being placed on a mechanical ventilator.

    Are Ventilators Helping or Harming COVID-19 Patients?
    April 15, 2020, at 2:00 p.m.
    By Dennis Thompson
    HealthDay Reporter

    Mechanical ventilators mark a crisis point in a patient's COVID-19 course, and questions are now being raised as to whether the machines can cause harm.

    ‘Almost a death sentence’: How Wisconsin doctors, peers are rethinking ventilators for coronavirus
    BRAM SABLE-SMITH Wisconsin Watch
    May 11, 2020

    Worse than the crime: Gov. Cuomo’s obfuscation of nursing home death numbers looks more egregious by the day
    New York Daily News
    May 02, 2021 at 4:10 AM

    We accepted and accept Cuomo aides’ insistence that a March 25, 2020, executive order requiring nursing homes to accept new or returning residents regardless of whether they were COVID-positive — was the well-intentioned act of a governor desperate to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed by the virus’s surge, as opposed to something nefarious.... Nor did we assume bad motives when it became clear last June and July that the state’s methodology for tallying COVID fatalities in nursing homes was probably a drastic undercount because it didn’t include residents who died in hospitals. But it’s now clear beyond any doubt that Cuomo and his aides set out to prevent a timely, full and honest accounting of those deaths.

    Back to top

    Help restore democracy for the people, not the rich!

    The Covid19 measures are destroying the planet, the oceans, killing sealife!

    Disposable plastic face masks pose huge environmental risks, with 3 million used a minute, researchers warn
    March 11, 2021
    Around the world 129 billion face masks are now used every month

    The huge demand for face masks in the year since the coronavirus pandemic has swept the globe has resulted in enormous production of disposable masks, but it is now feared that undisposed of properly, they pose a major threat to the natural world. ....Researchers now warn the huge volume of mask, with their plastic composition, pose a growing environmental threat and are urging action to prevent it from becoming the next plastic problem. ... Environmental toxicologist Elvis Genbo Xu from the University of Southern Denmark and professor Zhiyong Jason Ren, an expert in civil and environmental engineering at Princeton University, said: “Disposable masks are plastic products, that cannot be readily biodegraded but may fragment into smaller plastic particles, namely micro- and nanoplastics that widespread in ecosystems..... But they said unlike plastic bottles, of which approximately 25 per cent are recycled, there is no official guidance on mask recycling, making them more likely to be disposed of in inappropriate ways, the researchers said.

    World Economic Forum
    Do you wear a disposable mask?

    06 Aug 2020

    ....But aside from limiting the transmission of COVID-19, disposable plastic masks are having a devastating effect on the planet, adding to the world's growing plastic problem....

    July 23, 2020 / 6:44 PM / 16 days ago
    Plastic pollution flowing into oceans to triple by 2040: study
    Joe Brock

    4 Min Read

    SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The amount of plastic waste flowing into the ocean and killing marine life could triple in the next 20 years, unless companies and governments can drastically reduce plastic production, a new study published on Thursday said.

    Single-use plastic consumption has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the International Solid Waste Association, an NGO. Face masks and latex gloves are washing up daily on Asia’s remote beaches. Landfills worldwide are piled high with record amounts of takeaway food containers and online delivery packaging.

    United Nations
    You should know about disposable masks and plastic pollution

    30 July 2020

    ...“Plastic pollution was already one of the greatest threats to our planet before the coronavirus outbreak,” says Pamela Coke-Hamilton, UNCTAD’s director of international trade. “The sudden boom in the daily use of certain products to keep people safe and stop the disease is making things much worse.”

    Discarded used masks, gloves increase health risks, pollution
    By Brendan Quealy
    Aug 8, 2020

    A study released last week from the the journal of Environmental Science and Technology found that, worldwide, people are using and throwing away an estimated 129 billion disposable masks and 65 billion disposable gloves every month..... The gloves, masks and sanitizing wipes are all plastic, which break down into microplastics that attract pesticides and other harmful chemicals, officials with the Citizens Campaign for the Environment said.... When the wildlife eats the litter, they don’t just get the plastic, they get the chemicals as well.

    McDonald's: 'Face mask' found inside Aldershot store's chicken nugget
    5 August 2020

    A six-year-old girl nearly choked on a chicken nugget from McDonald's which her mother has claimed contained a blue surgical face mask..... She managed to get the chicken nugget out of her daughter's mouth and said: "It was a mask, it was absolutely baked into it".

    Back to top

    Do measures save the children or destroy the children?

    NBC News Youth suicide attempts soared during pandemic, CDC report says
    David K. Li
    June 11, 2021, 12:45 PM 2 min read

    Emergency room visits for adolescent suicide attempts soared this past summer and winter, especially among girls, perhaps in connection to America's struggle with Covid-19, new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data revealed Friday.

    Children born during pandemic have lower IQs, US study finds
    Researchers blame lack of stimulation as parents balanced childcare with working from home

    Natalie Grover Science correspondent
    Thu 12 Aug 2021 14.45 EDT

    Children born during the coronavirus pandemic have significantly reduced verbal, motor and overall cognitive performance compared with children born before, a US study suggests. ... The first few years of a child’s life are critical to their cognitive development. But with Covid-19 triggering the closure of businesses, nurseries, schools and playgrounds, life for infants changed considerably, with parents stressed and stretched as they tried to balance work and childcare. ... With limited stimulation at home and less interaction with the world outside, pandemic-era children appear to have scored shockingly low on tests designed to assess cognitive development, said lead study author Sean Deoni, associate professor of paediatrics (research) at Brown University.

    Washington Post Editorial Board: Don’t bring back restrictions.
    July 27, 2021 at 4:46 p.m. EDT

    A research team at Johns Hopkins led by Makary looked at 48,000 children under 18 diagnosed with covid-19, and found a mortality rate of zero among children without a preexisting medical condition, such as pediatric cancer. Indeed, there is no official government data to show whether any healthy children have died as a result of covid-19."

    BBC News Coronavirus: Missing school is worse than virus for children
    23 August 2020

    Children are more likely to be harmed by not returning to school next month than if they catch coronavirus, the UK's chief medical adviser says. Prof Chris Whitty said "the chances of children dying from Covid-19 are incredibly small" - but missing lessons "damages children in the long run".

    NPR News 'I've Tried Everything': Pandemic Worsens Child Mental Health Crisis
    January 18, 2021 5:00 AM ET
    Heard on Morning Edition
    Cory Turner, Christine Herman, Rhitu Chatterjee

    Roughly 6% of U.S. children, ages 6 through 17, are living with serious emotional or behavioral difficulties, including children with autism, severe anxiety, depression and trauma-related mental health conditions. .... Many of these children depend on schools for access to vital therapies. When schools and doctors' offices stopped providing in-person services last spring, kids were untethered from the people and supports they'd come to rely on. ... "The lack of in-person services is really detrimental," says Dr. Susan Duffy, a pediatrician and professor of emergency medicine at Brown University. "So school-based services are one, but also in-person services in general are disrupted [by the pandemic]."

    Reuters How are human traffickers taking advantage of the pandemic?
    By Christopher Johnson
    October 17, 2020 9:34 PM

    ".... During the pandemic, IJM saw increases in exploitation first-hand – we saw migrant workers in South East Asia unable to return home and forced to continue working against their will.... In the Philippines, risks of online sexual exploitation of children escalated: children were at home, locked in with their abusers, and sex offenders in Western countries who drive the demand for livestreamed abuse were also at home and online."

    All-Remote Learning Is Failing Many Students All Across The Country: 'These Children Are Struggling'
    Monday, December 7th 2020, 11:38 am
    By: CBS News

    Students in about 40 percent of school districts across the country haven't seen the inside of a classroom in more than eight months – and their grades tell a sad story.

    The Sweden experiment: how no lockdowns led to better mental health, a healthier economy and happier schoolchildren
    While Sweden's decision to stay open throughout the pandemic generated international debate, the controversy passed most people in Sweden by
    By Richard Orange Malmo
    22 August 2021 8:00am

    Sweden's decision to eschew lockdown and leave pubs, restaurants, shopping centres and primary schools open throughout the pandemic generated furious discussion internationally. Millions of people across the world have been confined to their homes, watched businesses go under, and struggled to stay on top of their studies amid wave after wave of restrictions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. But for some 10 million Swedes, the eighteen months since the first local Covid-19 case was registered last February have been largely unremarkable. ... “They achieved infection control; they managed to keep infections relatively low and they didn't have any health care collapse.”... Sweden's economy has also bounced back faster than any other country in Europe. By June, GDP had overtaken where it was before the pandemic struck and the economy is estimated to grow by 4.6 per cent this year.... The psychological toll of the pandemic also appears to have been less dramatic in Sweden..... The National Board of Health and Welfare reported a continuation in the decline in the number of people seeking treatment for anxiety and depression, particularly among children and young adults. ... A large part of this is likely down to the decision to keep primary and lower secondary schools open throughout. Even in upper secondary schools, only children who test positive or have been formally contact-traced are asked to stay home.

    CBS News At Virtual Townhall, Officials Say Youngsters Are Committing Carjackings For Thrills
    By Jermont Terry
    February 1, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s a thrill – that’s what the feds are saying the carjackings terrorizing Chicago amount to for those who are committing them – and 80 percent of those charged are kids.

    Surge of Student Suicides Pushes Las Vegas Schools to Reopen
    Erica L. Green
    January 24, 2021, 10:37 AM

    The reminders of pandemic-driven suffering among students in Clark County, Nevada, have come in droves. Since schools shut their doors in March, an early warning system that monitors students’ mental health episodes has sent more than 3,100 alerts to district officials, raising alarms about suicidal thoughts, possible self-harm or cries for care. By December, 18 students had taken their own lives. The spate of student suicides in and around Las Vegas has pushed the Clark County district, the nation’s fifth largest, toward bringing students back as quickly as possible.

    CBS News Kids have regressed due to COVID-19 restrictions, with some potty-trained kids going back to diapers, experts say
    By Caitlin O'Kane
    November 10, 2020 / 3:55 PM / CBS News

    An education watchdog in the U.K. found that some children have regressed due to COVID-19-related school closures and restrictions. A report from Ofsted, the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills, says some kids have fallen back in basic skills – and some who were greatly impacted have even forgotten how to use a fork and knife.

    Wall Street Journal Remote Kindergarten During Covid-19 ‘Could Impact This Generation of Kids for Their Lifetime’
    Kindergartners normally learn skills valuable for the rest of their education; an estimated 450,000 children may miss the grade this year
    By Valerie Bauerlein
    May 9, 2021 5:30 am ET

    ..... Kindergarten “can’t be replicated even by the very best teachers in the virtual environment,” said Whitney Oakley, chief academic officer for North Carolina’s Guilford County Schools. A missed, delayed or low-quality kindergarten experience “could impact this generation of kids for their lifetime.”

    Back to top

    Africa spared? Isolation and chemicals worsen outbreaks.

    CBS News: What Will Our Kids’ Post-Pandemic Immune Systems Be Like?
    By Heather Brown
    February 18, 2021 at 10:02 pm

    So once we’re beyond the pandemic, what happens to our immune systems? Will it affect how often our kids get sick? WCCO spoke with Dr. Gigi Chawla, head of general pediatrics at Children’s Minnesota. .... “Your immune system learns from previous illnesses and exposures, whatever the time period is,” Chawla said.

    The hygiene hypothesis: How being too clean might be making us sick
    By Joseph Stromberg
    Updated Jan 28, 2015, 11:07am EST

    Over the past few decades, doctors have arrived at a counterintuitive hypothesis about our modern, ultra-sanitized world. Too much cleanliness may be causing us to develop allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel diseases, and other autoimmune disorders. The idea is that for many children in the wealthy world, a lack of exposure to bacteria, viruses, and allergens prevents the normal development of the immune system, ultimately increasing the chance of disorders within this system down the road. This is called the hygiene hypothesis.

    Coronavirus in South Africa: Scientists explore surprise theory for low death rate
    By Andrew Harding
    BBC Africa correspondent, Johannesburg
    Published 2 September 2020

    The idea is that, by studying the PBMCs, the scientists might find evidence that people had been widely infected by other coronaviruses - those, for instance, responsible for many common colds - and that, as a result, they might enjoy some degree of immunity to Covid-19.

    "It's a hypothesis. Some level of pre-existing cross-protective immunity… might explain why the epidemic didn't unfold (the way it did in other parts of the world)," said Professor Madhi, explaining that data from scientists in the United States appeared to support the hypothesis of some pre-existing immunity.

    Colds and flu are, of course, commonplace around the world. But the South African scientists wondered whether, because those viruses spread more effectively in over-crowded neighbourhoods where it is harder for people to self-isolate, there might be an extra degree of immunity towards Covid-19.

    "The protection might be much more intense in highly populated areas, in African settings. It might explain why the majority (on the continent) have asymptomatic or mild infections," Professor Madhi said.

    "I can't think of anything else that would explain the numbers of completely asymptomatic people we're seeing. The numbers are completely unbelievable,"he said, expressing cautious hope that some of the challenges that have so often held back poorer communities might now work in their favour.

    Germ-free kids may risk more adult illnesses: study
    by Karin Zeitvogel Karin Zeitvogel
    Wed December 9, 2009 3:57 pm ET

    "Our research suggests that ultra-clean, ultra-hygienic environments early in life may contribute to higher levels of inflammation as an adult, which in turn increases risks for a wide range of diseases," including cardiovascular disease, Thomas McDade, lead author of the study, said.

    You Can Stop Cleaning Your Mail Now
    People are power scrubbing their way to a false sense of security.

    July 27, 2020
    Staff writer at The Atlantic

    As a COVID-19 summer surge sweeps the country, deep cleans are all the rage.

    FDA Warns About Toxic Hand Sanitizers
    Agency found wood alcohol, which can be fatal when ingested, in dozens of products originating from companies in Mexico
    By Sharon Terlep
    Wall Street Journal
    July 24, 2020 8:18 am ET

    "Wood alcohol, or methanol, can be fatal when ingested and lead to methanol poisoning when applied to the skin."

    One Of The World's Poorest Countries Has One Of The World's Lowest COVID Death Rates
    May 4, 2021 8:22 AM ET
    Heard on Morning Edition

    NPR: "Haiti has one of the lowest death rates from COVID-19 in the world..... Most people have given up wearing masks in public. Buses and markets are crowded. And Haiti hasn't yet administered a single COVID-19 vaccine. ... Dr. Jean Pape says very few cases are detected each day. ... "Sometimes it's two, sometimes zero, sometimes it's 20 cases," he says. "But we are not seeing a second wave, as we had thought would happen."

    Back to top

    Do any measures actually make a difference?

    Rate of coronavirus death proportion to population
    as of August 21, 2020 (highest to lowest)

    Belgium: 0.087% (9,976 deaths of 11.5 million population)
    England: 0.066% (36,765 deaths of 56 million population)
    Spain: 0.061% (28,838 deaths of 47 million population)
    Italy: 0.059% (35,427 deaths of 60.3 million population)
    Chile: 0.057% (10,723 deaths of 18.7 million population)
    Sweden: 0.057% (5,810 deaths of 10.23 million population)
    United States: 0.053% (175,000 deaths of 328 million population)

    NIH "The data suggest that both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to block human-to-human transmission of viral and infectious disease such SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, supporting against the usage of facemasks."
    Med Hypotheses. 2021 Jan; 146: 110411.
    By Baruch Vainshelboim

    "Conclusion: The existing scientific evidences challenge the safety and efficacy of wearing facemask as preventive intervention for COVID-19. The data suggest that both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to block human-to-human transmission of viral and infectious disease such SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, supporting against the usage of facemasks. Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects. These include hypoxia, hypercapnia, shortness of breath, increased acidity and toxicity, activation of fear and stress response, rise in stress hormones, immunosuppression, fatigue, headaches, decline in cognitive performance, predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, chronic stress, anxiety and depression. Long-term consequences of wearing facemask can cause health deterioration, developing and progression of chronic diseases and premature death. Governments, policy makers and health organizations should utilize prosper and scientific evidence-based approach with respect to wearing facemasks, when the latter is considered as preventive intervention for public health."

    New York Times
    Those Anti-Covid Plastic Barriers Probably Don’t Help and May Make Things Worse

    August 19, 2021 in News

    Intuition tells us a plastic shield would be protective against germs. But scientists who study aerosols, air flow and ventilation say that much of the time, the barriers don’t help and probably give people a false sense of security. And sometimes the barriers can make things worse. ... Research suggests that in some instances, a barrier protecting a clerk behind a checkout counter may redirect the germs to another worker or customer. Rows of clear plastic shields, like those you might find in a nail salon or classroom, can also impede normal air flow and ventilation. ... Under normal conditions in stores, classrooms and offices, exhaled breath particles disperse, carried by air currents and, depending on the ventilation system, are replaced by fresh air roughly every 15 to 30 minutes. But erecting plastic barriers can change air flow in a room, disrupt normal ventilation and create “dead zones,” where viral aerosol particles can build up and become highly concentrated.

    Plexiglass Barriers Are Everywhere, but They're Probably Useless
    There's a good chance they haven't been preventing the spread of COVID, and they might even be counterproductive.

    Liz Wolfe
    5.27.2021 4:30 PM

    For a virus that spreads via airborne transmission of aerosols—something scientists have known for many months, though it took the World Health Organization until the end of April to update its guidance—these plastic barriers between diners were always a confusing addition. Think of the particles that disperse through the air when someone smokes a cigarette. A plastic barrier wouldn't prevent you from smelling that cigarette and breathing some of that same air.... It would be one thing if this form of hygiene theater was limited to restaurants. But school districts across the country have forced children to try to learn while encased in plexiglass desk dividers—that is, if they've allowed kids to return to full-time in-person schooling at all. ... Given the incredibly low risk of death to children posed by COVID, and the mounting evidence that Plexiglass barriers do not make people safer, it's past time to remove them; a kindergarten classroom shouldn't be filled with thick, see-through partitions like a convenience store in a bad part of town.

    MSN.COM Hygiene Theater Is Still a Huge Waste of Time
    Derek Thompson
    February 8, 2021

    "If somebody with COVID-19 sneezes three times onto a little spot on a cold steel table, and you rub your hand around in the snot for a bit and immediately lick your fingers, that disgusting act may well result in you infecting yourself."

    New England Journal of Medicine
    Universal Masking in Hospitals in the Covid-19 Era
    May 21, 2020
    N Engl J Med 2020; 382:e63
    DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp2006372

    "We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. .... The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic..... A mask alone in this setting will reduce risk only slightly, however, since it does not provide protection from droplets that may enter the eyes or from fomites on the patient or in the environment that providers may pick up on their hands and carry to their mucous membranes (particularly given the concern that mask wearers may have an increased tendency to touch their faces)."

    Volume 26, Number 5—May 2020
    CDC Policy Review
    CDC 2018 Virus study review:
    Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures

    Although mechanistic studies support the potential effect of hand hygiene or face masks, evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials of these measures did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza. We similarly found limited evidence on the effectiveness of improved hygiene and environmental cleaning. .... In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks.... Given that influenza virus can survive on some surfaces for prolonged periods, and that cleaning or disinfection procedures can effectively reduce or inactivate influenza virus from surfaces and objects in experimental studies, there is a theoretical basis to believe that environmental cleaning could reduce influenza transmission. As an illustration of this proposal, a modeling study estimated that cleaning of extensively touched surfaces could reduce influenza A infection by 2%. However, most studies of influenza virus in the environment are based on detection of virus RNA by PCR, and few studies reported detection of viable virus. ... Although irritation caused by cleaning products is limited, safety remains a concern because some cleaning products can be toxic or cause allergies. .... In this review, we did not find evidence to support a protective effect of personal protective measures or environmental measures in reducing influenza transmission. ... However, in our systematic review, updating the findings of Wong et al., we did not find evidence of a major effect of hand hygiene on laboratory-confirmed influenza virus transmission .... We did not find evidence that surgical-type face masks are effective in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza transmission, either when worn by infected persons (source control) or by persons in the general community to reduce their susceptibility.

    Dr. Anthony Fauci talks with Dr Jon LaPook about Covid-19
    CBS 60 Minutes
    March 8, 2020

    Dr. Anthony Fauci: "Right now in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks. There's no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you're in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it's not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And, often, there are unintended consequences — people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face."

    The surgeon general wants Americans to stop buying face masks
    By Leah Asmelash, CNN
    Updated 9:38 AM ET, Mon March 2, 2020

    (CNN) The United States' top doctor has one simple request: Stop buying face masks. US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams' message, posted to Twitter on Saturday, was a response to face mask shortages as people stocked up due to coronavirus concerns. "Seriously people," he began, and though it's a tweet, you can almost hear the exasperation in his plea. "STOP BUYING MASKS!... They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus..."

    Fauci Said Masks 'Not Really Effective in Keeping Out Virus,' Email Reveals
    By Darragh Roche On 6/2/21 at 4:59 AM EDT

    Dr. Anthony Fauci wrote in February 2020 that store-bought face masks would not be very effective at protecting against the COVID-19 pandemic and advised a traveler not to wear one.

    Fauci says he wears a mask to be a symbol of what 'you should be doing'
    By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
    Updated 11:36 AM ET, Wed May 27, 2020

    Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday called for a cautious approach to reopening the US and implored Americans to wear face masks in public.... "because I want to make it be a symbol for people to see that that's the kind of thing you should be doing," Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and a member of the White House's coronavirus task force, told CNN's Jim Sciutto on "Newsroom." Fauci said he believes that while wearing a mask is not "100% effective," it is a valuable safeguard and shows "respect for another person."

    Is Sweden’s coronavirus strategy working after all?
    By Natalie Huet & Per Bergfors Nyberg
    last updated: 28/07/2020

    Sweden famously took a totally different approach to its Nordic neighbours in trying to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    The Swedish strategy allowed people to keep living largely as normal. Stores and restaurants remained open – so too did many schools.

    With a COVID-19 death toll of 5,700, Sweden’s mortality rate from the disease is now around a quarter higher than that of the United States, when adjusted for population size.

    Sweden is still nowhere near 'herd immunity,' even though it didn't go into lockdown
    By Niamh Kennedy, CNN
    Updated 5:12 PM ET, Thu May 21, 2020

    "Sweden's percentage of people with antibodies is not far off that of other countries that did enforce lockdowns."

    CNBC Health and Science
    Sweden resisted a lockdown, and its capital Stockholm is expected to reach 'herd immunity' in weeks
    Published Wed, Apr 22 2020 6:56 AM EDT
    Key Points
    * Unlike its neighbors, Sweden did not impose a lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak.
    * The strategy — aimed at building a broad-base of immunity while protecting at-risk groups like the elderly — has proved controversial.
    * But Sweden's chief epidemiologist has said "herd immunity" could be reached in Stockholm within weeks.

    Its neighbors closed borders, schools, bars and businesses as the coronavirus pandemic swept through Europe, but Sweden went against the grain by keeping public life as unrestricted as possible.

    Sweden Says Controversial Virus Strategy Proving Effective
    By Niclas Rolander (Bloomberg)
    Updated on April 20, 2020, 2:10 AM EDT

    "Sweden has left its schools, gyms, cafes, bars and restaurants open throughout the spread of the pandemic. Instead, the government has urged citizens to act responsibly and follow social distancing guidelines."

    Sweden bucks global trend with experimental virus strategy
    Fewer restrictions than other leading countries and schools remain open
    Richard Milne in Oslo (Financial Times) March 25, 2020

    Sweden has become an international outlier in its response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak by keeping schools open and adopting few other restrictions, as the Scandinavian nation embarks on what one health expert called a “huge experiment”.

    Back to top

    Before Covid19 vaccines --- over 90% of the infections
    were asymptomatic or had pre-existing immunity
    Did vaccines make it better or worse?

    Hundreds of thousands in L.A. County may have been infected with coronavirus, study finds
    By Melanie Mason, Staff Writer
    Los Angeles Times April 20, 2020

    "Both studies [Stanford University and University of Southern California] estimated a mortality rate of 0.1% to 0.2%, which is closer to the death rate associated with the seasonal flu."

    In four U.S. state prisons, nearly 3,300 inmates test positive for coronavirus -- 96% without symptoms
    APRIL 25, 2020 / 6:01 PM

    "Of the 444 who were infected by the virus, 98% were asymptomatic, the state’s department of public safety said."

    More than 200 sailors aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt test positive for coronavirus
    By Justin Wise - 04/07/20 06:09 PM EDT

    More than 200 sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the aircraft carrier whose captain was fired after warning of a coronavirus outbreak, have tested positive for COVID-19, the Navy said Tuesday.... No hospitalizations have been required, the Navy said, and 2,000 sailors were temporarily moved to shore in response to the outbreak.

    Nearly 95 percent of Tyson Foods employees with COVID-19 were asymptomatic, company says
    by KATV
    Friday, June 19th 2020

    "In four U.S. state prisons, nearly 3,300 inmates test positive for coronavirus -- 96% without symptoms.."

    Low Asymptomatic Risk: Virus Update
    Bloomberg News
    June 8, 2020

    Transmission of the coronavirus by people who aren’t showing symptoms is “very rare,” the World Health Organization said as infections surpassed 7 million globally.

    Back to top

    Poverty and hunger caused by social distancing is killing millions.....

    More Americans Go Hungry Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, Census Shows
    Causes include higher food prices, school closings; expiration of federal jobless benefits deepens distress

    Wall Street Journal
    By David Harrison
    Updated Aug. 16, 2020 12:47 pm ET

    The number of Americans who say they can’t afford enough food for themselves or their children is growing, according to Census data, and it is likely to get larger now that some government benefits have expired.

    Extreme poverty rises and a generation sees future slip away
    Associated Press
    August 10, 2020 GMT

    "With the virus and its restrictions, up to 100 million more people globally could fall into the bitter existence of living on just $1.90 a day, according to the World Bank."

    Coronavirus Pandemic Leaves Millions Of Americans Unemployed, Hungry
    By Steve Inskeep, National Public Radio
    May 27, 2020

    (NPR) Originally published on May 27, 2020 8:03 am

    U.N. Warns Number Of People Starving To Death Could Double Amid Pandemic
    May 5, 2020 3:55 AM ET
    H.J. Mai, National Public Radio

    (NPR) The U.N.'s humanitarian chief has warned that without global cooperation and financial assistance, the number of people dying from hunger or hunger-related diseases could double this year due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic..... Every year, around 9 million people die of hunger, according to the international relief agency Mercy Corps.

    'We need food': Tunisians struggle under coronavirus lockdown

    Tensions rise in Tunisia as people struggle to cope with hunger and unemployment amid coronavirus outbreak.
    by Sofia Barbarani
    11 Apr 2020 18:12 GMT

    Hungry neighbors cook together as virus roils Latin America
    Associated Press
    June 19, 2020

    " recent months as coronavirus quarantines and shutdowns have left millions of poor people with no way to feed their families."

    'Hunger will kill us before coronavirus', say Rohingya in India
    Thousands of Rohingya in India battle hunger as a coronavirus outbreak in refugee camps looms large.
    by Raqib Hameed Naik
    31 Mar 2020 05:10 GMT

    Din Mohammad is doing everything possible in his power to keep his family and fellow Rohingya refugees healthy during a three-week lockdown enforced by the Indian government to fight the coronavirus.

    New York Times: For India’s Laborers, Coronavirus Lockdown Is an Order to Starve
    Despite leaders’ decrees on staying home, laborers who live hand-to-mouth say they have no choice but to keep hitting the streets. Here are their stories.
    By Maria Abi-Habib and Sameer Yasir
    March 30, 2020

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered a lockdown of India’s 1.3 billion citizens to fight the spread of coronavirus, urging people to distance themselves socially and work from home.

    Back to top

    Media Covid19 fearmongering is creating anxiety and increasing suicide rates

    National Public Radio
    WAMU May 18, 2020
    Suicide Experts Are Seeing Worrying Signs During The Pandemic

    The global pandemic is putting a strain on Americans’ mental health. There’s been a surge of calls to crisis lines in the past two months. Add a spike in gun sales to that, and experts say we may be at risk of a suicide epidemic.

    Domestic violence victims facing higher risks amid coronavirus quarantine
    By Sara Dorn
    March 28, 2020 | 10:55am

    Domestic violence victims trapped at home with their abusers amid the coronavirus crisis are in more peril than ever — at the same time, the courts have vastly reduced the number of protection orders they are processing.

    A third of Americans now show signs of clinical anxiety or depression, Census Bureau finds
    Alyssa Fowers and William Wan
    The Washington Post
    Published 1:51 pm PDT, Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    A third of Americans are showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression, Census Bureau data shows, the most definitive and alarming sign yet of the psychological toll exacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

    Mental Health
    How Pandemic Has Affected Mental Health Of LGBTQ Youth In The U.S.
    July 20, 2020 4:09 PM ET
    Heard on All Things Considered

    NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with Amit Paley of The Trevor Project about its recent survey on the mental health of LGBTQ youth and how being quarantined in unsupportive households is affecting their lives.

    Exasperation Grows Over Delays Trying To Sign Up For Unemployment, ‘People Have No Food, People Are Talking About Suicide’
    April 27, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Unemployment remains a major issue across the country.

    “People have no food. People are talking about suicide,” Izzi said. “We’re literally begging you, sir, please come out of your ivory tower, come down here in the trenches with your people and actually see what’s going on, answer us.”

    Wall Street Journal: More People Are Taking Drugs for Anxiety and Insomnia, and Doctors Are Worried
    As coronavirus health concerns, social isolation and job-loss stress take a toll, people turn to medications; ‘It can very quickly become a habit’
    By Andrea Petersen
    May 25, 2020 9:00 am ET

    Prescriptions for anti-anxiety medications and sleep aids have risen during the pandemic, prompting doctors to warn about the possibility of long-term addiction and abuse of the drugs.

    Health (National Public Radio)
    COVID-19 Crisis: More Testing Needed, Online Support For Alcoholics
    April 20, 2020 5:02 AM ET
    Heard on Morning Edition
    Allison Aubrey, NPR

    "AUBREY: That's right. That's exactly right. I mean, it is clear in the scientific literature that poverty and economic hard times take their toll on health. Economic hardship can exacerbate chronic conditions. It can obviously limit access to health care. And for many people who are dealing with addiction or alcoholism, this shutdown has been tough."

    "NOGUCHI: You know, the common thread I've heard across a lot of stories is that life in pandemic is just full of triggers, stresses that stir up past traumas and past problem behaviors. So, for example, I talked to one local woman. She's in early recovery from addiction and didn't want us to use her name. She's a teacher and isn't working obviously. And in the past, she says that kind of social isolation triggered heavy drinking."

    New York Times: In the Wake of Covid-19 Lockdowns, a Troubling Surge in Homicides
    August 11, 2020

    “People have gotten to the point where they just don’t give a damn,” said a minister in Kansas City, which is on pace for a record number of killings.

    Back to top

    5 states account for almost all the Covid19 excess deaths
    The CDC has the numbers. Why are they not investigating?

    New York’s true nursing home death toll cloaked in secrecy
    August 11, 2020 GMT

    "New York’s coronavirus death toll in nursing homes, already among the highest in the nation, could actually be a significant undercount. .... But so far the administration of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has refused to divulge the number, leading to speculation the state is manipulating the figures to make it appear it is doing a better than other states and to make a tragic situation less dire..... But a controversial March 25 order to send recovering COVID-19 patients from hospitals into nursing homes that was designed to free up hospital bed space at the height of the pandemic has drawn withering criticism from relatives and patient advocates who contend it accelerated nursing home outbreaks. ... Cuomo reversed the order under pressure in early May. And his health department later released an internal report that concluded asymptomatic nursing home staffers were the real spreaders of the virus, not the 6,300 recovering patients released from hospitals into nursing homes. .... But epidemiologists and academics derided the study for a flawed methodology that sidestepped key questions and relied on selective stats, including the state’s official death toll figures."

    In per-capita COVID deaths, Texas ranks No. 28
    Rick Kelley -
    August 3, 2020

    "In the states with highest per-capita death rates, both New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy ordered nursing homes to accept patients who had tested positive for coronavirus.... Governors of three other states with high per-capita death rates, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, which ranked No. 7 with 65 deaths per 100,000, and Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, which ranked 11th at 56 deaths per 100,000, also ordered positive COVID-19 cases into nursing homes."

    New York Times: ‘Playing Russian Roulette’: Nursing Homes Told to Take the Infected
    California, New Jersey and New York have made nursing homes accept Covid-19 patients from hospitals. Residents and workers fear the policy is risking lives.
    By Kim Barker and Amy Julia Harris
    Published April 24, 2020
    Updated May 7, 2020

    Neal Nibur has lived in a nursing home for about a year, ever since he had a bad bout of pneumonia. Now, the 80-year-old man has not only his own health to worry about but that of his neighbors at the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., residence. Four new patients recently arrived from the hospital with Covid-19.

    They were admitted for one reason, according to staff members: A state guideline says nursing homes cannot refuse to take patients from hospitals solely because they have the coronavirus.

    POLITICO: States prod nursing homes to take more Covid-19 patients
    Offered vastly higher reimbursements, many substandard facilities are jumping at the chance to accept sick residents.
    06/04/2020 07:55 PM EDT

    Programs designed to help elderly people with coronavirus are creating a perverse financial incentive for nursing homes with bad track records to bring in sick patients, raising the risks of spreading infections and substandard care for seriously ill patients, according to advocates for the elderly and industry experts.

    Coronavirus-positive patients can bring in double or more the funding of other residents. States including California, Massachusetts, Michigan and New Mexico, wanting to relieve pressure on crowded hospitals, are providing extra incentives for nursing homes to accept such patients.

    States ordered nursing homes to take COVID-19 residents. Thousands died. Here's what happened
    David Robinson, Stacey Barchenger
    Kelly Powers
    Published 7:25 a.m. ET May 1, 2020

    The deadly virus has spread like wildfire through many nursing homes across the Northeast, and state officials are scrambling to better protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

    House Hammers Governors Over Nursing Home Admission Orders Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
    By Alex Spanko
    June 17, 2020

    As a leading House Democrat demands information about the response to COVID-19 in nursing homes from the federal government — and a quintet of top operators — his Republican counterparts have targeted governors whose states required facilities to take in patients with COVID-19.

    Rep. Steve Scalise, the Louisiana Republican who serves as the ranking member on the House’s Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, led a group of GOP lawmakers in sending letters to five state governors, all Democrats, asking for detailed information about their COVID-19 policies for nursing homes.

    “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected the elderly, especially those living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities,” the U.S. representatives wrote in the introduction to each letter. “We write seeking information, at a granular level, about the science and information used to inform your decision to mandate nursing homes and long-term care facilities admit untested and contagious COVID-19 patients from hospitals.”

    The letters, dated June 15, were sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, and Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania.

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    Is there corruption in the Covid19 fatality counting?

    Colorado Gov Polis pushes back against CDC’s coronavirus death counts
    Ronn Blitzer
    May 17, 2020

    Colorado Gov. Jared Polis pushed back against recent coronavirus death counts, including those conducted by the CDC, days after his own state’s health department acknowledged that their numbers had been inflated by including people who had the virus but died from other causes.

    Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing | April 7, 2020
    Issued on: April 7, 2020

    Deborah Birx: "There are other countries that if you had a pre-existing condition, and let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU [intensive care unit] and then have a heart or kidney problem. Some countries are recording that as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death. [In the United States] if someone dies with covid-19, we are counting that as a covid-19 death."

    N.Y.C. Death Toll Soars Past 10,000 in Revised Virus Count The city has added more than 3,700 additional people who were presumed to have died of the coronavirus but had never tested positive.
    By J. David Goodman and William K. Rashbaum
    April 14, 2020

    "New York City is among a handful of places in the country, including Connecticut, Ohio and Delaware, that are beginning to disclose cases where infection is presumed but not confirmed."

    Feds classifying all coronavirus patient deaths as ‘COVID-19’ deaths, regardless of cause
    April 7, 2020 | 11:38pm

    The federal government is classifying the deaths of patients infected with the coronavirus as COVID-19 deaths, regardless of any underlying health issues that could have contributed to the loss of someone’s life.

    Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force, said the federal government is continuing to count the suspected COVID-19 deaths, despite other nations doing the opposite.

    “There are other countries that if you had a pre-existing condition, and let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU [intensive care unit] and then have a heart or kidney problem,” she said during a Tuesday news briefing at the White House. “Some countries are recording that as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death.

    Minnesota doctor blasts 'ridiculous' CDC coronavirus death count guidelines
    April 10, 2020
    By Charles Creitz

    "Right now Medicare has determined that if you have a COVID-19 admission to the hospital you’ll get paid $13,000. If that COVID-19 patient goes on a ventilator, you get $39,000; three times as much. Nobody can tell me, after 35 years in the world of medicine, that sometimes those kinds of things [have] impact on what we do.

    CBS News Man who died in motorcycle crash counted as COVID-19 death in Florida: Report
    by Lizandra Portal
    Saturday, July 18th 2020

    According to the report, Orange County Health Officer Dr. Raul Pino was asked whether two coronavirus victims in their 20s had any underlying medical conditions that could have potentially made them more susceptible to the virus.... Pino's answer was that one of the two people who was listed as a COVID death actually died in a motorcycle crash. Despite health officials knowing the man died in a motorcycle crash... Gov. Ron DeSantis during a news conference on Wednesday says Florida law for a reportable illness states that if someone tests positive, it must be reported.

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    Safer at home --- or is isolation the cause?

    CNBC: Cuomo says it’s ‘shocking’ most new coronavirus hospitalizations are people who had been staying home
    Published Wed, May 6 2020 12:25 PM EDT
    Noah Higgins-Dunn, Kevin Breuninger

    “This is a surprise: Overwhelmingly, the people were at home,” he added. “We thought maybe they were taking public transportation, and we’ve taken special precautions on public transportation, but actually no, because these people were literally at home.”

    NPR: Coronavirus Updates: National Public Radio
    April 30, 2020 4:15 PM ET
    Heard on All Things Considered

    "SHAPIRO: ... But this is a controversial idea, so what does the science tell us about the risk of catching the coronavirus when you're outside in a place like a beach?... LINSEY MARR: And out of over 7,000 cases that they looked at, they were able to identify only two where the transmission occurred outdoors in a conversation between two people..... GREENFIELDBOYCE: So that suggests the indoors, not outside, is where the vast majority of transmission actually happens..... SHAPIRO: So if people are going to go to beaches, should they pack masks along with their sunscreen? .... GREENFIELDBOYCE: Well, I asked Josh Santarpia at the University of Nebraska Medical Center specifically about beaches today. And he told me there's a lot there at the beach that would work against the virus. You've got the breeze, the sunlight, the humidity, the heat.... JOSH SANTARPIA: I mean, my honest opinion is that, you know, you're probably safer outside than inside."

    Why does COVID-19 strike some and not others? Fauci sees an answer in new study Michael Wilner
    August 11, 2020, 4:00 AM

    The study found that the immune systems of roughly half of its subjects appeared to remember past exposure to other, prevalent coronaviruses, including variants of the common cold, equipping them to respond more quickly to a COVID-19 infection once it appeared.

    T cells found in COVID-19 patients ‘bode well’ for long-term immunity
    By Mitch Leslie
    May 14, 2020 , 9:00 PM

    "The teams also asked whether people who haven’t been infected with SARS-CoV-2 also produce cells that combat it. Thiel and colleagues analyzed blood from 68 uninfected people and found that 34% hosted helper T cells that recognized SARS-CoV-2. The La Jolla team detected this crossreactivity in about half of stored blood samples collected between 2015 and 2018, well before the current pandemic began. The researchers think these cells were likely triggered by past infection with one of the four human coronaviruses that cause colds; proteins in these viruses resemble those of SARS-CoV-2."

    How did Hawaii go from the most isolated and safest state in June 2020 ----
    to the worst hit with coronavirus in August 2020?
    Isolation from infection makes people more vulnerable:

    'Ghost town': As tourism plummets from coronavirus, Hawaii grapples with Great Depression-level unemployment
    One town has 35% unemployment, higher than the peak of the Great Depression.
    By Catherine Thorbecke
    June 13, 2020, 9:25 AM
    15 min read

    "We’re probably the safest state in the country right now in terms of health outcomes and controlling the virus," he said.

    Experts: COVID-19 is spreading in Hawaii at a faster rate than anywhere else in the nation
    By HNN Staff | August 10, 2020 at 3:18 PM HST
    Updated August 11 at 2:45 PM

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    Before Covid19 vaccines --- were hospitals overwhelmed?

    New York Times
    The U.S. media is offering a different picture of Covid-19 from science journals or the international media, a study finds.
    By David Leonhardt
    March 24, 2021 6:47 a.m. ET

    ...When cases were falling, the coverage instead focused on those places where cases were rising. .... The coverage by U.S. publications with a national audience has been much more negative than coverage by any other source that the researchers analyzed, including scientific journals, major international publications and regional U.S. media. ....

    National Public Radio
    Las Vegas Casinos Are Open At 50% Capacity. What About Las Vegas Hospitals?
    August 10, 2020 3:48 PM ET
    Heard on All Things Considered

    (NPR) "STEVE SISOLAK: We have room in our hospitals. We have room in our ICUs."

    Two Miami-Dade COVID hospitals haven’t treated a single patient. One closed this week.
    By Martin Vassolo and Doug Hanks
    June 05, 2020 05:07 PM

    Miami-Dade’s first coronavirus field hospital, assembled in March in Tamiami Park, was dismantled this week, while the state has extended its lease on the Miami Beach Convention Center, which was retrofitted with hospital facilities for COVID-19 patients in April.... Neither hospital has had a single patient.

    Doctors worry the coronavirus is keeping patients away from US hospitals as ER visits drop: 'Heart attacks don't stop'
    Published Tue, Apr 14 2020 3:40 PM EDT

    "Instead of the wartime triage scenarios predicted by U.S. health officials, emergency rooms in some parts of the country are relatively empty."

    National Public Radio
    COVID-19 Fears May Be Causing People To Ignore Medical Emergencies
    May 6, 2020 5:04 AM ET
    Heard on Morning Edition

    "....ER doctors are saying they're seeing this overall big drop in patients coming in, including here in Los Angeles. They say they've never seen anything like this, and they use words like eerie and shocking. One estimate says ER visits are down 40% to 50% nationwide.... KING: And, Will, it's worth noting that heart attacks and strokes are some of the most common medical problems in the United States. These are not things that you can put off for a week. And yet you're reporting that those patients who would normally be calling 911 are not. What's going on? .... STONE: Doctors and nurses are wondering the same thing. They say this kind of drop-off in heart attack and stroke patients is just unprecedented. Some 911 data show calls for these types of emergencies started declining in mid-March. At the University of Washington here in Seattle, the hospital saw a 60% decline in patients admitted for stroke in the first half of April compared to last year. There's a similar trend with heart attacks, according to another study..... KING: Which sounds like it could potentially lead to another public health crisis which is quieter than COVID-19 but happening at the same time. Will, what happens to patients who are having strokes or heart attacks but who don't call an ambulance right away?... STONE: Some doctors have told us they are already seeing tragic consequences because people are avoiding the hospital. You see, for an emergency like a stroke, acting quickly when you first notice symptoms is absolutely crucial."

    New York Times
    Where Have All the Heart Attacks Gone?
    Except for treating Covid-19, many hospitals seem to be eerily quiet.

    By Harlan M. Krumholz, M.D.
    April 6, 2020

    The hospitals are eerily quiet, except for Covid-19......In more normal times, we never have so many empty beds.

    CBS reairs footage of Italian hospital after blaming first incident on 'editing mistake'
    by Dominick Mastrangelo
    April 08, 2020 05:19 PM

    CBS News reaired footage of an Italian hospital during a segment about U.S. medical facilities scrambling to deal with overcrowding because of the coronavirus.

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    How do we stop the inevitable new virus strain?
    Every year, new virus strains travel our global ecosystem,
    and no measures can reduce inevitable total cases.

    Washington Post Editorial Board: Don’t bring back restrictions.
    July 27, 2021 at 4:46 p.m. EDT

    "Indeed, [Johns Hopkins University professor Marty Makary] points out that there are four seasonal coronaviruses that have circulated in the United States for decades, and that make up about 25 percent of all cases of the common cold. Covid-19 is probably going to become the fifth."

    Flattening the Coronavirus Curve and the Importance of Social Distancing
    By Katelyn Newman, Staff Writer
    U.S. News
    March 18, 2020, at 6:07 a.m.

    "The purpose was always, as mentioned in the original documents, to try to keep the demand on the system down and not overwhelm the capacity for health responders to manage people who would inevitably become ill."

    Why we should keep trying to contain the coronavirus and ‘flatten the curve’
    By Melissa Healy, Amina Khan
    Los Angeles Times
    March 11, 2020
    5:23 PM

    Instead, the objective is to spread out the inevitable infections so that the healthcare system isn’t overwhelmed with patients.

    Americans Act To Flatten the Coronavirus Epidemic Curve
    Ronald Bailey
    3.13.2020 3:40 PM

    Since the epidemic is inevitable, the best strategy for coping with it is to flatten the curve—that is, to adopt measures that slow down the rate of infection. The number of people eventually infected will not necessarily be lower, but the goal is spread out the infections over time in order to avoid overtaxing the health care system with a flood of cases.

    Coronavirus: What is 'flattening the curve,' and will it work?
    By Brandon Specktor
    Senior Writer 16 March 2020

    A flatter curve, on the other hand, assumes the same number of people ultimately get infected, but over a longer period of time.

    US Tries To 'Flatten The Curve', Avoid Overwhelming Spike In Coronavirus Cases
    WGHN Boston National Public Radio
    By Joe Mathieu
    March 16, 2020

    The whole goal is to limit the number of close interactions you have with other people in the hopes that it will just make it that much harder for the virus to spread from one person to another, slow down the spread and make the inevitable surge in cases something that is more manageable for the health care system as opposed to a tsunami of cases that would effectively cripple hospitals.

    Coronavirus infection rates begin to fall, but 'flattening the curve' may mean WA is locked down even longer
    By James Carmody
    Posted 31 March 2020, updated 1 April 2020

    He was resolute that WA could not avoid coronavirus and that he remained committed to the national goal of "flattening the curve".

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    Why not focus resources on susceptible populations?
    Populations with comorbidity are most vulnerable

    CDC Releases Early Demographic Snapshot of Worst Coronavirus Cases
    David Waldstein
    The New York Times
    April 9, 2020

    Approximately 90% of the 1,482 hospitalized patients included in the study released Wednesday had one or more underlying medical conditions.

    99% of Those Who Died From Virus Had Other Illness, Italy Says
    By Tommaso Ebhardt, Chiara Remondini, and Marco Bertacche
    March 18, 2020, 8:56 AM EDT

    More than 99% of Italy’s coronavirus fatalities were people who suffered from previous medical conditions, according to a study by the country’s national health authority.

    Most NYC Virus Deaths Were Among People With Other Health Ills
    By Drew Armstrong
    March 25, 2020, 11:25 AM EDT

    "Ninety-five percent of New York City’s almost 200 deaths from the new coronavirus had underlying health conditions.... About half of all adults had some degree of high blood pressure, according to a separate CDC report..... The [New York] data line up with places like Italy, where 99% of patients who died in that country’s large, ongoing outbreak had some form of underlying health condition."

    CDC Provisional Death Counts for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
    Table 3. Conditions contributing to deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), by age group, United States. Week ending 2/1/2020 to 8/22/2020.*

    Comorbidities: Table 3 shows the types of health conditions and contributing causes mentioned in conjunction with deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death.

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