Happy Thanksgiving. I guess that by the time you receive this, you’ll be well finished eating and might have even taken a “post-prandial nap” to allow the body to concentrate on digesting for a while (guilty confession – I did!). Or maybe you’ve been busy being “the life of the party” while surrounded by friends and family. I hope you’ve had a great day, however you’ve spent it.
Before moving into the regular content, can I please bring to your attention the new book I’ve just reviewed, “Viral: The Search for the Origin of Covid-19“. You probably already realize I’ve given little credence to the official protestations of innocence by the Chinese government about where and how the virus emerged, and it is great to see such a thoroughly detailed analysis and exposé of every possible part of that lie now be published. The staggering amount of research and detail the two writers put into their 400 page book has me in awe.
Something else I’m in awe over is a two part series on this website. The entire website is great, and this three part article, starting here, carefully puts the ivermectin “controversy” into perspective, and makes it abundantly clear that the doctors advocating for its use are not crackpots with MDs they bought online for a few dollars, but are senior distinguished leading members of their profession, with impressive resumes and accomplishments.
I sub-titled my review of the virus book “A book that should make you angry”. If the book makes you angry, the articles on the above-linked website will make you furious at the perfidy of the people we need to rely on and trust, but obviously can not.
Here’s a slightly more nuanced article, headed “Again and again, the FDA fails American patients“. I agree with the general concept of the FDA’s failures, but am anxious the article cites the slowness of the FDA to approve the new mutagenic drug, molnupiravir, as an example of the FDA’s failure.
But perhaps it is an example, in an unintended form. It is an example of how criminally slow the FDA often is to act on anything (other than vaccine approval requests). I’ll wager the FDA is going to approve molnupiravir (and I’m unsure if that is prudent or not), and the FDA’s current “crime” is simply being slow – please don’t confuse slowness with thoroughness!
In the minor country list, Gibraltar’s new case count continues to soar in spite of the entire population having been vaccinated and 48% having had a booster dose. Doesn’t that throw shade not only on the vaccines themselves, but on the value of booster doses, too?
A big surprise in the major country list. The Netherlands has soared from fourth place last week to second place this week. The UK is now within 0.5% of the US number and may well overtake in the next few days.
Romania’s fading surge carried it up one more place in the death list.
And the usual wide range of changes in the “most active last week” country list.
Europe continues to “own” the most active list. Overall, Europe experienced yet another 15% rise in weekly reported cases, with a total of 2.45 million new cases. France had the biggest rise (75%), distantly followed by Spain (51%), Belgium (45%), Portugal (44%) and the Czech Rep (34%). At the other end of the scale, Romania dropped another 32%, and the fire has gone out of the Baltic states, with Latvia dropping 29% and Estonia 23% (and more modestly, Lithuania at 14%). Germany had a 26% rise, and the UK went up a gentle 9%.
In North America, Canada was up 8% and Mexico rose a stronger 30%. The US probably rose about 5% or so. And, yes, in case you haven’t noticed, I more often need to say “probably” for US numbers than any other country, due to imprecisions and reporting delays that seem more severe here than elsewhere. The world in total rose 7%.
Top Case Rates Minor Countries (cases per million)
|Rank||One Week Ago||Today|
|1||Montenegro (244,745)||Montenegro (248,344)|
|4||Gibraltar (201,324)||Gibraltar (210,589)|
|6||Slovenia (188,367)||Slovenia (197,804)|
|8||San Marino||San Marino|
|10||Estonia (162,203)||Maldives (164,526)|
Top Case Rates Major Countries (cases per million)
|Rank||One Week Ago||Today|
|1||Czech Republic (181,104)||Czech Republic (192,056)|
|2||USA (145,044)||Netherlands (147,437)|
|3||UK (142,179)||USA (146,830)|
|4||Netherlands (138,407)||UK (146,546)|
|6||Sweden (116,590)||Sweden (117,468)|
|12||Turkey (99,348)||Turkey (101,353)|
Top Death Rate Major Countries (deaths per million)
|Rank||One Week Ago||Today|
|1||Peru (5,974)||Peru (5,979)|
|2||Czech Rep (2,959)||Czech Rep (3,029)|
|3||Brazil (2,852)||Romania (2,929)|
|4||Romania (2,851)||Brazil (2,859)|
|6||Colombia (2,478)||Colombia (2,484)|
|7||USA (2,365)||USA (2,393)|
|10||Italy (2,205)||Italy (2,212)|
Top Rates in New Cases Reported in the Last Week (new cases per million) for Countries over one million population
|Rank||One Week Ago||Today|
|1||Slovenia 11,061||Czech Rep 10,935|
|2||Austria 9,729||Austria 10,732|
|12||Denmark 4,509||Germany 4,625|
I Am Not a Doctor, But….
A Thanksgiving “gift” from Covid? A new Covid variant has been found, perhaps originating in (or at least, first found in) Botswana. It has 32 different mutations within it, seemingly giving it possibly much greater ability to avoid vaccine-based protection.
Remember that the mRNA vaccines are very narrowly focused on just one of the characteristics of the virus. It is a bit like expecting a person to recognize someone in a crowd when everyone are wearing robes and head gear, and only have half their face exposed. Naturally acquired immunity is thought to “recognize” the virus based on many different characteristics and so is more broadly effective against a wider range of virus variants.
This is an interesting article noting that extremely high frequency radio waves can kill the Covid virus (but not if it is inside your body, which shields it. It will also kill the polio virus.
The slight irony of the finding is the really strange claims in the early days of the pandemic suggesting there was a link between 5G cell phone radiation and virus outbreaks. Because 5G radio frequencies are very close to the “millimeter wave” frequencies mentioned in the article, maybe the absolute opposite is the case – if you are close to a 5G cell phone tower, it might be “cleansing” the environment around you.
For me, I continue to fear strong doses of any type of cell phone radiation – not because it may encourage (or discourage) virus activity, but because it might encourage tumors and other generally bad things. Perhaps when we’re no longer bombarded with virus news every week, we might return to that issue…..
Ivermectin and other Existing Treatments
Here’s a great article about yet another of the terrible cases of a hospital refusing to give a dying patient ivermectin. Happily, in this case, the judge issued a blistering decision against the hospital. The ultimate deciding question to him – exactly as I have regularly stated it – was “What is the downside”? The two alternatives seemed clear – certain death without ivermectin, and possible survival if allowed to have some. How can anyone refuse to dispense any drug in such a case?
As some of you know, in cancer chemotherapy that’s a concept fully embraced – “This drug will make you sicker than you’ve ever been in your entire life, but it might make your cancer even sicker than the rest of you”. In the case of Covid, it is nowhere near as dire – “this drug has no downsides at all, and no ill effects, and you might clear up your Covid infection”.
Accordingly the judge ordered the hospital to allow the patient’s doctor to give him ivermectin, and happily, it seems the patient is making a miraculous and rapid recovery.
Please read the article and note in particular how the hospital lied – outright lied – in court to justify its opposition to ivermectin. Why?????? Further, the hospital’s strident opposition has now spanned three decisions, four court appearances, and even an appeal (somewhat ridiculous now that the patient has been given ivermectin). Again – why???
I can almost understand hospitals that have been blindsided by their drug company suppliers and not wanting to make a big thing of a cheap inexpensive Covid cure. But to lie about the condition of a dying man, and to drag these cases through four court appearances and even now an appeal – that’s some serious motivation, all of which is utterly and tragically misplaced.
These are the people we trust with our lives, and they’ve vividly showing us how misplaced our trust is.
Ouch. The mRNA vaccines are perfectly safe? That’s not what this study suggests. A range of markers used to predict major heart conditions doubled in size in vaccinated patients. That also ties in with the unavoidably apparent but uncommented on finding that more healthy people are being afflicted with heart attacks and other heart diseases.
It is worth repeating. There is growing evidence of a range of heightened risks and negative outcomes from the vaccines. At the same time, there is – every day – growing evidence of the inability of the vaccines to do what normal reasonable people expect of vaccines – stop people from getting infected, and stop people from spreading the virus to other people.
That truth is implied every time you read suggestions, for example, that vaccinated people need to continue to wear masks and socially distance. If the vaccine is working, why do we need to do that?
The tragedy of this is that no-one in authority is willing to admit to this obvious situation and say “the present vaccines are failures”. No-one is reviving Operation Warp Speed to rush the development of more traditional type vaccines using inactivated or weakened virus strains, and possibly nasal type vaccines (strangely, it seems nasal vaccines might make the nasal and throat passages more resistant to the virus than injected vaccines).
Maybe – and maybe not – the mRNA vaccines are better than nothing at all. But we’ve always had non-mRNA alternatives. The J&J and AZ vaccines, for example. Plus 15 other non mRNA or DNA type vaccines, of varying degrees of perceived value, already approved in some parts of the world, and 56 more vaccines working through Phase 3 trials (and 57 in Phase 2 and 38 in Phase 1).
But don’t be too excited by the 56 vaccines working through Phase 3 trials. Many of these trials are of laughably small numbers of people – I’m looking at one, for example (a joint venture between a French and American company, Valneva) that has two Phase 3 trials. But one, in the UK has only 4,000 people participating, and the other trial in New Zealand has even fewer – a mere 300 participants. The UK trial started back in April – what has happened since then? Pfizer and Moderna rushed through their Phase 3 trials.
In late October, positive results were reported, although that is with the background of the UK having cancelled, in September, an anticipatory pre-order for 100 million doses.
The abject failure of the present vaccines was obvious in September. But the UK’s response is to cancel an order for a promising new vaccine and to double-down on unknown-outcome “booster shots” of ineffective vaccines. Is that prudent and sensible?
I can’t help observing the similarity between the inability of ivermectin to be acknowledged as a treatment, and the inability of new vaccines to be acknowledged as potentially more effective and less risky vaccines. Our authorities seem unable/unwilling to consider either.
Those wonderful bureaucrats at WHO felt the need to state the obvious this week. Believe it or not, they anticipate, in line with the surge in new Covid cases that has been underway in Europe, that there’ll be a surge in death rates, too. That has to be the least surprising statement anyone made this month.
Their solution? Everyone dutifully chorus together : Booster shots. Based on the very weak reasoning that if two doses didn’t work, three will.
I also notice the infighting between the WHO bureaucrats who want to use vaccine doses for third-shot boosters in the west, and others who want them for initial doses in Africa. Of note – a high percentage of all vaccine doses sent to Africa are sitting on shelves, slowly moving to expiry, and undistributed. Sending more doses to Africa when they already have an abundance seems unnecessary – but no more stupid, I guess, than using them for third, and soon enough fourth, doses in the west.
Timings And Numbers
The anomalous slower-than-suggested rate of vaccination continues across the world. Congratulations to Canada for its very high vaccination rate (but a shame about your 8% growth in new cases last week). The US is showing more people in the partly vaxxed zone than it has for a while – perhaps that is children now tragically being vaccinated.
Here’s an interesting chart. It shows the case fatality rate for the virus, and to make it very clear, rather than a tangled web of colored lines for many countries, I’m showing only the US and Canada.
The key thing being measured here is “the percentage of people who have been reported with a Covid infection who die”. We would expect this to drop for two reasons. The first reason is that since the start of this data series in September last year, hospitals have become cleverer in how they treat Covid-infected patients, and assorted expensive new treatment drugs have been rolled out. These drugs are now widely available, (but once you get into hospital), and are given to almost all patients. You’d expect them to at least halve the fatality rate, and hopefully reduce it down even lower.
The second reason is the vaccines. Remember the latest version of the truth – vaccines don’t stop you getting the virus, but they do stop you from dying from it? With half to two-third of both Canada and the US vaccinated, and in general terms, the people vaccinated being the people most likely to die from the virus if it weren’t for the vaccine, it would be reasonable to expect fatality rates at least halving and perhaps even dropping to less than one quarter the pre-vaccine rates.
So, what do we see? A surprisingly unclear set of numbers in both countries, with some peaks and troughs that are perhaps created by the timing gap between cases reported and people dying, but none the less, would you agree that Canada has gone from a CFR of about 1.5% in the early part of the chart to about 1% in the more recent part of the chart – in other words, perhaps a one-third/33% reduction in CFR? In the US, perhaps also from about 1.5% to now, also about 1.5% – the same! Some rises and falls, but no discernable change whatsoever in CFR?
Now, please, show me the benefit of either the expensive drugs or the vaccines on this chart. I really can’t see it for either country, and especially can’t see it for the US.
Closings and Openings
New Zealand has said it will keep its borders closed for another five months. They will open just in time for the southern hemisphere’s winter.
The EU is now planning to place a nine month expiration date on its vaccine passports. How long an extension will a booster shot earn a passport holder? They’ve not yet decided.
There seems no end to unusual shortages and dire warnings of terrible things. The latest strange thing to be in short supply – fertilizer, which leads fairly directly to higher food prices.
Logic? What Logic?
I agree that natural Covid immunity is great, and probably better than vaccine induced immunity. But it is absolutely not worth the potential downsides of being infected by the virus. As these people discovered.
Please stay happy and healthy; all going well, I’ll be back again on Sunday.