Thursday 9 April 2020

Containment prolongs the pandemic

Professor Knut Wittkowski who headed the Rockefeller University`s Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Research design for twenty years, says that social distancing and lockdown is the worst way to deal with an airborne respiratory virus.

"As with every respiratory disease we should protect the elderly and fragile because when they get pneumonia they have a high risk of dying of the pneumonia. So that is one of the key issues that we should keep in mind and on the other hand children do very well with these diseases. They`re evolutionarily designed to be exposed to all sorts of viruses during their lifetime and so they should keep going to school and infecting each other and that contributes to herd immunity which means after about four weeks, at the most, the elderly people could start joining their family because then the virus would have been extinguished."

Containment would prolong the disease

"With all respiratory diseases the only thing that stops the disease is herd immunity. About 80% of the people need to have had contact with the virus and the majority of them won`t even have recognised that they were infected or they had very very mild symptoms, especially if they are children. So it`s very important to keep the schools open and children mingling to spread the virus to get herd immunity as fast as possible and then the elderly people, who should be separated, and the nursing homes should be closed during that time, can come back and meet their children and grandchildren after about four weeks when the virus has been exterminated."

The presenter asks: "So what do you make of the policy that was enacted in the United States and in England and most places throughout the world, this policy of containment... what`s your opinion of it?"

"Well what people are trying to do is to flatten the curve. I don`t really know why, but what happens if you flatten the curve, you also prolong it - to widen it - and it takes more time and I don`t see a good reason for a respiratory disease to stay in the population longer than necessary..."

 "It`s not the first cornavirus that comes out and it won`t be the last and for all respiratory diseases we have the same type of an epidemic. If you leave it alone it comes for two weeks; it peaks; and it goes for two weeks and it`s gone."

"You said the pandemic is over. What did you mean by that?"

"There are no more new cases in China and in South Korea. The number of new cases in Europe is already beginning to decline. The virus came later to the US so here we see a bit of an incline maybe levelling off within the next couple of days and if we see that the cases are not increasing dramatically that means that the number of new infections has already declined substantially and peaked about a week ago..."

"There is no indications that anything is different from a regular flu. Maybe one that`s a bit... worse than other flus could be..."

"For a respiratory disease, the flu ends during springtime when people spend more time outdoors because outdoors the viruses cannot easily spread. That is a form of containment, so spending more time outdoors [is a sensible choice].

Presenter: "So we`re now spending more time indoors. We`ve been told to go indoors. Isn`t that ... doesn`t that help keep the virus going?"

"It keeps the virus healthy, yes."

"So we should be told to go outdoors?"

"Yeah. Going outdoors is what stops every respiratory disease."

"China had an advantage that in the beginning they didn`t know what they were dealing with so it took them a long time to start the containment or social distancing which in the course of the epidemic is good because there was enough time for the virus to reach herd immunity before the social distancing started."

Presenter: "Neil Ferguson at Imperial College changed his estimate of the number of dead in England from 500,000 to 20,000 or less and he says that is because of social distancing. Now we know that the way in which social distancing was implemented in England was not very severe or extreme or efficient so this was after one day of lockdown. He announced that, in fact, it would be 20,000 or less. Is there any possibility that that number would have changed that way because of the social distancing?"

"No. Actually we have data for that... Both in China and South Korea, social distancing starts only long after the number of infections had already started to decline; and, therefore, had very little impact on the epidemic. That means they had already reached herd immunity or were about to reach herd immunity..."

Cardinal freed from jail

"Cardinal George Pell has been freed from jail after Australia's highest court overturned his conviction for child sexual abuse."

"The former Vatican treasurer, 78, was the most senior Catholic figure ever jailed for such crimes."

"In 2018, a jury found he abused two boys in Melbourne in the 1990s."

"But the High Court of Australia quashed that verdict on Tuesday, bringing an immediate end to Cardinal Pell's six-year jail sentence."

"The Australian cleric had maintained his innocence since he was charged by police in June 2017..."

"In December 2018, a jury found him guilty of sexually abusing two 13-year-old choir boys in private rooms of St Patrick's Cathedral in the mid-90s - when the cleric was Archbishop of Melbourne..."

"Covid-19 restrictions meant just three people were allowed into the public gallery of the courtroom in Brisbane, the home town of the chief justice where the High Court sat."

Tuesday 7 April 2020

School closures: weighing up the consequences

"School closures are likely to have a relatively small impact on the spread of Covid-19 and should be weighed against their profound economic and social consequences, particularly for the most vulnerable children, according to a UK study."

"The research, led by University College London (UCL), is the first to look at evidence behind many governments’ decision to shut schools and keep pupils at home."

"According to the UN’s education body, Unesco, more than 90% of the world’s pupils have been affected by closures."

"The UCL-led study concludes that the evidence to support the closure of schools to combat Covid-19 is “very weak”, and statistics from influenza outbreaks suggest school closures “could have relatively small effects on a virus with Covid-19’s high transmissibility and apparent low clinical effect on schoolchildren”."

On Fox News, the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO)  said that due to lockdowns the home was now the place of infection and authorities might have to enter people`s homes to remove infected adults and children.

Yet children must stay home

With the lack of fresh air and sunshine, cramped conditions for many, increased risk of mental health issues, domestic violence and child abuse, any benefits there might have been for a few, surely, cannot justify harming a whole population of vulnerable children. 

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Extreme measures are grotesque, absurd and very dangerous

The interviewer tells us that Professor Sucharit Bhakdi is an infectious disease specialist and one of the most highly cited medical research scientists in Germany. She says: " Today we will talk about coronavirus. This virus is spreading fear over the whole world. Germany has declared a state of emergency and imposed  extreme restrictions."  She asks: "What are corona viruses? "

Prof. Sucharit explains: "These viruses co-exist with humans and animals around the globe. The viruses are the cause of very common, minor diseases of the respiratory tract. Very often, infections remain subclinical, without symptoms. Severe infections occur almost exclusively in elderly patients with other underlying illnesses, in particular of lungs and heart."

"Now, however, a new member is on stage spreading fear around the world. Why? The new COVID-19 originated in China and spread rapidly. It appeared to be accompanied by an unexpectedly high number of deaths. Alarming reports followed from Northern Italy that concurred with the Chinese experience. It must, however, be pointed out that the large majority of other outbreaks in other parts of the world appeared to display lower apparent mortality rates and such high numbers of 4, 5, or 6% were not reached. For example, in South Korea the apparent mortality rate was 1%."

"Why `apparent` mortality rate?" asks the interviewer.

"When patients concurrently have other illnesses, an infectious agent must not be held solely responsible for a lethal outcome. This happens for COVID-19, but such a conclusion is false and gives rise to the danger that other important factors are overlooked. Different mortality rates may well be due to different local situations. For example, what does Northern Italy have in common with China? Answer: horrific air pollution, the highest in the world. Northern Italy is the China of Europe. The lungs of inhabitants there have been chronically injured over decades and for this simple reason the situation may not be comparable to elsewhere."

"What about Germany - the virus has also spread to us?"

"Yes. It is spreading in Germany and one of the most important consequence is that we now have sufficient data to gauge the true danger of the virus in our country."

The interviewer interrupts: "Which is what the German experts and politicians have done. The highest alert level has been proclaimed and extreme preventive measures have been installed in the desperate attempt to slow down the spread of the virus."

"Yes, and this is the incredible tragedy. Because all these adopted measures are actually senseless, namely, the pressing questions are answered. The first one: Does the virus generally cause more serious illness also in young people and kill patients who have no concurring illness? This would make them different from other everyday coronaviruses of the world. The answer is clearly: `No`."

"We have 10,000 infections reported (18 March 2020) 99.5% have no, or only mild, symptoms. Here, we already see that it is false and dangerous to talk about 10,000 `patients`. They are not seriously ill. `Infection` is not identical with `disease`."

"Of 10,000 infected people only 50 to 60 were seriously ill and 30 died, to the present day, in 30 days. So we have an apparent mortality rate of one COVID-19 positive case per day. Up to now..."

"Then the looming worst case scenario that must be prevented, according to the authorities, would be 1,000,000 cases and maybe 3,000 deaths in 100 days. This would mean 30 deaths a day. The aim is to prevent this `worst case scenario`..."

Presenter: "All current emergency measures aim to slow down virus spread to save lives."

"Yes. But we are looking already at the worst case scenario - with 30 deaths a day."

"Twenty deaths a day may sound like a lot. Keep in mind that every day, 2200 over 65-year-olds depart from us, here in Germany. Keep in mind that many of these carry common coronaviruses. How many are not known? So let us just assume 1% (which is surely too low). This would translate to 22 a day. And these die every day. The only difference is that we would not talk about `corona-deaths`. Because we know that these viruses are normally not the major cause of death..."

"This is what is happening. We are afraid that 1,000,000 infections with the new virus will lead to 30 deaths a day over the next 100 days. But we do not realise that 20, or 30 or 40 or 100 patients, positive for normal coronaviruses, are already dying every day..."

"So what do you think of all these measures?"

"They are grotesque, absurd and very dangerous. Our elderly citizens have every right to make efforts not to  belong to the 2200 that daily embark on their last journey. Social contacts and social events, theatre and music, travel and holiday recreation, sports and hobbies etc etc all help to prolong their stay on earth. The life expectancy of millions is being shortened. The horrifying impact on the world economy threatens the existence of countless people. The consequences for medical care are profound. Already services to patients who are in need are reduced, operations cancelled, practices empty, hospital personnel dwindling. All this will impact profoundly on our whole society..."

Sunday 22 March 2020

Coronavirus: some dissenting voices

[UK Column 18 March 2020]

Brian Gerrish: "Right. Well, we`re just going to do a quick section looking really at what the media reports are on coronavirus and some of the statistical analysis. Now I`m going to say we`re absolutely delighted because over the last few days we`ve had quite a few approaches by medically qualified people who are the UK Column to ask if we will put out information because they can`t get the information out via other sources. So is there some other sort of clamp down going on, Mike, that we don`t know about?"

"But let`s have a look at some of the simple things we`ve been given."

"This was an email where somebody was pointing out the advice from their local surgery which is basically, `Disease? We`re off.` So they`re saying that they`re closing."

"Covid-19 advice. Please stay at home (self-isolate) for 7 days without any testing regardless of travel history or contact with confirmed cases, if you have: a new continuous cough or high temperature. If there is no improvement after 7 days you should use NHS111 online. Please do not attend your GP surgery. As of today the surgery is closed until further notice and GPs are doing telephone consultations only..."  

"So that one is quite in your face."

"But we`ve also got this sort of thing where a doctor is warning of the dangers of coronavirus hype."

"This man is spot on but he said: `This is what is really frightening me as to what is going on`, Well of course what he`s watching is massive propaganda by the larger media companies having its effect on the population. But this is not a warning from UK Column, this is a warning from a fully qualified medical doctor."

"We`ve had this slide up before. So this is the British Medical Journal where a doctor says: "`There does not seem to be anything special about this particular epidemic of influenza-like illness`. So what is going on?"

"Well China, of course, is winding down. So we`ve got a report here from a doctor who`s been working in Wuhan. He said: `Together in Wuhan and Henan we`ve managed 988 beds and treated 1,235 patients. .. Thankfully, we achieved zero patient deaths and zero infection of medics during our stay here. Out of a population of nearly 58 million...` But the point is that is good news coming out of China which of course is not being reported to the UK public." 

"And the key warning from medical experts is that they have continually seen data skewed by late reporting of what`s happening in China or the failure to update the Chinese data."

Referring to the above graph: "Chinese data on the left with the arrow [is] skewing the other data on the right."

"Now, getting into a bit of detail here:"

See more:

13-year-old girl radicalised at mentoring sessions


"A school has been accused of secretly allowing a 13-year-old girl to attend ‘radicalising’ mentoring sessions that convinced her that she was transgender."

"Ashleigh and Ged Barnett allege that until the one-to-one sessions began last September, their daughter appeared comfortable in her body and showed little interest in transgender issues."

"But they say she had changed completely by November, sporting a short haircut and talking about feeling that she was really a boy."

"They were confused by the transformation until they met her headteacher to discuss another matter and learned that their daughter had been having weekly sessions with the head of the school’s LGBT group..."

"She alleges the teaching assistant had no formal counselling qualifications and only received training from local charity Eikon that provides ‘LGBT+ awareness sessions’ for schools."

Will learning disabled get equal access to critical care?

The charity Mencap is concerned about the latest NICE guidelines that have been put in place to deal with the extra demand for critical care due to coronavirus.

"These are unprecedented times and our NHS is under extreme pressure. But people with a learning disability and their families are deeply troubled that the latest NICE guidance for NHS intensive care doctors could result in patients with a learning disability not getting equal access to critical care and potentially dying avoidably."

"These guidelines suggest that those who can’t do everyday tasks like cooking, managing money and personal care independently – all things that people with a learning disability often need support with – might not get intensive care treatment. That’s why we urge NICE to include specific guidance on learning disability to make it clear that healthcare professionals should not judge patients on their cognitive ability when making life or death decisions. "

Saturday 21 March 2020

`No child abuse ring in Westminster`, says Jay

[UK Column News 26 February 2020]

"Well, non-news," begins Brian Gerrish. "Let`s start with some critical non-news at least as far as the BBC is concerned. And if you take a look at their website the one thing you can`t see anything about is, of course, the IICSA child abuse report. So in the last couple of days we`ve had information coming out from IICSA. It drifted across the BBC very, very briefly. It didn`t get any prominence and now as we can see from the BBC`s website this is a non-subject. It doesn`t really exist and it`s pointless looking to the BBC to protect children from abuse in UK."

Mike Robinson: "Just to echo that, the Today programme this morning, it got the last ten minutes of the programme. So this is a flaglship news programme ... on British media that begins at 6.00 a.m. in the morning - 3 hours of news in the morning - and the last ten minutes was that."

Brian Gerrish: "Yeah, Radio 4 at 10 o`clock last night was talking about coronavirus; it was talking about Egypt; it was talking about a variety of other topics without a mention. So the BBC, true to form, not interested in getting to the bottom of the abuse of children in UK. Of course, itself culpable, guilty of covering up the Jimmy Savile episode, BBC is not going to talk about institutional child abuse and child abuse in Westminster."

"So how`s the story progressed? Well some of the media have talked about it but what we`ve seen very, very clearly is that the whole emphasis has now moved across onto the Lib Dem peer Lord Steel. He`s implicated in as much as the evidence tends to indicate that he knew but he didn`t take the right action. He`s now stepped down because he said: `If I don`t step down then I`ve got both support and criticism within the party and I don`t want to cause internal problems, so I`m going to step down from the Lords and quietly retire.` But what can we see? Well the whole focus has now drifted across onto Lord Steel. We`re not talking about the perpetrators of the child abuse; we`re not talking about how that child abuse was covered up. But at least Sky News, in contrast to the BBC, did have something to say:"

"The IICSA said MPs including Smith and Sir Peter Morrison were `protected from prosecution.` The report said there was a culture of `failing to recognise abuse, turning a blind eye to it, covering up allegations and actively protecting high-profile offenders including politicians` within Westminster."

"It concluded that politicians valued reputation `far higher than the fact of the children involved`."

Brian Gerrish: "Now that last sentence there, Mike, says a lot about the quality of Britain`s politicians. People could say: `Well that was the situation as was`. What we say at the UK Column is that that is the situation today. It continues."

"But let`s see how the IICSA Inquiry has actually reported on this. And, of course, we need to bring in Baroness Jay and let`s have a look at some of the things that she said in her report."

"So this [is a] key one. `MPs including Smith and Peter Morrison were protected from prosecution` - Remember all the other political names that have been mentioned over recent years in relation to child abuse, well they`re not mentioned at all because this inquiry has been able to focus down on just one or two individuals as part of its downplaying of the whole process. But more on that in a minute."

"`There was a culture of failing to recognise abuse, turning a blind eye to it, covering up allegations and actively protecting high-profile offenders including politicians within Westminster.` That`s a pretty interesting statement. Think about what she`s saying there; not only was the abuse going on,  but people turned a blind eye to it; they covered up allegations and they actively protected high-profile offenders. ... And in my mind that means that ... we had an orchestrated system for protecting people abusing children. We had the abusers and we had the protective system. That to me sounds very much like a child abuse ring."

"But let`s see what else she had to say: `IICSA heard evidence that senior police officers thwarted the investigation into Smith because the case was too political`. That sounds to me like serious criminal activity by the police in order to protect the abusers of children but it`s just one line in the report."

"`The evidence shows that.... his party made efforts to suppress these rumours rather than conduct a formal investigation.... The focus of attention remained `unswervingly on political consequences rather than the welfare of the child`."

"So this is being forced home that the political parties ...are more concerned about protecting their reputation than the children and of course this is the law on its head because the duty of those political parties, probably more than the average individual, is to protect the children."

"She goes on: `Peter Morrison was protected as a member of the establishment`. Well that`s pretty clear cut... and that is repeated several times in the report. So I`ve put that up just to emphasise the constant focus on these two. They`re the only thing that ...they talk about. And this statement is reported several times and the reputation one is reported several times."

"So here we are. `A consistent pattern emerged of failure to put the welfare of children above political status although we found no evidence of an organised network of paedophiles within government`. Well this is all good. But the report itself describes the actions of that very government paedophile network. There were active child abusers in Westminster protected by powerful political and establishment figures, plus it`s admitted that the CPS also protected them and the police helped to protect them. So, Mike, this is just a brilliant piece of whitewash; that you describe a paedophile ring operating in Westminster, and then you say `It wasn`t actually a paedophile ring`."

Mike Robinson: "Yes, but as well as that, if you look at the language `we find no evidence`, well , of course, if you don`t speak to some of the key witnesses then you`re not going to find any evidence."

Brian Gerrish: "We`re going to address that, and you`re absolutely right. But they`re also describing the evidence for the paedophile ring and then saying: `But it`s not a paedophile ring.` It is a deliberate act on common sense and people`s cognitive ability to deal with what`s going on. It`s very very clever."

"So let`s have a look. How did this whitewash get played out? Well, of course, the inquiry has been dragged on over time and as the delay has increased ... that has allowed key witnesses, such as Nick, to be taken off the scene. Many police officers who were involved ... said they believed the evidence. There were some inconsistencies, but we`re not going to hear from Nick again because he`s got 18 years in prison and of course IICSA`s not going to present any of his evidence. Key witnesses - this is your point - including abuse survivors and police whistleblowers themselves [were] denied the opportunity to give evidence. Melanie Shaw, one of the key ones here, she has not been in front of this inquiry, although this inquiry says it has produced the Nottingham Child Abuse report. That report is out but of course Melanie`s testimony is not part of it.  John Wedger, another policeman - there are now a group of police who have come forward and talked about the cover-up of child abuse, including activity by senior politicians and the Home Office, and senior police officers; but those police have not been brought in front of the inquiry."

"John Wedger, as a significant witness,  - I believe there`s about 60 pages of his evidence - he is not included in this part of Jay`s report on Westminster, even though his evidence specifically says that senior politicians in his day had been covering up the abuse of children."

Mike Robinson: "And, of course, there are other survivor groups out there that have refused to take part. It wasn`t that they weren`t invited, but they actually refused, because they understood exactly what type of inquiry this was. They were looking for a proper ... judge led, investigative inquiry rather than a cover-up. So they refused to take part."

Brian Gerrish: "Indeed. Well let`s carry on. Of course what was done, and is continuing to be done, is the division of the inquiry sessions into secret chambers where we have the ... live cameras turned off.  We`ve... got the public excluded.  Baroness Jay said herself that she was going to have special rules for dealing with the investigation into Westminster but the reasons for those rules never fully explained to the public. So on it goes."

"Well of course ... a complete ignoring... of all of the police investigations around Prime Minister Edward Heath. So we know that very brave senior police officer Mike Veal did that investigation into Edward Heath and said that he believed that, had he still been alive, he would have had to ... answer questions about the abuse of children. This doesn`t figure in any of Jay`s investigation into Westminster and she`s declared evidence for a protected Westminster political and establishment paedophile ring but then describes it as` not a ring`. This is just incredible. And then, of course, they then choose an easy scapegoat which is Lord Steel to take the blame and distract the media."

"So the abuse of the children, the suffering of those survivors, just completely dropped from public view whilst everybody starts to feel a little bit sorry for Steel. So we`ll just put her face back on the picture here." 

"`There was and is no child abuse ring`. We disagree. We say that ring is still in post. It`s still exerting power over people trying to come forward and warn about the abuse of children.  But we`ve got to give Baroness Jay credit because this is a masterpiece of a whitewash..."

Sunday 15 March 2020

Single gay man is first to adopt in Scotland

"On the day Thomas Anderson found out he was going to be a father, he nearly fainted."

"He’d known from a young age that he wanted children in his future, but as a gay man he thought it was `impossible` for him. And when he entered his 30s as a single gay man, it felt all the more so."

“It was heartbreaking,” he told Pink News during LGBT+ Adoption and Fostering Week. `People dream about high flying careers, seeing the world – mine was to become a dad. To have the belief that that would remain a dream was horrible`..."

"LGBT+ people in the UK have had the right to adopt children since the Adoption and Children Act came into force in 2005, but like many people Thomas assumed that it only applied to couples."

"Even after he realised that the law allowed him the opportunity to adopt as a single gay man, he still feared this being snatched away from him."

"Thomas applied to adopt through St Andrew’s Children’s Society, an independent, voluntary adoption and fostering agency in Edinburgh that works in partnership with local LGBT+ organisations."

It makes you wonder whose child has been taken by this independent, voluntary adoption and fostering agency.

Most families will not have given up their babies voluntarily, as the agency makes clear on its website:

"The family will have come to the attention of social work services following ante-natal visits..."  
"Birth parents will have the chance to have positive parenting experiences with their children..."

Often those positive parenting experiences will be judged by social workers as inadequate. That`s all it really takes to lose a baby.

Friday 13 March 2020

The New Green Deal

Who pays for Greta Thunberg`s security, her hotels, her travel and the rest of it?  Is the school strike all that it has been made out to be? Why is the mainstream media not asking these serious questions?


Perhaps the clue lies here:

Mark Carney, former Bank of England Chief, says we need a new green financial economy.

"This year the threats from climate change spurred demonstrations across the world and prompted the parliaments in the United Kingdom and many other countries to declare a “climate emergency...” 

"A new, sustainable financial system is under construction. It is funding the initiatives and innovations of the private sector and amplifying the effectiveness of governments’ climate policies—it could even accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy."

"Unfortunately, like virtually everything about the response to climate change, this new sustainable financial system is not developing fast enough for the world to reach net zero..."

"To bring climate risks and resilience into the heart of financial decision making, climate disclosure must be comprehensive, climate risk management must be transformed, and sustainable investing must go mainstream. "