COVID-19: Winning the War, but Losing All the Battles
It’s been more than two months since I wanted to write a follow-up to my previous comments on this pandemic, and I never got beyond the title. I finally decided to put a few things there, out of anger.
2020: Next year will be better.
2021: Congratulations, you have completed the tutorial!
This pandemic has so far highlighted the sheer incompetence of the politicians and of the scientists, and the mass idiocy of the Homo sapiens sapiens populace. Now that we have the vaccine (but do we?), things are not going to improve.
Not that soon. Not that fast. Not fast enough.
We will prevail, but how about the costs?
I never thought this will lead to the biggest global crisis since the World War II. Indeed, this pandemic shouldn’t be compared to the 2008-2009 crisis, nor to the Great Depression, but to a world war, due to the extent of the damage created to the economy, to social behavior, to mental health, to everything.
🟡 There’s no need to tell you: in most countries, this second or third wave is deadlier than the first one. This shouldn’t be unusual, since the Spanish Flu and the Hong Kong Flu also had a second wave more severe than the first one. But with COVID-19, we have tried measures that severely affected entire sectors of the economy, without stopping the pandemic.
Britain has no data shown in the above graphic, because the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control decided to ignore them post-Brexit, but we know it’s in a dire state. Even Germany, which is not faring that bad, had January 2021 as the deadliest month of the pandemic so far.
New SARS-CoV-2 variants–the UK Variant (B.1.1.7), the South African Variant (B.1.351), the Brazilian Variant (B.1.1.28 P.1)–are more contagious, possibly deadlier (or not) and it’s still not known how effective are the current vaccines against them.
🟡 The “war on vaccines” was an inept “gold fever” to Big Pharma:
- They first secured huge contracts and important development funds from the EU;
- by contract, the vaccine manufacturers were offered civil and criminal immunity in case something wrong happens (I’m flabbergasted that everyone forgot about this clause);
- the contracts were confidential regarding the price to be paid, and only accidentally the prices were revealed (AstraZeneca €1.78, Johnson & Johnson $8.50, Sanofi/GSK €7.56, Curevac €10, Pfizer-BioNTech €12, Moderna $18), which is unacceptable in a matter of public funds and of public health (it’s not just “business as usual”);
- the medicine information leaflets for consumers weren’t available until after the vaccines were approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and with such a lack of transparency, it’s no wonder that hackers unlawfully accessed EMA’s database to read the regulatory documentation submitted by Pfizer/BioNTech (“confidential information about the vaccine and its mechanism of action, its efficiency, its risks & known possible side effects, and any unique aspects such as handling guidelines”–why on Earth are such things confidential?!).
🟡 It’s no wonder either that some people thought: “They don’t want us to know.” Some other factors contributed to that:
- The first two approved vaccines were of the mRNA (messenger RNA) type, and in the past no such vaccine reached the approval stage. For instance, the original SARS outbreak didn’t attract that much money, and it didn’t evolve into a global pandemic, so any research has been abandoned. Vaccines against rabies, influenza and Zika, all mRNA-based, never made it past Phase 0 clinical trials. It would have helped if the Big Pharma and the powers that be had the honesty to say: “we were cupid and stupid, this is why there weren’t any other mRNA vaccines before.”
- They insisted that these vaccines were possible “because some bureaucratic steps were removed, and some stages were allowed to overlap.” Was that all? Is it just “because of bureaucracy” that sometimes it takes between 12 and 20 years to approve a treatment against cancer? If it’s merely bureaucracy that let millions to die, that such bureaucracy is worse than Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot! It would have helped to have those bureaucrats say: “From now on, we’ll follow this kind of speedy procedures whenever lives are at stake” (frankly, lives are always at stake).
- It was still a conditional market authorisation, which is not reassuring. Furthermore, the product information leaflet for the Pfizer vaccine has a pathetically succinct chapter “4.8 Undesirable effects”; compare it to the equivalent chapter of any major medicine on any national Medicines Agency of an EU country!
- Not funding the development of a real treatment against SARS-CoV-2 fueled the conspiracy theory that all “they” wanted is to sell billions of vaccines.
🟡 Despite the last bullet above, Xenothera’s treatment seems to be effective against the UK, South African, Brazilian, Danish, and Scottish variants of the coronavirus! XAV-19 is more promising than the cocktail of monoclonal antibodies REGN-COV2 by Regeneron that might have saved Trump, and of which Germany has ordered 200,000 doses for a total of €400M (the patients won’t pay a dime of the cost of €2,000 per dose). With the new SARS-CoV-2 variants that will become predominant at least in Europe, effective treatments are a necessity. EMA is now reviewing REGN-COV2, but new treatments are generally facing skepticism from the medical and political authorities; I wonder why.
🟡 Back to the vaccine. Pfizer/BioNTech can’t produce fast enough. Moderna has to fulfill its obligations towards the US population (should I say US market?). AstraZeneca prefers to supply the UK with jabs, despite the commitments made by the way of an ambiguous contract with the EU. Merck and Pasteur have abandoned their common project of a COVID-19 vaccine for lack of results, with Pasteur following a more traditional approach which may or may not succeed some day. Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine only has a 66% effectiveness, so I suppose it’s DOA (but the EU has preordered 400M doses, the fools). In the meantime, Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine has an efficacy of 91.6% (“the trial itself was run by a commercial third party based in the Netherlands”), should we trust a study published in The Lancet. I don’t know anything about Sinovac’s CoronaVac, except that Brazil is using it, and Hungary ordered both the Russian and the Chinese vaccines–cold wars are pointless in a matter of life and death, so what matters is to have something that works in most cases.
Also, the “Cold War on vaccines” meant that nobody in the West care to discuss the two Chinese vaccines (even if “they did it,” doesn’t that mean that they know a little more about the virus, and that their vaccine might just work?), and even less of the Cuban one:
🟡 The famous “herd immunity” cannot be obtained overnight, and even if 60-70% of the populations gets both shots (most vaccines need a second dose), this won’t magically end the pandemic, except if the rest of 30-40% either die, or they get sick and don’t die. The “herd immunity threshold” only ensures that spreading the virus is very much diminished, so the epidemic fades away. But it’s going to take time. It’s also worth considering that:
- The immunity is not instantaneous not even with single-shot vaccines, and much less with double-shot ones.
- The vaccine might not offer complete immunity to all variants, so flu-like or cold-like symptoms might be experienced by immunized people who encounter a SARS-CoV-2 strain. Death cannot be 100% excluded, as sometimes people die from the regular flu, or rather pulmonary and cardiac complications triggered by a flu.
- No vaccine is 100% effective, not even against the very strain it was conceived against, or made from (when it’s a traditional vaccine).
🟡 Worse yet, while there’s a shortage of vaccines, and so many people who want to get it simply cannot, there are tons of idiots refusing to get vaccinated. Sure thing, vaccination was a hot debate in the latest years already, mostly because the American conspiracy theories have spread throughout Europe via the social networks (including YouTube) and because more and more people become dumbified, which is paradoxical. We’re living in a world where even those with a negative IQ can use smartphones and advanced technologies without believing them magical, and yet there’s an increased distrust in the medical profession.
They say the Czechs are among Europe’s most skeptical when it comes to vaccines as a result of “a mixture of lack of trust in the government, widespread disinformation, propaganda from Russia, and misunderstanding of science.” Only 30% of the Czechs were willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19, a regional study find. But the French didn’t fare much better, with only 31% pro-vaccination by one study, in what’s called “the French paradox: a country with high medicine consumption, but notably low confidence in vaccines.” Well, a French IPSOS survey found 40% of pro-vaccine French in December, and then 54% in January. But is it anything one can trust in France? Both countries are among the least religious EU countries, so at least we know what possible cause to discard. In France, the youth and the women are the most opposed to vaccination, so should we blame the decaying education, and women’s typical lack of logic? (Don’t worry, I’m not just a misogynist, I’m also a misanthrope.) They expect a lot from the state, but at the same time they are very critical of the state, and they don’t want the state to interfere in their private lives. They want socialism without socialism, revolution without revolution, and they would like to punish the guilty politicians, yet they don’t do it: Laurence Fabius, prime minister in the 1980s during the “infected blood scandal,” is unharmed and president of the Conseil constitutionnel, despite having been a murderer. (Thousands of people died of AIDS in France after being given infected blood because the Government delayed the introduction of a US-made blood-screening test in France until a product by Institut Pasteur was ready, and they continued to use the old unheated blood stock while a heated product was available from The Netherlands.)
Of course, it didn’t help that Big Pharma only wants to make money, but being a pharmaceutical company presents a conflict of interests already: if people are healthy, then they wouldn’t buy medicines, so what are Big Pharma supposed to do? Also, it didn’t help that most doctors are known to have prescribed certain drugs for being incentivized to do so by Big Pharma. Finally, nobody trusts the politicians, so when they say something is good for you, the instinct is to assume the contrary.
But it’s ridiculous to come again with the old “vaccines create autism” stupid mantra. Or with new ones, like “mRNA will modify your DNA” and the like. “Thousands of people died from these vaccines”–if so, would Israel commit suicide en masse, knowing that they have vaccinated millions as soon and as fast as they could?
So there was an opposition in the last decade in various countries to the attempts of increasing the number of mandatory vaccines. As a rule, it’s generally accepted that for diseases that are not contagious, a vaccine might be optional, whereas otherwise it should be mandatory to avoid epidemics, and yet…
Again, there are factors to have contributed to the lack of trust in vaccines:
- All they do, the mainstream media, the medical authorities and the politicians, is to repeat ad nauseam: “Vaccines are good, vaccines are good, vaccines are good…”, without trying to debunk in true honesty current and past conspiracy theories. By “true honesty” I mean they should admit that there have been problems in the past with some vaccines or some batches of vaccines. Denying that there have been some problems doesn’t help at all!
- The most pervert anti-vaxxers aren’t only spreading lies, they present half-truths, and they mix true facts with generalizations and lies. Take for one Vaccins, mensonges et propagande, by Sylvie Simon (Thierry Soucar Éditions, 2009), which cites almost 50 anti-vaccination books, but who incidentally mentions a few true facts. There are also a number of “half-honest” anti-vaccination sites, meaning that some of the contents is not “fake news.” But how can the public know what’s true and what’s false if the true incidents can only be found in such places meant to discredit all the vaccines?
- Here’s a true case: when Dr. Salk invented the famous anti-polio vaccines, there were several laboratories producing the vaccine. Cutter Laboratories and Wyeth Laboratories were two such laboratories, and they both produced defective batches. The so-called “Cutter Incident” that in 1955 paralyzed ~200 children for the rest of their lives and killed 10 led to the recall of the Cutter vaccine; that batches included “inactivated” virus strains that weren’t necessarily inactivated. The vaccines by Wyeth were not recalled, and this explains why the cases of polio in the U.S., instead of decreasing, increased by 50% from 1957 to 1958, and by 80% between 1958 and 1959. Since 1963, the Salk IPV vaccine was replaced with Albert Sabin’s OPV (oral) vaccine, using not an inactivated, but an attenuated (weakened) virus… and things improved dramatically! However, the truth has been concealed to the public at the time.
- Another true case, equally troubling: Louis Pasteur lied about a public trial of the anthrax vaccine that helped to make him famous. Details in the Washington Post (1993) and in the NYT (1995).
- Much worse, and quite recently: in Dec. 2017 Sanofi Pasteur was forced to recall its Dengue vaccine, the world’s first vaccine for this disease, for it actually killed about 600 kids! Wikipedia; Scientific American; The Straits Times; from the NPR report:
The French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur spent 20 years — and about $2 billion — to develop Dengvaxia. The company tested it in several large trials with more than 30,000 kids globally and published the results in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.
But halfway around the world from the Philippines, in a Washington, D.C., suburb, one scientist was worried about the new vaccine.
“When I read the New England Journal article, I almost fell out of my chair,” says Dr. Scott Halstead, who has studied dengue for more than 50 years with the U.S. military. When Halstead looked at the vaccine’s safety data in the clinical trial, he knew right away there was a problem.
For some children, the vaccine didn’t seem to work. In fact, Halstead says, it appeared to be harmful. When those kids caught dengue after being vaccinated, the vaccine appeared to worsen the disease in some instances. Specifically, for children who had never been exposed to dengue, the vaccine seemed to increase the risk of a deadly complication called plasma leakage syndrome, in which blood vessels start to leak the yellow fluid of the blood.
“Then everything gets worse, and maybe it’s impossible to save your life,” Halstead says. “A child can go into shock.”
“The trouble is that the disease occurs very rapidly, just in a matter of a few hours,” he adds. “And there’s nothing on the outside of the body to signify the person is leaking fluid on the inside.”
Despite these concerns, in July 2016, the World Health Organization went ahead and recommended the vaccine for all children ages 9 to 16.
Here’s the problem with Dengvaxia.
Typically, a vaccine works by triggering the immune system to make antibodies against the virus. These antibodies then fight off the virus during an infection.
But dengue is a tricky virus. Dengue antibodies don’t always protect a person. In fact, these antibodies can make an infection worse. The dengue virus actually uses the antibodies to help it spread through the body. So a second infection with dengue — when your blood already has antibodies in it — can actually be worse than the first; a person is at a higher risk of severe complications like plasma leakage syndrome.
In its follow-up study, Sanofi found evidence that Dengvaxia acts like the first infection for a person who has not been previously infected. The body produces antibodies against the vaccine, which have a similar potential for harm.
WHO eventually changed its recommendation. The agency now says the vaccine is safe only for children who have had a prior dengue infection.
Instead of admitting that there have been errors and lies in the past, and that sometimes, as with no matter what other medicine, there can be manufacturing errors, the official story says: “vaccines are and have always been harmless, so shut up and obey!“
With such a message, can one wonder that random decisions are taken, such as declaring mandatory vaccination as unconstitutional in Columbia (2017, regarding the HPV), or forcing a mandatory anti-tetanus vaccination in Italy (a 2017 law), when tetanus is not contagious? The public hating of the vaccines is a product of such idiocies!
It would have helped to insist that almost no vaccine today is using live or attenuated viruses or bacteria, but dead ones; unless they’re mRNA-based, in which case they’re totally different, obviously.
If only with the COVID-19 vaccines the full truth were told…
🟡 When the full truth is not told, half-truth and exaggerations are considered “an ideological offensive” against vaccines, in the words of the East StratCom Task Force (ESCTF), the anti-Russia propaganda office of the European Union. Read: Big Lies, Little Lies and Vaccine Vilifications; then Telling Half-Truths is Also Lying; finally, The Battle For Shoulders – Which Vaccine Should Be Injected?.
The problem is that half-truth from interested parties are met with half-truth on the other side.
- “23 Dead in Norway”–that’s a truth, and it was a huge error to give a jab to terminally ill, very fragile people, but it happened! Actually, the final death toll for that bloody incident raised to 29!
- “Ten Dead in Germany after Pfizer Shot”–it happened during the trials, and it wasn’t because of the vaccine (as a matter of fact, 4 of the 6 who died were given a placebo, meaning salted water).
- “One Dead in Belgium after a Pfizer Shot”–correlation is not causation.
The only way to crush such targeted attacks were to have precise reports from the medical authorities, such as: “today 80,450 people received the X vaccine; of them, 893 developed a local irritation, 1230 had a slight temperature increase of no more than 3 hours, etc. etc., and 2 persons had severe allergic reactions bordering an anaphylactic shock, but were given the proper medical attention and face no health risk anymore.”
This is exactly what they do not do. What they did was to tell Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to remove all the contents that criticized the vaccines or questioned the official policies, abusively labeling such contents as “fake news” without any analysis and no right to contest the decision!
Censorship, the cure-all. The cure that’s worse than the disease.
But remember this: Israel would not commit mass-suicide. And they’re mass-vaccinating!
🟡 The lack of professionalism and the prevalence of idiocy in this COVID-19 crisis can be suggested by various other facts:
- For a certain vaccine (AstraZeneca, I believe), they* say “we don’t know if it’s effective for people over 65,” simply because the clinical trials only included people 18 to 65. Well, why wouldn’t the vaccine be effective? If anything, it could be unsafe or risky, not ineffective! (By they*, I mean Germany, Italy, France, Poland, Sweden… strange consensus.)
- More generally, if Modena was only tested for 18+, and Pfizer only for 16+, does it mean that there is a magic biological phenomenon to hurt you if you’re 16-17 for Modena or 14-15 for Pfizer, and get vaccinated? Obviously not, but those stupid bureaucrats are too dumb to say “for ages 12+ but below the age we’ve tested for, use extra precautions, and monitor the patient”; similarly, for vaccines not tested for 65+, “patients of 65+ in reasonably good health can be vaccinated if closely monitored afterwards.” Nay, that would mean common sense, and that’s too much.
- Vaccinating those most at risk means e.g. that in Germany, if a couple are aged 79 and 80, respectively, only the one aged 80 was vaccinated in the first wave, and the spouse aged 79 didn’t receive the jab! (Stupid bureaucrats.)
- While the second shot is meant to be given 3-4 weeks after the first one, some governments were trying to push it to 6-12 weeks, which is preposterous! So they don’t know whether a vaccine works at the age 65 as opposed to age 64, but they’re confident that waiting 3 months instead of 1 month would somehow work?! Note that the vaccines that come in multi-pack doses of 5 are already diluted to make 6 doses.
- The countries who refused to impose restrictions or who relaxed the lockdowns prematurely are now among the most affected (UK, Sweden, Switzerland, etc.)
- Some restrictions were imposed without any logic, e.g. “Maskenpflicht” in Germany meant that while on the street, in the cities with an obligation to wear masks in a given time frame, the respective time frame seemed randomly chosen from one of the following ones: 06-24 h, 08-18 h, 08-20 h, 08-22 h, 09-23 h, 10-19 h, 12-20 h. WTF, can’t they have any consistency?
- In countries like Germany, when theaters and cinemas and non-essential stores were closed, churches were open, albeit with limited service. God couldn’t stand to see a closed church!
- As Britain was opening the bookshops at the beginning of December, Germany was closing them. Yeah, so many people were flocking to buy books, more than those watching the Bundesliga. (This government really is stupid.)
- For similar degrees of contamination, you won’t find two countries with an identical policy regarding the way schools should be open or closed, or how should the activity be organized. There’s no consensus on how to balance the importance of education and the importance of public health. If I’m not misinformed, schools in Canada (at least ON and AB) took smart and reasonable measures, including selective testing, smart scheduling, etc.
- The last time when Germany closed the non-essential stores (which are still closed as I’m writing this), they allowed the takeaway eateries to operate. Then they closed them, only allowing deliveries. Later they strengthened some measures, but relaxed those regarding the retailers: whoever was able to offer Abholung-Service aka Click-and-Collect was allowed to be open. Why couldn’t this be allowed all the time?!
- While the real problem was the economy, the German Federal Government issued on Nov. 14 a stupid video targeting the idiotic youth who just cannot stay home without getting bored to death and suffering like heroes: Germany hails couch potatoes as heroes of coronavirus pandemic.
- Many governments didn’t or still don’t have the right to impose lockdowns or further restrictions unless it’s a war! Trump was accused of leaving lockdowns and masks on Governors, but he just couldn’t impose such things! Angela Merkel can’t impose, and she didn’t impose anything either! All the restrictions, even those that seemed uniform nation-wide, were taken by each of the 16 Ministerpräsidents of the respective Länder, after having consulted the Chancellor! Angela simply can’t force anything on the states of the Federal Republic. Even worse, before the new law that has been voted this January, the Swedish government couldn’t impose any lockdown even if they wanted to! This is not democracy, this is idiocy, and suicidal at that.
- There was no “Swedish model” (nor “The Swedish Exception”), and their chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell is a mass-murderer; a study published on Dec. 22, 2020, revealed that “On Dec 20, 2020, COVID-19 deaths in Sweden had reached more than 8000 or 787 deaths per 1 million population, which is 4.5 to ten times higher than its neighbours. This difference between Nordic countries cannot be explained merely by variations in national cultures, histories, population sizes and densities, immigration patterns, the routes by which the virus was first introduced, or how cases and deaths are reported. Instead, the answers to this enigma are to be found in the Swedish national COVID-19 strategy,” meaning that they did almost nothing, no restrictions at all, but merely some timid suggestions. The death rate per capita because of COVID-19 is higher in Sweden than in France (as of Feb. 7, 2021), and the government still doesn’t impose the wearing of masks! Morons be morons. (Of course, freedom & stuff.)
- The Danish were indeed stupid to kill 10M minks (out of the 17M initially set to be killed), but there is a thing nobody paid attention to: a team from IHU Méditerranée Infection (not Didier Raoult personally) explored “La piste du vison (the mink track)” and that many areas that had huge COVID-19 outbreaks, including Lombardy, host an important number of mink farms! Nobody cared about this study! (Read also this report.) We’re far from understanding how the pandemic has spread so fast, and yet nobody seems to want to know!
🟡 Mask-gate, although there isn’t any. But after so much quarreling regarding the usefulness of face masks, the authorities decided in some countries that FFP2 masks are recommended or even mandatory.
This should have happened long ago. The idiots were always questioning the usefulness of the surgical masks (OP-Masken in German), which indeed are more effective of protecting the others against the droplets coming from the bearer than the bearer himself, meaning that everyone should wear such masks (and correctly!) to offer protection, while all the time the only solution were to mandate FFP2 or KN95 masks! Instead of that, in most countries even home-made cloth masks were accepted. Morons. (Also, FFP2 masks with valve should have been forbidden from day one, as they offer zero protection to the others, and only protect the wearer.)
The funny thing is this: one year later, the FFP2 masks are still Made in China! Yup. Fucking stupid Western countries, that is.
When Austria mandated FFP2 masks in public transport and shops, guess what? Several supermarket chains made them available for €0.59 since January 21, most likely with subsidies from the government. You know, the famous “right-wing” Chancellor who doesn’t like Islamists; he seems to be quite effective. Also, those masks were Made in Austria! (Normally, FFP2 masks made in Austria were listed at €4.99, or €2.90 at the very least.) In Germany, when Bavaria announced a similar obligation, the price of FFP2 masks jumped to €5.99, with cheaper masks only available online, for about €1 apiece.
Most German Länder only recommend, not mandate, FFP2 masks, but I was able to find at a local online pharmacy FFP2 masks (Made in China this January!) in 20-pc boxes for €20. One week later, FFP2 masks showed up again in physical stores, e.g. DM had 5 masks for €4.95 (also Made in China), but at the tobacconists they’re €2.99 (one week later, €0.99 at REWE, then at EDEKA). Either way, surgical masks at €0.50 suddenly seem too expensive! As for the cloth ones… they just went to the dumpster.
It took a new virus strain (the British B.1.1.7) to persuade the authorities that FFP2 masks should be used. Why, oh why?
Also, they needed the same British strain to conclude that “err… umm… after all, children too can get sick or they can spread the disease, but… err… only with this news strain, otherwise no, they don’t, no matter they do with the regular cold, the flu, and other respiratory diseases!” Idiots. Virologists such as Christian Drosten, who initially opposed everything (masks, lockdown, closing of schools) but now he says, “listen to the experts,” should have their medical diploma revoked!
One more stupidity: in Germany, people from the categories at risk are supposed to receive by mail a voucher enabling them to get 6 FFP2 masks from any pharmacy for only €2. But the pharmacies are reimbursed €6 per FFP2 mask, because the Federal Government has used the market price of October 2020, plus VAT, even though today, certified FFP2 masks can be purchased in bulk for 60-70 cents apiece! So yes, this is a scandal. Besides, why not sending directly the 6 masks to such people instead of sending those vouchers? A legitimate question…
One more question not answered by anyone: despite such masks having been tested and found conforming to the specifications, how can this really be so when such masks (FFP2 or KN95, it doesn’t really matter) have two dashed stripes one can see through?! How can those areas still retain 94-95% of the droplets, despite being much thinner and very different to the rest of the mask? (Nobody seems to care.)
🟡 This pandemic taught me that even the smartest guys can be terribly stupid sometimes and that even famous doctors can say dumb things. It also made me reconsider the high esteem I had for a number of public personalities, not all of them very famous outside their countries. All in all, I’ve got sated with all the idiotic news from everywhere, so I severely cut the intake of news, but news are like leeches: you chase them out the door, and they come back through the window (this is how a saying runs in French and Romanian, but it’s actually a Turkish proverb). I cannot but learning every single day how stupid are the humans of the 21st century.
Take Prof. Christian Perronne, former President of the Communicable Diseases Commission of the Haut Conseil de la Santé Publique until 2016, Head of the Infectious and Tropical Diseases Department at the Raymond Poincaré Hospital in Garches until December 17, 2020 (when he was forcefully discharged), author of the book Y a-t-il une erreur qu’ils n’ont pas commise ? (Albin Michel, 2020). He’s right in the book when he condemns the actions taken by France’s governments since 2011, when 1 billion face masks were simply destroyed, and during the COVID-19 crisis, but he’s also “chief conspiracy theorist” (and I’m not talking of the hydroxychloroquine). Here’s this guy claiming (in 2021!) that face masks are totally useless, after having repeatedly insisted that mRNA vaccines are gene therapy —something that is entirely false and an aberration (not even Éric Zemmour would have said that; actually, he said exactly the contrary in one of “Face à l’info” shows, while Marc Menant was more skeptical, being a sort of Monsieur Anti-tout)–not to mention that since September he claims there’s never going to be a second COVID-19 wave, unless the Government makes it up! The video about vaccines being gene therapy has been removed by YouTube (here’s a Facebook reference to it), and an article with the same topic has been deleted by Facebook (here’s a reference to it). Christian Perronne might be a competent profesional, despite his war with Big Pharma concerning the Lyme disease (or maybe because of it!), and the persecutions against him for a “crime of opinion” are abject; but when it comes to this pandemic, he’s simply an idiot.
Take Prof. Didier Raoult, which I generally admire, a competent doctor, microbiologist and infectiologist, with great results in various tropical diseases, and who is still right:
- concerning the fact that the combination hydroxychloroquine + azithromycin works great in the initial phase of the disease and also preventively, as it modulates the cytokine response of the immune system;
- concerning the fact that the hydroxychloroquine is generally very safe, having been known for about 80 years (via the chloroquine, a derivative of the quinine) and having been taken by 2 billion people to prevent or treat malaria and, more recently, in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, including lupus (did I mentioned the cytokines, which are responsible for both lupus and severe complications of SARS-CoV-2?);
- concerning the fact that most of the deaths in France (and not only there) happened because the stupid medical and political system told people to stay home and take paracetamol if needed, instead of taking care of them (“la prise en charge”), not only with hydroxychloroquine and whatnot, but also with blood thinners or anticoagulants, antivirals (remdesivir), monoclonal antibodies (rituximab, REGN-COV2), corticosteroids (Dexamethasone), whatever else is required (either protocol-based or adapting to the patient), while monitoring the pulmonary function (at the very least with an oximeter), so that complications be detected at the earliest. We’re now aware of the many complications that arise in most COVID-19 patients; we’re also aware that to have a high survival rate, adequate treatments should be provided as early as possible, otherwise intubated patients only have a limited chance of survival (as low as 25-50% initially, when the protocol they used was for the regular pneumonia); furthermore, because of the complications (the virus can even nestle in the brain!) 29.4% of the British patients who got rid of SARS-CoV-2 were later readmitted in hospitals, and 12.3% eventually died, despite initially having survived the coronavirus!
To confirm that Didier Raoult knows what he’s doing at IHU Méditerranée Infection Marseille, from IHU’s COVID outpatients, i.e. treated but not admitted to hospital:
- nobody died from the outpatients aged 0 to 59;
- overall, only 0.12% of the outpatients died (from 0.22% of those aged 60-69 to 5% of those aged 89+);
- nobody aged 0 to 39 needed intensive care;
- overall, only 0.2% needed intensive care.
One could conclude that, should everyone had been taken care of like at IHU Marseille, the huge problem of the ICU mechanical ventilators wouldn’t have existed!
Didier Raoult is also right to condemn France’s backwardness regarding RNA sequencing, even below many African countries (watch IHU’s video from Feb. 2, and the one from Jan. 19). But the same person expressed some questionable opinions:
- He insists that the importance of the face masks is relative (i.e. they should be used only by those known to be positive), and the most important is the hygiene (washing hands, alcohol). Well, OK, but how about the people who practically spit in one another’s face when talking or laughing?
- On Nov. 11, he reiterates that the hands are the major risk (because of what they touch: transmision manuportée des maladies réspiratoires), not the air that could carry the virus! 70% v/v alcohol is much more important than a mask! (Except for the caregivers, who are in close contact with the patients.) And that no, the second wave is not the fault of the French who did what they did in the summer holiday, but the borders should have been closed to the foreigners in tourist countries like France, Italy, Spain.
- On Jan. 5, he insisted that some other cheap medicines should be studied more with regard to COVID-189, namely ivermectin, cyclosporin, doxycycline.
- On Jan. 29, for Sud Radio, he insisted that no social measure had proven its effectiveness, being it lockdown, closing the bars and restaurants, etc. Starting from the fact that 55% of those infected were infected in their families, he concluded that most infections took place at home, not outside!
Now, Didier Raoult made the same mistake others did, and there are doctors, biologists, epidemiologists that fell for this fake logic; here’s the thing:
- Yes, keeping infected and non-infected people under the same roof eventually raised the infection rate, and not offering a proper treatment increased the death rate, BUT without a lockdown the sick people would have had the chance to spread the disease to many more people!
- The lockdowns were ineffective because they were “Western-style”: not true, but very partial lockdowns (and many people infringed the rules anyway). No matter what we think of China, only they had true lockdowns, with people never leaving their house, their block of flats or their neighborhood, or only being allowed to go shopping once a week; with people who were forced to sleep at the factory or at the power plant where they were working, without being able to return home for sleep and get infected in the process! China still actively traces the movements of everyone in the areas at risk–zero privacy, but fewer deaths. Take a look at this feature by ARTE, posted on Jan. 30, 2021 and online through Jan. 27, 2024: Chine : le retour du virus (also on YT); in English as China: Covid-19 is Back. Of possible interest too (but older), Chine, le paradoxe de Wuhan (also on YT); in English as China: The Wuhan Paradox (on YT too).
Everything that’s contagious and spreads when infected people contaminate objects touch by other people or infect other people directly through sneezing, coughing, laughing, talking can be diminished by reducing social contacts, FULL STOP.
As for the ivermectin I mentioned above, here’s a funny thing about it: there are close to zero chances for it to be proven effective, but there are groups of people strongly promoting it in some countries! (Note that on Feb. 4, 2021, Merck issued a statement on Ivermectin use, in which they explained how ivermectin simply cannot be of any use against COVID-19.) Now, some such people never believed in hydroxychloroquine, which however modulates the cytokine response, yet they praise the ivermectin! In my opinion, the fact that ivermectin inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro doesn’t mean anything; Clorox kills the virus too, just not in vivo. Then, it’s known since May that the success attributed to ivermectin in some Latin American countries was partially due to a flawed database; also, the correlation-cum-causation ignored the fact that in areas where the population is massively carrying various tropical diseases, simply making those people free of such diseases through the use of ivermectin makes them more apt to react better to a SARS-CoV-2 infection! (It’s still possible though for ivermectin to have some effect on SARS-CoV-2, the same way people taking hydroxychloroquine for malaria had a better immune response to this coronavirus.)
Last but not least, there are idiots that keep being idiots, and the Chief Idiot seems to be Nicolás Maduro, who recently claimed to be in possession of the supreme COVID-19 killer, something called Carvacrol, which is…
“a thyme derivative with the chemical name of 2-methyl-5-(1-methylethyl)-phenol, and it’s nothing new, since both the extracts and the pure products of thyme already have a long tradition as nutritional and therapeutic agents since ancient times”. This is how the National Academy of Medicine of Venezuela defines Carvativir, the substance presented by Nicolás Maduro as the remedy against the coronavirus.
The Carvativir, Carvacrol or Cimofenol is a substance present in essential oils such as oregano and thyme, it has a yellowish or orange color, a spicy flavor, and a spicy smell like oregano. It can be used as a flavoring agent in food and different cosmetic products.
In addition, Carvatir is a very recurrent compound in homeopathic medicine, without any scientific basis, and is used in aromatic therapies to improve emotional well-being.
There are several scientific studies, such as the one carried out by the School of Chemical Engineering of the University of Yeungnam, in Korea, which assure that oregano oil, rich in Carvativir or Carvacrol, may have antibacterial properties. According to this study, this substance can help in the treatment of urinary tract infections caused mainly by the uropathogenic Escherichia coli bacteria.
It is not the first remedy against the coronavirus presented by Maduro. Last November, the Venezuelan president already assured that a group of scientists from the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC) had found the cure against the coronavirus.
On that occasion, it was about another molecule, DR-10, that Rafael Lacava, a peculiar politician nicknamed Dracula, had extracted from an unidentified medicinal plant.
In addition, in March, shortly after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus pandemic, Maduro already assured that Venezuela had a miraculous drug that was manufactured in Cuba, a kind of interferon. It didn’t take long for him to offer another remedy, this time homemade: a concoction of malojo, elderberry, ginger, black pepper, lemon and honey.
So it can be worse.
🟡 Back to the hydroxychloroquine, the “scientists” seem to never want to assess its effect on the disease or, in other terms, whether the chances of survival are better when hydroxychloroquine is taken prior to the infection, prior to the symptoms, or when the symptoms still don’t include a drop in the oxygen level in the blood. Here’s a study published online on Nov. 24, 2020, A cluster-randomized trial of hydroxychloroquine for prevention of COVID-19, who only assessed… the contagiosity!
Postexposure therapy with hydroxychloroquine did not prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection or symptomatic Covid-19 in healthy persons exposed to a PCR-positive case patient.
Here’s a study of this study, Understanding the drivers of transmission of SARS-CoV-2, published online on Feb. 2, 2021, which is totally useless IMO, but it includes this:
Although the effectiveness of masks is well established, in the analysis of Marks and colleagues, self-reported mask use surprisingly did not affect the risk of transmission. Similarly, Ng and colleagues did not find an effect of self-reported mask use on risk of COVID-19 transmission in their analysis of contact tracing data from Singapore. Rather than questioning the usefulness of mask-wearing policies, these results underscore the necessity of a multi-layered comprehensive approach to infection prevention and control. Factors such as consistent and correct use and quality of the mask could not be accounted for in the analysis.
Wow. We know they help, but they just didn’t. The masks. Correctly or incorrectly used. Not FFP2. Either way, the “well established” part is based on: Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis; and Effectiveness of face masks in preventing airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
Self-reported things are tricky. “Oh, yes, I did use a surgical mask. But I didn’t wash hands that often, and I didn’t disinfect any objects, because I was wearing a mask, right?”
Good news though: remember how the French government forbade prescribing of the hydroxychloroquine for off-label uses, specifically SARS-CoV-2, and the town doctors (as opposed to hospital doctors) were revoked the right to prescribe hydroxychloroquine? Yes, in France, not in North Korea. It was on March 28 (chronology here). Well, Italy did the same on July 22, not by a Government Decree, but by the means of the Agenzia Italiana del Farmaco (AIFA). The good news for Italy came on Dec. 11, when il Consiglio di Stato, with Sentenza n. 7097/2020, nullified AIFA’s decision and reinstated the right to use the hydroxychloroquine for off-label cases, and specifically for SARS-CoV2! (The full text also here, PDF versions here and here.) Not everyone is dictatorial on planet Earth!
As a result, the list of Farmaci utilizzabili per il trattamento della malattia COVID-19 now includes heparin, azithromycin, darunavir/cobicistat, lopinavir/ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, corticosteroids.
🟡 Back to the lockdowns, so hated by some scientists across Europe. It has a small brother, the curfew.
I cannot help but express my astonishment that, while hundreds of thousands of idiots have demonstrated in most countries sometimes against lockdowns, sometimes against face masks (“Don’t muzzle us!”), they never demonstrated specifically against the curfews!
As it happens, the curfews are the only measure that is truly dictatorial. Lockdowns are dictated by the pandemic, and they weren’t true lockdowns à la chinoise. Face masks are a sanitary measure, and so is the disinfection. Social and physical distancing are also sanitary measures. But as long as one is allowed to get out of the house and go shopping for food in crowded supermarkets and using crowded streets, how can things improve by forbidding people to walk on empty streets in the evening or at night? This I will never understand, because there’s no logical explanation.
Official and officious explanations included mentions of people who prefer to break the law at night, when they get out to have a drink with friends on the street. Really?! In December and January, when it’s winter? And they’re fucking outside anyway, on empty streets! Change of mind: oh, but they might meet at someone’s house. Right, they only can do that after 8 PM or 9 PM, huh? But why can I just walk and get some air at an hour when the streets are empty, there’s less traffic, and the air is better? Just because I “might break the law”? By this logic, they should cut my dick off, because, you know, as long as I have such an organ I “might rape someone”!
Curfew only occurred during the war, in occupied territories. With low to nonexistent street lighting, the Résistance was likely to prepare sabotages, so any patrol, being they the Wehrmacht, the SS, or the Gestapo, could have shot anyone on sight. But are we in such a situation?
Not only the deniers failed to demonstrate against curfews, but those who said “there’s no study to prove that lockdowns/distancing/masks/etc. have any effect” also failed to react to the lockdowns!
The funniest and the most grotesque thing is what happened in France: initially limited to some areas, since Jan. 16, a curfew starting at 6 PM is in place on the entire territory of France! Mind you, it was exactly between 6 PM and 8 PM that the virus was spreading the most! Not after 8 PM or 9 PM, but since 6 PM onwards.
Based on the official reports, this extension of the curfew had some results in curbing the contagion. But it’s exactly because at 6 PM you cannot call it a curfew. Say you forbid people to be on the streets and in shops past 4 PM. Make it 2 PM then. This is not a curfew, but a partial lockdown, and this is why it (kind of) works! Actually, they could have imposed a lockdown during the day and freedom of movement during the night, when no shop is open, and the results would have been even better!
But France has one of the most inept governments in Europe…
🟡 Zero-COVID as a policy. I’ve always said that what happens now in the West is the result of a “fake lockdown”; it’s only recently that I became aware that reason exists in the Western world too, and some people have created the Zero Covid initiative in the UK. Here’s a summary of a Zero-COVID strategy, and here’s an excerpt from the German site CARTA, written by Prof. Yaneer Bar-Yam, the founder of EndCoronavirus.org:
But even Germany, once considered within Europe as a model for its COVID-19 response, has not fared well in comparison to many Asia/Pacific countries that opted for a »Zero Covid« strategy.
Thailand, for example, has a population of 69 million, but has only suffered about 60 deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, Germany — population 83 million — has had more than 26,000 deaths. What’s more, Germany is currently locked down, while life in Thailand is close to normal.
Residents of New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, and Vietnam, are also enjoying something very close to normal life because their governments made the right decisions: they chose a »Zero Covid« strategy. This, even with the need to respond to occasional small outbreaks.
… Since March, it has become clear what elements are key to a successful Zero Covid strategy. I would like to highlight six lessons from the Asia/Pacific success stories that should be applied everywhere:
1. Target zero cases and treat every single new infection as a national security threat. (In contrast, in the United States and Europe, authorities aim to keep COVID-19 cases at a »manageable level.« Unfortunately, a permanent »soft lockdown« is required to keep the »manageable« level of transmission of cases from exploding into exponential growth, and no country has been able to stomach a permanent soft lockdown.)
2. When community transmission first appears, impose short, strict lockdowns – combined with masks, tracing, and ventilation – to get to zero cases. (In contrast, in the United States and Europe, authorities often wait to impose restrictive measures until hospitals approach full capacity, and then often only impose »soft lockdowns.«)
3. Isolate infected individuals and their contacts in »quarantine hotels« or specialized facilities. (In contrast, in the United States and Europe, authorities advise infected individuals and their contacts to self-quarantine at home. These individuals then infect their cohabitants or violate quarantine and infect others.)
4. Prevent importation of new cases through mandatory quarantines on travelers from »red zones.« (In contrast, in the United States and Europe, most travelers from places with active transmission can avoid mandatory quarantine if they provide a negative PCR test, which has a high false negative rate. And »mandatory quarantine requirements« are typically not strictly enforced.)
5. Sub-national regions reopen through »green zone« strategy, in which COVID-free »green« zones reopen while restricting travel from »red zones.« (In contrast, in the United States and Europe, regions reopen before transmission is eliminated. When »green zone« status is achieved in sub-national regions, authorities do not protect these through travel restrictions.)
Many of those in Europe and the United States who accept that getting to zero Covid is possible claim that it could not work in the West because it »too costly«. However, when community transmission is taking place, the set of actions required to prevent exponential transmission growth is both costly and neverending. Without economically prohibitive measures, another Covid wave is guaranteed to occur, requiring yet greater costs to suppress, as well as the additional loss of health and life.
The larger the number of cases per day, the more costly it is to contain the virus. Why would any country not invest in the short term to reduce new cases to as low a number as possible? Then they could control the virus with fewer social, economic, and health costs for the remainder of the pandemic. Why not get to zero community transmission, so that the economy can truly open up again?
The MIT Professor forgot to mention that the idiotic way this pandemic was handled in the West is rooted in the inept vision of “freedom is more important than public safety and national security,” to the extent that people had to die of COVID-19 for the sake of an illusory “freedom.”
🟡 What’s going to happen next? Are we going to have enough vaccines to reach “herd immunity” by the end of this year? (Rather unlikely.) How about the poorer countries that, even in Europe, still lack a vaccine? And how can the EU impose “vaccination passports” as long as there’s a shortage of vaccines? (The case of an “immunity passport” has been discussed while in the first wave, but the EU is considering it only now.)
We might need COVID-19 vaccines for many years to come, says Angela Merkel. Is then the pandemic really going to last 4-5 years? How dangerous is the new E484K additional mutation adopted by variants of the British B.1.1.7 variant? What if each new wave is like a new pandemic, and the vaccines are only half-effective? Note that AstraZeneca’s vaccine (AZD1222 aka ChAdOx1, also manufactured by Serum Institute of India as Covishield) is the one with the bizarre behavior that makes it untrustworthy: its efficacy is 62.1% for two standard doses, but 90.0% for a low dose followed by a standard dose; now they put it at 82% after a second dose, which is rather low. Novavax (NVX-CoV2373) is also questionable, with 89.3% efficacy in the UK (B.1.1.7 and other variants), but only 60% in South Africa (B.1.351 variant). Is the South African variant the one that will kill us? (We might need to use better face masks.)
Are new treatments going to surface, beyond the aforementioned REGN-COV2 and XAV-19? On the cytokine-modulators side, there’s the new EXO-CD24 (New Israeli drug cured 29 of 30 moderate/serious COVID cases in days; the 30th patient also eventually recovered), but Big Pharma might conspire against it; here’s a German article mentioning it that ends this way (automated translation):
Still little reason for euphoria
This is not the first time that news of success like this has gone viral. Pharmacologist Michael Freissmuth from MedUni Vienna is correspondingly critical. Because: “With only 30 patients observed, one can at best say: nice observation,” says the expert. As long as there are no clinical studies, no insight into the data and no control groups, one cannot assess an effect with regard to the different courses of Sars-CoV-2.
Freissmuth therefore calls the advance of the physicians “a media rapid-fire reaction.” Because the difficult thing about Covid-19 courses is that “after the administration of some drugs, you can say that isolated patients get better, but there are no control groups to prove it.”
He therefore appealed to responsible scientists and physicians not to “rush out” such findings, but first to “back them up with clinical data.” Because the majority of anecdotes still do not make evidence, he says. And evidence is “pretty clearly settled” in medicine, he adds.
What is pretty clear in medicine is that bureaucracy and cupidity killed too many people in this pandemic. Should EXO-CD24 have the fate of hydroxychloroquine… we’ll be proven stupid as a species.
🟡 Finally, is the economy going to survive? Take a look at what’s left of Los Angeles! (But maybe we should be confident that Homo sapiens americanus won’t become extinct, despite not being able to name a single country on the map.)
People want their old life back, but the post-COVID world is impossible to predict, so I won’t speculate on anything. What I don’t want to need to write again about, is pandemic.
In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, to contribute something to solving overpopulation.
— Prince Philip, the Queen’s consort, in 1988
🟡 I forgot to mention our friends the Italians. In the section “smart people telling stupid things” (ELEVEN), I didn’t mention how much I keep being disappointed by Enzo Pennetta, a very intelligent biologist (and controversial at that, which is a sign he troubles the waters of the mainstream dogmas). You’ll find him on the blog Critica Scientifica; he used to be invited in Claudio Messora’s ByoBlu videos, but in recent times he too has a YT channel. Now, the problem with Professor Pennetta that he continues into the trend of those saying that everything that is done is wrong, dictatorial, with financial interests, and, of course, that this is not a pandemic when only 0.3% of those infected die. He’s not entirely wrong, but his attitude doesn’t create a “healthy doubt” (as Éric Zemmour would have said), but rather “unconstructive criticism.” Even less constructive than Enzo Pennetta is Claudio Mesora’s other guests and the ideas selected to be disseminated via ByoBlu, including among the most innocuous of them the famous “This virus has not even been isolated: it is a nucleic acid sequence invented in a computer lab, which repeats the structure of the first SARS-CoV.”
Much more honest is the criticism presented by Sigfrido Ranucci in Rai’s weekly Report investigative series. I’ll now comment on the Jan. 21, 2021 episode, more precisely on the segment Nelle mani del vaccino (Manuele Bonaccorsi, Lorenzo Vendemiale), which is approximately between the minutes 41 and 70.
The efficacy of the first vaccines to be approved was based on a moderate number of trial participants (see the screenshots above), which apparently led to very few cases of “lack of efficacy.” But how was this determined?
First, we discover that most trial voluntaries for Pfizer and Moderna were never tested more than once–the day before the vaccination (with the vaccine or with a placebo); a German doctor confirms: the parameters of this study were established by Pfizer.
Prof. Peter Doshi, University of Maryland: The 95% efficacy of the vaccine is referring to a very specific aspect: the decrease in the symptomatic cases, not a 95% reduction of the infection rate! The trials were not conceived to reveal that.
Prof. Andrea Crisanti, Università di Padova: Even vaccinated, one may pass the virus to others. This is confirmed by Dr. Nicola Magrini, head of AIFA (the Italian Medicines Agency): even if everyone is vaccinated, the herd immunity and stopping of the coronavirus spreading are “not automatic.”
Prof. Peter Doshi: There were two options the pharma companies were facing: to prove a reduction in the infection rate, or to prove a reduction of the sickness rate. They have chosen the second one.
This is not necessarily evil per se. A vaccine’s first task is to prevent the death or the severe incapacitation of those vaccinated; stopping the epidemic (or pandemic) is only a by-product. But here the stakes were higher.
The two major Pharma companies were given huge subsidies from the US (for Moderna) and from Germany (for BioNTech). There was zero transparency as to how the money was used, and yet, on Nov. 19, Ursula von der Leyen announced that the vaccines will soon be approved–although the EMA insists that they’re independent of the European Commission.
As it was the case, there were serious doubts that the vaccines were ready for the market, but from now on I’ll refer to the original sources, not to Rai’s Report.
Before getting to quote from the Flemish NGO Journalismfund.eu, who covered the topic Behind The Pledge – How EU money is spent for Covid19 drugs, let’s take a detour to visit the British Medical Journal, where Prof. Peter Doshi harshly criticized the Big Pharma: Will covid-19 vaccines save lives? Current trials aren’t designed to tell us.
The world has bet the farm on vaccines as the solution to the pandemic, but the trials are not focused on answering the questions many might assume they are.
But what will it mean exactly when a vaccine is declared “effective”? To the public this seems fairly obvious. “The primary goal of a covid-19 vaccine is to keep people from getting very sick and dying,” a National Public Radio broadcast said bluntly.
Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said, “Ideally, you want an antiviral vaccine to do two things . . . first, reduce the likelihood you will get severely ill and go to the hospital, and two, prevent infection and therefore interrupt disease transmission.”
Yet the current phase III trials are not actually set up to prove either. None of the trials currently under way are designed to detect a reduction in any serious outcome such as hospital admissions, use of intensive care, or deaths. Nor are the vaccines being studied to determine whether they can interrupt transmission of the virus.
In a September interview Medscape editor in chief Eric Topol pondered what counts as a recorded “event” in the vaccine trials. “We’re not talking about just a PCR [polymerase chain reaction test]-positive mild infection. It has to be moderate to severe illness to qualify as an event, correct?” he asked.
“That’s right,” concurred his guest, Paul Offit, a vaccinologist who sits on the FDA advisory committee that may ultimately recommend the vaccines for licence or emergency use authorisation.
“Our trial will not demonstrate prevention of transmission,” Zaks said, “because in order to do that you have to swab people twice a week for very long periods, and that becomes operationally untenable.”
Zaks added, “A 30 000 [participant] trial is already a fairly large trial. If you’re asking for a 300 000 trial then you need to talk to the people who are paying for it, because now you’re talking about not a $500m to $1bn trial, you’re talking about something 10 times the size.”
As previously said, they didn’t assess the ability of vaccination to stop the transmission, for it would have been “untenable” and too expensive. And an “event” or a failure of the vaccine was only a moderate to severe illness! Was the public made aware of this?
Back to the documents cited by the Rai investigation, via Journalismfund.eu:
- From the EMA internal e-mails found on the Dark Web: regarding Pfizer/BioNTech, the mRNA integrity in the commercial vaccines is inferior to those used in trials, on average 55% vs 78%.
- From another document, the mRNA for clinical trials was 69-81%, while for the commercial batches was 59% on average, but as low as 51-52%, was saying the EMA on Nov. 23. (And when you think that the manufacturer agreed that using a 5-dose bottle to vaccinate 6 persons is OK! Let’s dilute furthermore something that’s already too diluted!)
- The contracts between the European Commission and the vaccine manufacturers were secret, and only after the Corporate European Observatory has filed a complaint with the European Ombudsman, the EU agreed to disclose the contracts with Curevac and AstraZeneca, but the key elements were redacted (censored).
This shouldn’t be a reason for us to refuse the vaccine. After all, the Israelis, who have vaccinated and tested millions, reported that just 0.04% of Israelis caught COVID-19 after two shots of Pfizer vaccine.
What we should do when all of this is over is to dismantle this nest of rats that is the European Union corrupt bureaucracy and return to a Europe of nations, with bilateral and multilateral agreements on the movement of persons, goods, and capitals! The USSR fell apart, and the only similar construct is the EU.
We must survive, but the EU should die!
AN EVEN LATER EDIT
Maybe we should dismantle all the political, scientific, and other kinds of authorities that lost all their credibility in this pandemic. Here’s a recent one:
- Remember how authorities in several countries (Germany, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Poland) said AstraZeneca’s vaccine might not be effective over 65 years of age, for lack of data? Emmanuel Macron himself said AstraZeneca’s vaccine “is quasi-ineffective” for people over 65. Italy and Belgium even set 55 years for an age limit, and Switzerland refused to approve the vaccine altogether.
- The UK disagreed and approved it for all ages, and some other countries did the same (India, Mexico, Argentina).
- On Feb. 10, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE), an advisory group to the World Health Organization, announced at a press conference that it has recommended the AstraZeneca vaccine for adults 65 years old and older, “based on their review of a more limited set of data in conjunction with data from all age groups” and given that “we feel that the response of this group cannot be any different from groups of a younger age.”
Wonderful. One more of these:
- South Africa halted its AstraZeneca vaccine rollout due to its low efficiency against the B.1.351 variant and said it would be using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine instead.
- Only days later, in Romania, people flocked to be vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s jab: 200,000 vaccination slots got booked in about 10 hours.
AstraZeneca über alles!
A last idiocy from the kingdom of Emmanuel Macron: France’s Haute Autorité de Santé recommended on Feb. 12 only one dose of the vaccine to people who have previously contracted COVID-19. This single dose of vaccine would act as a booster (second dose, rappel) for such people. The only studies that support this decision: one on 109 people (of which 41 had previously tested positive); another one (not peer-reviewed!) on 59 people. This is preposterous and, given the size of the studies, they’re almost “anecdotal evidence”–the usual epithet such authorities use to reject anything that doesn’t serve their interests. But here, there is obviously an attempt to save money and to be able to report a successful mass vaccination in a country where almost everything goes wrong… Heads have fallen for less than that, but Emperor Macron is insouciant.
The epilogue is still to be determined…