If you are advocating for lockdowns, you are complicit in tearing families apart. You are complicit in inflicting untold suffering on millions of people around the world. You are complicit in casting the poorest and most vulnerable in our societies into even further grinding poverty. You are complicit in murder.
WHO Flip-Flops: Urges World Leaders To Stop Using Lockdowns To Fight COVID Contagion
In a stunning rebuke of the “science” and the “doctors” and leftist politicians and career bureaucrats in the US and across much of The West, The Epoch Times’ Evan Pentchoukov reports that The World Health Organization’s special envoy on COVID-19 has urged world leaders to stop using lockdowns as the primary control method against the spread of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.
“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” David Nabarro told The Spectator in an interview aired on Oct. 8.
“The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.”
[ZH: How long before this video is removed by Twitter?]
Nabarro pointed to the collateral damage that lockdowns are having worldwide, especially among poorer populations.
“Just look at what’s happened to the tourism industry, for example in the Caribbean or in the Pacific, because people aren’t taking their holidays. Look what’s happened to smallholder farmers all over the world because their markets have got dented. Look what’s happening to poverty levels. It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. Seems that we may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition because children are not getting meals at school and their parents, in poor families, are not able to afford it,” Nabarro said.
“This is a terrible, ghastly global catastrophe actually,” he added. “And so we really do appeal to all world leaders: Stop using lockdown as your primary control method, develop better systems for doing it, work together and learn from each other, but remember – lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer.”
Nabarro isn’t the only scientist opposing lockdowns.
A number of medical or public health scientists and medical practitioners have signed the Great Barrington Declaration, which states that “current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.”
The signatories include: “Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University and a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring of infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases, and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations.”
“The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk,” the declaration states.
With few exceptions, world leaders followed in the footsteps of the Chinese communist regime when responding to the outbreak of the virus, imposing unprecedented lockdowns. Sweden, which did not impose a lockdown, did not experience an adverse outcome compared to some locales and nations that did.
In the United States, President Donald Trump delegated the decisions on lockdown measures to the governors of individual states, but has pushed for the economy to be reopened, and lockdowns lifted.
We have to understand that the political classes and their media have a vested interest in the lockdown status quo, and that includes regular provision of what only can be called disinformation. The mainstream media this past summer dutifully reported a highly questionable (I use that term charitably) report that the Sturgis Bike Rally in South Dakota led to more than a quarter million covid infections and more than $12 billion of medical costs. It should have been obvious on its face that the report was deeply flawed, yet in their desire to fuel the covid-is-killing-us narrative, journalists took this too-good-to-be-true story and ran with it.
As for politicians, the covid crisis has been a godsend for those governmental executives and bureaucrats who see constitutional restrictions that limit their authority as mere obstacles to be easily swept away. Governors such as Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gavin Newsom of California, and Tom Wolfe of Pennsylvania have received adoring coverage in the media for seizing and employing dictatorial powers, Whitmer even unilaterally deciding that the sale of garden seeds in stores was illegal. Cuomo’s decision to force the housing of covid-19 patients in nursing homes led to the deaths of thousands of people, yet his national media coverage is uniformly positive.
Contrast the affirmative news coverage of Cuomo with the barrage of media attacks on Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota. Noem has emphasized personal responsibility and did not attempt mass closures of schools and businesses in the state, and the mainstream media erupted with fury. That South Dakota has come through this pandemic relatively well does not matter with the media, as the only acceptable action (to mainstream and elite journalists) in response to covid is for governors to single-handedly seize power and lock down their citizens.
Keep in mind that the real losses that Americans suffered because of the heavy-handed governmental response to the covid outbreak are permanent. As Robert Higgs so eloquently pointed out in Crisis and Leviathan, governments often create crises or, at the very least, they manipulate events such as natural disasters and use them as opportunities to expand governmental powers. Even after the crises end, governments keep some of their newly self-granted powers—and most people raise little or no concern even when government has curtailed more of their freedoms.
We wonder how long it will be before WHO also urges the end of mask-wearing?
In the end, as Anderson concluded, the only way that the political classes can “make us safe” is for us to do what is necessary to make ourselves safe, or as relatively safe as possible. When a virus is afoot—as is the case most of the time—we do what we can to avoid it and do what we can to treat it. In other words, we appeal to real medical science, not what the political and media classes have cooked up for us.
Below is a video from Dr. Reiner Fuellmich, attorney licensed in Germany and the state of California. He practices as a trial lawyer against fraudulent corporations. He is one of four members of the German Corona Investigative Committee. In this video, he explains how the anti-Corona measures were implemented, and have destroyed companies and lives worldwide. Thank you to our Anne Dachel for the transcribed excerpts below the video.
“…an international network of lawyers will argue this biggest tort case ever, the corona fraud scandal, which has meanwhile unfolded into probably the greatest crime against humanity ever committed. …
“…Do the so-called anti-corona measures such as the lockdown, mandatory facemasks, social distancing and quarantine regulations serve to protect the world population from corona, or do these measures serve only to make people panic so that they believe, without asking any questions, that their lives are in danger, so that in the end, the pharmaceutical and tech industries can generate huge profits from the sale of PCR tests, antigens and antibody tests and vaccines as well as the harvesting of our genetic fingerprints.
“…Is it true that the German government was massively lobbied, more so than any other country, by the chief protagonists of the so-called corona pandemic, …because Germany is known as a particulary disciplined country and was therefore to become a role model for the rest of the world for its strict and of course successful adherence to the corona measures. …
32:50 “…Oxford professor, Carl Heneghan, director for Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, writes that ‘the COVID virus would never disappear if this test practice were to be continued, but would always falsely detected in much of what is tested.’
“Lockdowns…do not work. Sweden with its laissez-faire approach and Great Britain with its strict lockdown, for example, have completely comparable disease and mortality statistics. The same was found by U.S. scientists concerning the different U.S. states.
“It makes no difference to the incidence of disease whether a state implements a lockdown or not.
“With regard to the now infamous Imperial College of London’s professor Neil Ferguson and his completely false computers models warning of millions of deaths, [Heneghan] says, ‘No serious scientist gives any validity to Ferguson’s model.’ …”
Sweden Close to Reaching Herd Immunity Countrywide
In the U.S., even as the COVID-19 curve appears to have flattened, and death rates for some groups have fallen to almost zero,1 dire warnings about an ominous “second wave” continue.
Likewise, Sweden, a country that has handled the pandemic differently than most of the globe, is being chided for its looser restrictions and lack of lockdowns, even as data suggest their refusal to implement a full shutdown of their society may have been the best approach after all.
While most other countries instituted stay-at-home orders and shuttered schools and businesses, Sweden did not.
While high schools and universities closed and gatherings of more than 50 people were banned, elementary and middle schools, shops and restaurants have remained open during the pandemic.2
Now, news outlets are trying to use Sweden as an example of what not to do to fight COVID-19, citing a high death toll.
“The country’s mortality rate from the coronavirus is now 30% higher than that of the United States when adjusted for population size,” CBS News reported,3 but this doesn’t tell the full picture of how Swedes have fared in comparison to the rest of the world.
Sweden May Be Close to Reaching Herd Immunity
If a novel virus is introduced to a population, eventually enough people acquire natural immunity so that the number of susceptible people declines. When the number susceptible is low enough to prevent epidemic growth, the herd immunity threshold, or HIT, has been reached.
With SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, some estimates have suggested that 60% to 70% of the population must be immune before HIT will be reached, but researchers from Oxford, Virginia Tech, and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine4 found that when individual variations in susceptibility and exposure are taken into account, the HIT declines to less than 10%.5
Independent news source Off-Guardian6 cited data from Stockholm County, Sweden that showed an HIT of 17%,7 as well as an essay by Brown University Professor Dr. Andrew Bostom, who explained:8
“… [A] respected team of infectious disease epidemiologists from the U.K. and U.S. have concluded: ‘Naturally acquired immunity to SARS-CoV-2 may place populations over the herd immunity threshold once as few as 10-20% of its individuals are immune.’”
And, as pointed out in Conservative Review:9
“… Naturally acquired herd immunity to COVID-19 combined with earnest protection of the vulnerable elderly — especially nursing home and assisted living facility residents — is an eminently reasonable and practical alternative to the dubious panacea of mass compulsory vaccination against the virus.
“This strategy was successfully implemented in Malmo, Sweden, which had few COVID-19 deaths by assiduously protecting its elder care homes, while ‘schools remained open, residents carried on drinking in bars and cafes, and the doors of hairdressers and gyms were open throughout.’”
Off-Guardian continues with Stanford’s Nobel-laureate Michael Levitt, who is among those in support of Sweden’s lighter restrictions.
Levitt successfully predicted the trajectory of COVID-19 deaths in China, including when the deaths would slow, and has stated that the pandemic would not be as dire as many have predicted.
Have Sweden’s COVID-19 Deaths Peaked?
What’s more, in an interview with The Stanford Daily, Levitt stated in May 2020, “If Sweden stops at about 5,000 or 6,000 deaths, we will know that they’ve reached herd immunity, and we didn’t need to do any kind of lockdown.”10
As of July 17, 2020, there were 5,619 deaths in Sweden due to COVID-19,11 and in a study released by Levitt and colleagues June 30, 2020, which analyzes COVID-19 outbreaks at 3,546 locations worldwide, it’s predicted that Sweden’s total COVID-19 deaths will plateau at about 6,000.12
So far, Levitt is spot-on, and it appears, indeed, that Sweden’s COVID-19 deaths have slowed, peaking at more than 100 deaths per day and now, midsummer, tallying in the low teens.
The intensive care unit at Stockholm’s Sodertalje Hospital has also cleared out, housing 77 cases during the pandemic’s peak and only four cases as of July 17, 2020.13
Sweden’s Epidemiologist Calls Lockdowns ‘Madness’
Sweden continues to stand by their handling of the pandemic, despite heavy criticism.
The country’s state epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, even described the rest of the world’s lockdowns as “madness,” considering the steep side effects they ultimately cause.
Levitt suggested that not only did lockdowns not save lives, but likely cost lives due to social damage, domestic abuse, divorces, alcoholism and other health conditions that were not treated.14 Bloomberg reported:15
“‘It was as if the world had gone mad, and everything we had discussed was forgotten,’ Tegnell said in a podcast with Swedish Radio … ‘The cases became too many and the political pressure got too strong. And then Sweden stood there rather alone.’”
Tegnell stated that shutting down schools was also unnecessary during the pandemic, and scientists from the Institut Pasteur in France indeed found that there was no significant transmission of COVID-19 in primary schools, either among the students or from students to teachers.16
“The study also confirmed that younger children infected by the novel coronavirus generally do not develop symptoms or present with minor symptoms that may result in a failure to diagnose the virus,” study author Bruno Hoen added.17
Meanwhile, while Sweden has encouraged its citizens to engage in social distancing, mask usage is another story, and Tegnell has stated that there’s little evidence for wearing face masks.18
Stanford Expert Slams Lockdowns
Outside of Sweden, other experts, including epidemiologist Dr. John Ioannidis of Stanford University, have also spoken out against statewide lockdown measures in response to COVID-19.
Ioannidis suggests that 150 million to 300 million people may have already been infected globally and may have developed antibodies to the virus, and the median infection fatality rate has remained low at about 0.25%.19
As continues to be demonstrated, the elderly and those with underlying health problems appear to be most vulnerable, and protecting such populations should have been a priority. But lockdowns for young, healthy people are far more questionable.
Speaking with Greek Reporter, Ioannidis said:20
“The death rate in a given country depends a lot on the age-structure, who are the people infected, and how they are managed. For people younger than 45, the infection fatality rate is almost 0%. For 45 to 70, it is probably about 0.05-0.3%.
For those above 70, it escalates substantially, to 1% or higher for those over 85. For frail, debilitated elderly people with multiple health problems who are infected in nursing homes, it can go up to 25% during major outbreaks in these facilities.”
Overall, Ioannidis said the mathematical models that predicted hospitals would be overrun by COVID-19 patients were “astronomically wrong,” and although a handful of U.S. hospitals did become stressed, no health systems were overrun.
“Conversely,” he said, “the health care system was severely damaged in many places because of the [lockdown] measures taken,” while lockdown measures have also significantly increased the number of people at risk of starvation while leading to financial crisis, unrest and civil strife.21
What’s more, one study even found that 81% of people not exposed to SARS-CoV-2 were still able to mount an immune response against it, which “suggests at least some built-in immune protection from SARS-CoV-2 …”22
US Surgeon General Opposes Mask Mandate
With mask usage becoming an increasingly polarized debate, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams encouraged mask usage but spoke out against making them mandatory due to concerns that it could lead to rebellion.23
In my interview with Denis Rancourt, Ph.D., a former full professor of physics, and a researcher with the Ontario Civil Liberties Association in Canada, we also discussed the controversial topic of masks.
Rancourt did a thorough study of the scientific literature on masks, concentrating on evidence showing masks can reduce infection risk, especially viral respiratory diseases.
If there was any significant advantage to wearing a mask to reduce infection risk to either the wearer or others in the vicinity, then it would have been detected in at least one of these trials, yet there’s no sign of such a benefit.
He said in our interview:
“It makes no difference if everybody in your team is wearing a mask; it makes no difference if one is and others aren’t. Wearing a mask or being in an environment where masks are being worn or not worn, there’s no difference in terms of your risk of being infected by the viral respiratory disease.
“There’s no reduction, period. There are no exceptions. All the studies that have been tabulated, looked at, published, I was not able to find any exceptions, if you constrain yourself to verified outcomes.”
This is another area where Sweden has stayed ahead of the curve, as they’ve resisted asking the public to wear masks based on lack of evidence of effectiveness and the risk that they offer wearers a false sense of security.
Tegnell did state that officials are considering whether to recommend masks during use of public transportation, but stressed masks “definitely won’t become an optimal solution in any way.”24
Sweden Speaks Out Against WHO Warning
In late June 2020, the World Health Organization counted Sweden among European countries at risk of seeing a resurgence of COVID-19.
The warning was based on WHO data showing Sweden had 155 infections for every 100,000 inhabitants in the past 14 days, a higher rate than in most of Europe.25
Tegnell, however, said that this was a “total misinterpretation of the data” and WHO was confusing Sweden with countries just at the outset of their epidemics.
Instead, any rise in infections is likely due to increases in testing, Tegnell said, adding,
“They didn’t call to ask us. The number of admissions to intensive care is at a very low level and even deaths are starting to go down.”26
Time will tell whether Sweden’s strategy, which avoided lockdowns and widespread mask usage, turns out to be the right one after all, but some believe the writing is already on the wall.27
“Dr. Michael Levitt and Sweden have been right all along,” Off-Guardian reported.
“The only way through COVID-19 is by achieving the modest (10-20%) Herd Immunity Threshold required to have the virus snuff itself out.
“The sooner politicians — and the press — start talking about HIT and stop talking about new confirmed cases, the better off we will all be.
“Either way, it’s likely weeks, not months, before the data of new daily deaths will be so low that the press will have to find something new to scare everyone. It’s over.”
From the author: The existing medical establishment is responsible for killing and permanently injuring millions of Americans, but the surging numbers of visitors to Mercola.com since I began the site in 1997 – we are now routinely among the top 10 health sites on the Internet – convinces me that you, too, are fed up with their deception. You want practical health solutions without the hype, and that’s what I offer.
Welcome to Let’s Pretend. Let’s pretend everything is OK and Nice and Polite are going to win the day, and no one is going to have to give up his position in life or his security. The missiles fired into the heart of the economy will have no lasting effects. Politicians who can’t find their asses with both hands will put things right. Fascist governors and mayors will soon abdicate their power and never lock down their populations again, no matter what. It was all just a bad dream. A cloud passing over the sun for a few minutes.
There’s a reason MY contact tracing led to you, Mr. Trump.
You’re the only one left in the menagerie. You’re the only political animal who could offer a shred of a sliver of a slim ray of hope. To push back the invaders.
Several times you’ve said, “It’s no good if the cure is worse than the disease.” Surely you understand by now, the cure IS the disease. The H-bomb that went off in the middle of the economy was and is the whole point of the invasion, which has been taking place under your nose.
With your assistance. As a result of your failed marriage to Tony Fauci.
Let’s put aside the gloss, Mr. Trump. You understand the real effects of the lockdowns. The effects the networks refuse to lead with, on the evening news.
There is the symbolic economy, represented by the careening up and down stock market. Then there is the real thing—the businesses and lives destroyed.
Nixon and Kissinger. Bush and Cheney. Bill and Hillary. They don’t hold a candle to you and Fauci.
You allowed Fauci to become head of the coronavirus task force, and to remain in that position, spreading vast clouds of overblown lies about the “pandemic” and the fascist measures needed to stem it.
That’s a crime you’ll have to live with.
But you can do something about it. The governors won’t. The mayors won’t. Believe me, I’ve looked high and low to find someone other than you, to whom I could send these dispatches. Some noble figure in the American landscape with power, who could turn the tide in the economic war against the people. I don’t see one. You’re the default choice.
You sat in the Oval, when Fauci slithered up to you with the absurd computer projections Neil Ferguson authored, and that psychopathic freak, Bill Gates, bankrolled. You accepted the numbers of deaths Ferguson predicted. Two million in the US. You never had your people investigate Ferguson. In an hour, they would have discovered he had a long track record of abysmal failures. Failure is his whole story. Yet, you took those numbers and allowed Fauci to run with them. Leading the nation into a crushing economic dead-end.
So you see, you’re actually part of the war against the people. If you’re going to be a General now, you’ll have to admit that. You’ll have to fire Fauci and stand up straight and reclaim your own soul.
If hundreds of thousands or millions of Chinese soldiers were encamped in cities and towns across USA right now, smashing the American engines of production, don’t you think you’d be justified in sending in the troops? To liberate the people? Would anyone is his right mind cite Posse Comitatus to try to stop you?
Well, the US governors and mayors and public health officials are our enemies, and their lockdowns were and are the war. So send in the Army and liberate those towns and cities. Forcibly. Open the American economy all the way. Permanently. Tell your opponents, THE CURE IS WORSE THAN THE DISEASE. Tell them 50 million Americans out of work is intolerable.
You’re supposed to be the riverboat gambler. So shove in all your chips on this one, Mr. Trump. Crack the media delusion that all is well in America, if we just “stick together,” which means bowing down to the masks and the distancing and the dehumanizing and the isolating and the tracing and the testing and the vaccinating and the shredding of the economy.
As you know, COVID is one supermax lie. Nothing worse than a flu season is happening in the world.
Of course, I’m out of my mind. I must be. Who could imagine sending in the Army to liberate the people, so they could live free?
Better to huddle in fear. And wait. For the keeper of the cage to open the door.
So we can go out for a little while.
Right, Mr. President?
Until the next time, the next wave, the next crisis—tomorrow.
Germany’s federal government and mainstream media are engaged in damage control after a report that challenges the established Corona narrative leaked from the interior ministry.
Some of the report key passages are:
The dangerousness of Covid-19 was overestimated: probably at no point did the danger posed by the new virus go beyond the normal level.
The people who die from Corona are essentially those who would statistically die this year, because they have reached the end of their lives and their weakened bodies can no longer cope with any random everyday stress (including the approximately 150 viruses currently in circulation).
Worldwide, within a quarter of a year, there has been no more than 250,000 deaths from Covid-19, compared to 1.5 million deaths [25,100 in Germany] during the influenza wave 2017/18.
The danger is obviously no greater than that of many other viruses. There is no evidence that this was more than a false alarm.
A reproach could go along these lines: During the Corona crisis the State has proved itself as one of the biggest producers of Fake News.
So far, so bad. But it gets worse.
The report focuses on the “manifold and heavy consequences of the Corona measures” and warns that these are “grave”.
More people are dying because of state-imposed Corona-measures than they are being killed by the virus.
The reason is a scandal in the making:
A Corona-focused German healthcare system is postponing life-saving surgery and delaying or reducing treatment for non-Corona patients.
Berlin in Denial Mode. The scientists fight back.
Initially, the government tried to dismiss the report as “the work of one employee”, and its contents as “his own opinion” – while the journalists closed ranks, no questions asked, with the politicians.
But the 93-pages report titled “Analysis of the Crisis Management” has been drafted by a scientific panel appointed by the interior ministry and composed by external medical experts from several German universities.
The report was the initiative of a department of the interior ministry called Unit KM4 and in charge with the “Protection of critical infrastructures”.
This is also where the German official turned whistleblower, Stephen Kohn, work(ed), and from where he leaked it to the media.
The authors of the report issued a joint press release already on May 11th, berating the government for ignoring expert advise, and asking for the interior minister to officially comment upon the experts joint statement:
“Therapeutic and preventive measures should never bring more harm than the illness itself. Their aim should be to protect the risk groups, without endangering the availability of medical care and the health of the whole population, as it is unfortunately occurring”
“We in the scientific and medical praxis are experiencing the secondary damages of the Corona-measures on our patients on a dialy basis.”
“We therefore ask the Federal Ministry of the Interior, to comment upon our press release, and we hope for a pertinent discussion regarding the [Corona] measures, one that leads to the best possible solution for the whole population”
At the time of writing, the German government had yet to react.
But the facts are – sadly – vindicating the medical experts’ worries.
On Mai 23 the German newspaper Das Bild titled: “Dramatic consequences of the Corona-Measures: 52,000 Cancer Ops delayed.”
Inside, a a leading medical doctor warns that “we will feel the side-effects of the Corona crisis for years”.
Shooting the Whistleblower. Ignoring the Message.
As Der Spiegel reported on Mai 15th: “Stephen Kohn [the whistleblower] has since been suspended from duty. He was advised to obtain a lawyer and his work laptop was confiscated.”
Kohn had originally leaked the report on May 9th to the liberal-conservative magazine Tichys Einblick one of Germany’s most popular alternative media outlets.
News of the report went mainstream in Germany during the second week of May – but already in the third week media and politicians alike stopped discussing the issue by refusing to comment upon it.
Emblematic was the approach taken by Günter Krings, the representative for Interior Minister Horst Seehofer – the whistleblower’s boss:
Asked it he would treat the document seriously, Krings replied:
“If you start analyzing papers like that, then pretty soon you’ll be inviting the guys with the tin foil hats to parliamentary hearings.”
Men in tin foil hats – Aluhut in German – is a term used to describe people who believe in conspiracy theories.
Indeed one article by Der Spiegel adressing the Corona protest movement and the consequences of the leaked report contained the word “conspiracy” no fewer than 17 times!
And no discussions of the issues raised by the report itself.
Outside Germany the news has virtually gone unreported.
The Protest Movement – or “Corona-Rebellen”.
Germans begun demonstrating against Lockdowns as early as April.
And thousands of citizens keep showing up at demonstrations every week-end, even as the government is easing the restrictions.
The demonstrations are not merely against restrictions, which have actually been comparatively mild compared to many other Western countries.
The demos question the entire Corona Narrative, and even more its principals, especially the role Bill Gates is playing, as the WHO’s second biggest donor (the first one since Trump suspended U.S. contribution).
Indeed the biggest such demonstrations took place in Stuttgart on May 9th, where tens of thousands people assembled to say no – to the NWO.
Germans are saying no to any Orwellian solution the government might one day impose out of a questionable “emergency status”, from mass surveillance Apps to mandatory vaccinations.
The leaked report has proved their fears to be well founded.
At least as far as the fake nature of the “Corona pandemic” is concerned.
As the global health emergency of the coronavirus pandemic begins to wane, the fallout from the lockdowns continues to mount. Each day we see more reports of record unemployment, businesses struggling to survive and critical food supply chain infrastructure shutting down.
At the same time, we see business owners and anyone else who violates the lockdown orders being threatened with jail while actual criminals convicted of serious and violent crimes are released back into the communities.
We are beginning to see that the ‘cure’ is not only worse than the disease, it will have longstanding repercussions as the severity of the crisis appears to have been greatly exaggerated.
In this report, Spiro is joined by multiple Sheriffs from across the country who clearly state their position. Public safety and people’s constitutional rights are their number one priority.
These Sheriffs are true patriots who not only serve the people in their communities by upholding their sworn oaths, they serve as a great reminder of how this country and the rule of law is meant to be upheld, as many state Governors blatantly disregard the Constitution and impose broad and wide-ranging authoritarian lockdowns which many would argue are causing far more damage than the virus itself.
Coronavirus lockdowns have ‘destroyed millions of livelihoods’ but failed to alter the course of the pandemic given many US states have seen lower infection rates after easing restrictions, a JP Morgan study has claimed.
The statistical analysis has raised questions about the effectiveness of the lockdowns put in place across much of the United States two months ago to stop the spread of COVID-19.
It suggests that the lockdown measures have not only resulted in economic devastation but could have also resulted in more COVID-19 deaths.
The strict stay-at-home measures put in place by the governors of most states in mid-March has so far seen nearly 39 million American lose their jobs and forced businesses to close.
There are now more than 1.6 million infections in the US and over 95,000 deaths.
‘Unlike rigorous testing of potential new drugs, lockdowns were administered with little consideration that they might not only cause economic devastation but potentially more deaths than COVID-19 itself,’ author Marko Kolanovic, a trained physicist and a strategist for JP Morgan, said.
The JP Morgan report says that restarting the US economy may not lead to a second surge in infections that health experts have feared given the falling infections rates seen since lockdown measures were lifted in parts of the country
The report also includes a chart showing that ‘the vast majority of countries had decreased infection rates’ after lockdowns were lifted. The chart, however, doesn’t specify which country is which
The JP Morgan report says that restarting the US economy may not lead to a second surge in infections that health experts have feared given the falling infections rates seen since lockdown measures were lifted in parts of the country.
Almost all states have seen lower infection reproduction rates (R rates) after lockdown measures were lifted, according to the report.
Meanwhile, Nevada, Rhode Island, Texas, North Dakota and Pennsylvannia are the states where infection rates increased after lockdowns ended, according to the report.
Infection rates have continued to decline even once a lag period for new infections to become visible is factored in, according to the report.
A chart included in the report shows that many US states have seen a lower rate of transmission (R rate) after full-scale lockdowns were ended.
The R rate is the average number of people who will become infected by one person with the virus. Researchers and health experts have said a rate below 1.0 is a key indicator that the spread of the virus has been maintained.
Reproduction rate data from Rt.live on Friday showed that all but two states had lowered the rate of infection.
According to that data, Minnesota’s R rate was 1.01 and North Dakota’s was at 1.02.
The report also includes a chart showing that ‘the vast majority of countries had decreased infection rates’ after lockdowns were lifted. The chart, however, doesn’t specify which country is which.
Reproduction rate data from Rt.live (pictured above) on Friday showed that all but two states had lowered the rate of infection. According to that data, Minnesota’s R rate was 1.01 and North Dakota’s was at 1.02
All 50 states have at least partially reopened this week by relaxing restrictions on businesses and social distancing in varying degrees across the country.
Kolanovic said governments had been spooked by ‘flawed scientific papers’ into imposing lockdowns that were ‘inefficient or late’ and had little effect.
‘While we often hear that lockdowns are driven by scientific models, and that there is an exact relationship between the level of economic activity and the spread of [the] virus – this is not supported by the data,’ the report says.
‘Indeed, virtually everywhere infection rates have declined after re-opening even after allowing for an appropriate measurement lag.
‘This means that the pandemic and COVID-19 likely have (their) own dynamics unrelated to often inconsistent lockdown measures that were being implemented.’
Those dynamics may be influenced by increased hand-washing and even weather patterns but seemingly not by full-scale lockdowns, the report suggests.
‘The fact that re-opening did not change the course of the pandemic is consistent with studies showing that initiation of full lockdowns did not alter the course of the pandemic either,’ it says.
The JP Morgan analysis linked the decision to impose lockdowns to ‘flawed scientific papers’ predicting millions of deaths in the West.
‘This on its own was odd, given that in China there were only several thousand deaths, and the mortality rate outside of Wuhan was very low,’ the report says.
‘In the absence of conclusive data, these lockdowns were justified initially. Nonetheless, many of these efforts were inefficient or late.’
All 50 states have at least partially reopened this week by relaxing restrictions on businesses and social distancing in varying degrees across the country
Kolanovic says that lockdowns had remained in place even as ‘our knowledge of the virus and lack of effectiveness of total lockdowns evolved’.
‘Despite the conditions for re-opening being mostly met across the US, it is not yet happening in the largest economic regions for example California and New York,’ he said.
‘While our knowledge of the virus and lack of effectiveness of total lockdowns evolved, lockdowns remained in place and focus shifted to contact tracing, contemplating second wave of outbreaks and ideas about designing better education, political and economic systems.
‘At the same time, millions of livelihoods were being destroyed by these lockdowns.’
The US and other countries in lockdown are having to blow huge holes in their budgets to counter the economic standstill that is forcing millions of people into unemployment.
The report cites ‘worrying populism’ as an obstacle to re-opening the economy, for example in the US where senators passed an anti-China measure this week.
It warns that economic activity in the US is ‘now largely following partisan lines’ as Republican and Democratic governors adopt different strategies for their states.
As well as casting doubt on the wisdom of imposing lockdowns in the first place, the report suggests that economies could now be re-opened more quickly.
In other parts of the world, Denmark is among the countries that has started re-opening its economy without seeing a new surge in virus cases.
Americans across the country have protested the strict lockdowns. Pictured above are protesters in Lansing, Michigan
People walk along a street closed to vehicle traffic as the city expands areas for pedestrians to walk and to keep a recommended safe distance in New York City
Zoos, museums and cinemas have re-opened early in Denmark with many children now back at school after scientists said the R rate had continued to fall.
Germany has also been confident enough to scale back the lockdown after the R rate mostly stayed below 1.0 following an initial lifting of restrictions.
However, chancellor Angela Merkel has repeatedly urged caution and warned that a second wave of virus cases could leave hospitals overwhelmed.
The UK government has similarly warned that some restrictions could be re-imposed if there is a ‘sudden and concerning’ rise in new cases.
Sweden has never imposed a lockdown, and its per-capita death rate is better than Britain’s – although worse than that of its Scandinavian neighbours.
The World Health Organisation has urged ‘extreme vigilance’ about lifing lockdowns, saying there is ‘always the risk that the virus takes off again’.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that some countries such as Germany and South Korea had systems in place to respond to a new surge.
Tedros said that a ‘comprehensive package of measures’ is needed until a vaccine becomes available, which is likely to be many months away at least.
It is not yet fully clear how many people have been infected or to what extent they are now immune, but most people remain susceptible.
The Facts:A study published in 2015 found that cloth masks can increase healthcare workers risk of infection. It also called into question the efficacy of medical masks.
Reflect On:If masks may not protect healthcare workers in an acute setting, what are they doing for the public? Are the decisions made by health regulatory agencies always in the best interest of the public?
A lot of places are mandating that people wear a mask. Some grocery stores here in Canada are making it mandatory for people who want to do some shopping, and Los Angeles County recently mandated that all people must wear a mask when going outside. But do these measures really help? We are living in strange times when people like Bill Gates are getting a lot of T.V. time, as he seems to be the world’s leading ‘health’ authority on the new coronavirus, what we should do, and how we’re going to stop it. On the other hand, there are several doctors and leading epidemiologists around the world who have been studying viruses for decades that have been censored from social media platforms for sharing their research and opinions. Their interviews are being taken down, and some have even been flagged as ‘fake.’ Ask yourself, what’s wrong with this picture? Many of them are suggesting that the new coronavirus is not nearly as dangerous as it’s being made out to be. There have been multiple studies that have also suggested this based on the data that researchers have accumulated. Mainstream media is trying really hard to shape our perception with regards to everything that surrounds the new coronavirus, from treatment, lockdowns, to social distancing and much more.
We’ve covered a few examples of these experts giving their opinions with regards to how dangerous this virus actually is, what the solution is, treatments and more. If you’re interested you can refer to the articles linked at the bottom of this one. At the end of the day, a lot of what these doctors, scientists and epidemiologists have been saying since the beginning of this outbreak, up until now, has completely contradicted the narrative of federal health regulatory agencies and the World Health Organization (WHO). In fact, social media and other platforms are banning content that opposes and contradicts the WHO, no matter how much evidence is behind the information, or even if the sources are some of the leading experts in the world.
Should there be a digital authoritarian Orwellian ‘fact checker’ going around the internet telling people what is, and what isn’t? Or should people have the right to examine information, check sources and evidence and ultimately decide for themselves?
So the question is, can we really trust these health authorities to guide us into doing what’s really best for us? Is this really about our health or is something else going on here? Are there powerful people profiting off of this both politically and financially? Was Edward Snowden correct when he said that the new coronavirus fiasco is no different from 9/11, in that it’s simply being used to push more authoritarian measures on the population? Just like they remained after 9/11, will they remain after this coronavirus? Why are there apps tracking people for coronavirus, but not for the pedophiles, murderers and rapists? These are important things to think about.
There is a lot of conflicting information out there and again, if you’re interested in going a little deeper you can refer to the articles listed at the end of this one.
But what about masks? Do they really help? How effective are they? According to Dr. Dan Erickson (former emergency-room physician) and Dr. Artin Massihi (emergency medicine specialist affiliated with multiple hospitals) of Accelerated Urgent Care in California, they’re not helping at all.
When you wear gloves that transfer disease everywhere, those gloves have bacteria all over them. “I’m wearing gloves,” not helping you…Your mask that you’re wearing for days, you touch the outside of it, COVID, and then touch your mouth, this doesn’t make any sense. We wear masks in an acute setting to protect us, we’re not wearing masks (right now). Why is that? Because we understand microbiology, we understand immunology and we want strong immune systems. I don’t want to hide in my home, develop a weak immune system, and then come out and get disease. We’ve both been to the ER through swine flu and through bird flu, did we shut down for those? Were they much less dangerous than COVID? Is the flu less dangerous than COVID? Let’s look at the death rates, no it’s not. They’re similar in prevalence and in death rate. (source)
According to a study published in BMJ Open in 2015,
This study is the first RCT of cloth masks, and the results caution against the use of cloth masks. This is an important finding to inform occupational health and safety. Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection. Further research is needed to inform the widespread use of cloth masks globally. However, as a precautionary measure, cloth masks should not be recommended for HCWs, particularly in high-risk situations, and guidelines need to be updated.
We have provided the first clinical efficacy data of cloth masks, which suggest HCWs should not use cloth masks as protection against respiratory infection. Cloth masks resulted in significantly higher rates of infection than medical masks, and also performed worse than the control arm. The controls were HCWs who observed standard practice, which involved mask use in the majority, albeit with lower compliance than in the intervention arms. The control HCWs also used medical masks more often than cloth masks. When we analysed all mask-wearers including controls, the higher risk of cloth masks was seen for laboratory-confirmed respiratory viral infection.
According to the study, it was unclear if they help at all, and that they probably need to be worn at all times in acute/dangerous settings within the hospital to be effective at all.
There are also other potential health consequences of wearing not just a cloth mask, but also medical masks. The physiological effects of breathing elevated inhaled CO2 may include changes in visual performance, modified exercise endurance, headaches and dyspnea. The psychological effects include decreased reasoning and alertness, increased irritability, severe dyspnea, headache, dizziness, perspiration, and short-term memory loss. (source)
This study suggests that masks don’t really help, and depending on the material, they can actually make things worse. That being said, there are studies suggesting that medical masks are indeed effective, but the studies are referring to health care workers in acute settings, not the general public.
As represented by our cinema and other media, Western society expects too much of masks. In the public’s mind, the still-legitimate use of masks for source control has gone off-label; masks are thought to prevent infection. From here, another problem arises: because surgical masks are thought to protect against infection in the community setting, people wearing masks for legitimate purposes (those who have a cough in a hospital, say) form part of the larger misperception and act to reinforce it. Even this proper use of surgical masks is incorporated into a larger improper use in the era of pandemic fear, especially in Asia, where such fear is high. The widespread misconception about the use of surgical masks — that wearing a mask protects against the transmission of virus — is a problem of the kind theorized by German sociologist Ulrich Beck.
The birth of the mask came from the realization that surgical wounds need protection from the droplets released in the breath of surgeons. The technology was applied outside the operating room in an effort to control the spread of infectious epidemics. In the 1919 influenza pandemic, masks were available and were dispensed to populations, but they had no impact on the epidemic curve. At the time, it was unknown that the influenza organism is nanoscopic and can theoretically penetrate the surgical mask barrier. As recently as 2010, the US National Academy of Sciences declared that, in the community setting, “face masks are not designed or certified to protect the wearer from exposure to respiratory hazards.” A number of studies have shown the inefficacy of the surgical mask in household settings to prevent transmission of the influenza virus…
(Please note, to get the list of additional articles, go to the source listed below.)
Elvis’s new movie “Jailhouse Rock” was packing the theaters. The last episode of “I Love Lucy” aired on television. The show “West Side Story” held tryouts in Washington, D.C., and opened on Broadway in September. Ford’s new car the Edsel rolled off the assembly line. The Cold War with Russia was on and “In God We Trust” appeared on U.S. currency. The first Toys R Us store opened.
Also that year, the so-called Asian Flu killed 116,000 Americans. Here is the full summary from the Centers for Disease Control:
In February 1957, a new influenza A (H2N2) virus emerged in East Asia, triggering a pandemic (“Asian Flu”). This H2N2 virus was comprised of three different genes from an H2N2 virus that originated from an avian influenza A virus, including the H2 hemagglutinin and the N2 neuraminidase genes. It was first reported in Singapore in February 1957, Hong Kong in April 1957, and in coastal cities in the United States in summer 1957. The estimated number of deaths was 1.1 million worldwide and 116,000 in the United States.
Like the current pandemic, there was a demographic pattern to the deaths. It hit the elderly population with heart and lung disease. In a frightening twist, the virus could also be fatal for pregnant women. The infection rate was probably even higher than the Spanish flu of 1918 (675,000 Americans died from this), but this lowered the overall case fatality rate to 0.67%. A vaccine became available in late 1957 but was not widely distributed.
The population of the U.S. at the time was 172 million, which is a little more than half of the current population. Life expectancy was 69 as versus 78 today. It was a much healthier population with negligible obesity. To extrapolate the data to a counterfactual, we can conclude that this virus was more wicked than COVID-19 thus far.
What’s remarkable when we look back at this year, nothing was shut down. Restaurants, schools, theaters, sporting events, travel – everything continued without interruption. Without a 24-hour news cycle with thousands of news agencies and a billion websites hungry for traffic, mostly people paid no attention other than to keep basic hygiene. It was covered in the press as a medical problem. The notion that there was a political solution never occurred to anyone.
The New York Times had some but not much coverage. On September 18, 1957, an editorial counseled: “Let us all keep a cool head about Asian influenza as the statistics on the spread and the virulence of the disease begin to accumulate. For one thing, let us be sure that the 1957 type of A influenza virus is innocuous, as early returns show, and that antibiotics can indeed control the complications that may develop.”
The mystery of why today vast numbers of governments around the world (but not all) have crushed economies, locked people under house arrest, wrecked business, spread despair, disregarded basic freedoms and rights will require years if not decades to sort out. Is it the news cycle that is creating mass hysteria? Political ambition and arrogance? A decline in philosophical regard for freedom as the best system for dealing with crises? Most likely, the ultimate answer will look roughly like what historians say about the Great War (WWI): it was a perfect storm that created a calamity that no one intended at the outset.
For staying calm and treating the terrible Asian flu of 1957 as a medical problem to address with medical intelligence, rather than as an excuse to unleash Medieval-style brutality, this first postwar generation deserves our respect and admiration.
Jeffrey A. Tucker is Editorial Director for the American Institute for Economic Research. He is the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and eight books in 5 languages, most recently The Market Loves You. He is also the editor of The Best of Mises. He speaks widely on topics of economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture. Jeffrey is available for speaking and interviews via his email.