The Men who Speak for Science

The scientific community has something that American corporations and politicians want. It’s not technology or research. It’s not understanding or policy guidance. It’s the people’s confidence.

In recent decades, every institution in America has suffered decline in public confidence. The press, the Federal government, religious institutions, banking, corporations, even academia confidence levels are all in the 30-40% range. But public confidence in science is still over 90%.

Sources: GallupGallupGallupPew

It follows that if you want to market a product or win an election, claiming that “science is on my side” is a powerful selling point. If you want to halt human colonization of the global ecosphere or move people out of their cars into public transportation, the backing of science is natural and maybe even honest. If you have more sinister goalsshutting down democracy, dividing a nation so it is politically dysfunctional, destroying small businesses and handing their markets to multinational giantsthen claiming the imprimatur of science is probably the only way to con hundreds of millions of people into a program so profoundly contrary to their interests.

Look around. You see responsible citizens and good neighbors cooperating to curtail the spread of a deadly virus. But if you blink and look again, you may see the widest, fastest, most successful mass deception in the history of the world.

They’ve come so far because they have money and government and the press on their side. But they could not have captured so many minds without the support of a few people who claim to speak for science. Of course, Bill Gates and Anthony Fauci and Neil Ferguson are not representatives of a scientific consensus. But, curiously, they have not been laughed off the stage. The scientific community has not come together, 8-million strong, with a public statement that “These men do not speak for science.” And years of anemic public education has taught the populace to accept a scientific world view, rather than to trust their own evidence-based thinking.

We the People will not pull out of this nightmare on our own. The public will continue sleepwalking into medical martial law without a strong and credible counter-narrative. There is a powerful need for We the Scientists to come together and override the mountebanks who have hijacked the mantle of science.

It’s not news that science is subject to political and financial influence. Examples from the past must start with the pharma industry as the most egregious offender; and also FDA diet recommendations, health effects of cell phones, suppression of energy technologies, past suppression of data about asbestos and tobacco and lead.

But never before 2020 have so few people with so little scientific credential claimed to speak for the scientific community as a whole; and never has the public been asked to modify our daily lives and sacrifice our livelihoods on such a scale.

Anecdotal Evidence

Biological weapons are an abomination. No government or research institute has even tried to convince the public that biowarfare research is a good idea, because it would so obviously stir more opposition than support.

After WW II, Nazi bioweapons programs were transplanted to the US, thanks to Operation Paperclip. The story is told in horrifying detail by Stephen Kinzer.

In the wake of international treaties and acts of Congress to outlaw bioweapons research, the US project was re-branded as pandemic preparation and transferred to civilian laboratories. The ruse was that in order to prepare for the next killer pathogen that may soon emerge from the wild, we must create laboratory-modified viruses so we can develop vaccines and treatments for them. The obvious flaw in this logic has been no obstacle to the bureaucratic momentum behind the project.

In 2005, 700 prominent scientists protested to the NIH, calling attention to the masquerade of biological warfare as public health [NYTimes]. Our largest and most prestigious association of scientists, AAAS issued a strong editorial denouncing biowarfare research. Though they did not succeed in halting the program, they created a public relations nightmare for NIH, and after Obama’s election, the NIH program was indeed curtailed, and had to be moved (temporarily) offshore.

The situation is very different in 2020. In April, Newsweek helped alert the public that Dr Fauci’s own NIAID was sponsoring gain-of-function research in Wuhan, China, that modified bat Coronaviruses so they could infect humans. President Trump got wind of this, and ordered that  gain-of-function research at NIAID be immediately defunded. I’m confident that scientists as well as the public were overwhelmingly supportive of this sensible, belated gesture.

But that was not the response of record. In short order, a prominent group of (geriatric? bamboozled?) scientists was reported to protest the move. 77 Nobel Laureates Denounce Trump Officials For Pulling Coronavirus Research Grant. And last month, AAAS produced editorials in support of continuing this insanely dangerous program. Even in a year as bizarre as 2020, I never expected to be siding with Donald Trump against the institutions of science. I read and reread the article in Science before I was forced to conclude that Trump was wearing the white hat.

In the same issue, there was a second editorial denouncing Trump for “politicization of science” by permitting research to go forward with plasma from recovered COVID patients as treatment for present patients. This approach to treatment is logical, it has historic precedent, and by all means it should be tested. The only reason I can imagine for suppressing convalescent plasma is that, if it works, it obviates the need for a vaccine, and NIH as well as private investors have billions of dollars sunk in vaccines. I would not dare to make such a charge if I had not seen an even more blatant example of the same phenomenon in the suppression of chloroquine [refrefrefref].I shouldn’t have to say this, but please don’t interpret my position here as any kind of general support for Donald Trump. I believe he is as corrupt and ignorant a president as I have known in my lifetimethough GWBush gives him a run for his money. One of the unfathomable turns of politics this year is that so many Democrats have been so enraged by Trump’s ascent to power that even when he does the right thing they leap to oppose him. Look at the Democratic response when he announced withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

COVID-19 and the Perversion of Science

The political response to COVID, in the US and elsewhere, has been not only contrary to well-supported medical science, but contrary to common sense and contrary to past practice. In every respect, the response has been either ineffective or likely to make the situation worse. We started too late for a quarantine program to be effective; then we failed to protect the most vulnerable and failed to quarantine the sickest patients. In fact, we forced nursing homes to take in COVID patients, triggering a predictable tragedy. Ventilators remained the standard of care long after it was reported by front-line doctors that they were killing COVID patients. Healthy, young people are at very low risk for serious complications, and should have been out there earning our herd immunity; instead, they were kept terrified and locked up. The economy and all cultural and religious institutions were closed down, leading to tens of thousands of deaths of despair [video by Glen Greenwald]. Masks and social distancing, the least effective protections, were endlessly promoted while simple, effective protections including vitamin D and zinc were actively disparaged by health authorities. And all the while, the most effective treatment of all, zinc + chloroquine, was criminally suppressed. Now, as deaths from COVID are down to a fraction of their April peak, government and media continue their campaign to terrorize us with a false narrative, while extending lockdowns, school closures, and masking into the indefinite future.

Call for a response by the scientific community

Mosts scientists are curious and open-minded, opinionated but cognizant of others’ opinions, the opposite of polemical. It is not a natural community from which to recruit activists. But the misrepresentation of science in this pandemic has been extreme, and it threatens the future of science and its role in guiding public policy. There have been many scientists who have stood up to counter the COVID narrative. Many more have been censored, their videos taken down from social media. This is a time when we, the scientific community, have been called to come together and call the misleadership of AAAS into account. There is an urgent need for scientists who have been shy about public stands in the past to come forward and speak out.


Over the next week, I will post details of ways in which I have seen science distorted in support of a government and corporate COVID agenda. 


Here are ten messages that are essential pieces of the standard COVID narrative, but which are unfounded in actual science. Stay tuned for a detailed rebuttal of each.

  1. “The origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was one of many random events in nature in which a virus jumps from one species to another.”
  2. “Chloroquine kills patients and is too dangerous to use against COVID”
  3. “The Ferguson model warned us of impending danger in time to take action and dodge a bullet.”
  4. “American deaths from COVID: 200,000 and counting”
  5. “New cases of COVID are expanding now in a dangerous Second Wave”
  6. “Masks and social distancing are keeping the virus in check in our communities”
  7. “Dr Fauci and the CDC are guiding our response to COVID according to the same principles of epidemic management that have protected public health in the past.”
  8. “Asymptomatic carriers are an important vector of disease transmission, which must be isolated if we are to stop the spread of COVID”
  9. “The lower death rates now compared to April are due to protective measures such as social distancing, mask-wearing, and limited travel.”
  10. “With enough resources, pharmaceutical scientists can develop a vaccine in a matter of months, and provide reasonable assurance that it is safe.”

END of Part 1

70 thoughts on “The Men who Speak for Science

  1. I’m confused about the editorial you linked on the use of convalescent plasma. Did Trump overstate the numbers or not? If he did, by how much? If the authors of the study being used to justify its use aren’t convinced, why should anyone else?

  2. I often make the distinction between independent science and corporate science, but with the corporate takeover of the universities, and of taxpayer-paid government research results, and even traditional herbs and medicines, how do you do science that actually belongs to the people?

    • If you’ll think about it, there really is no such thing as independent science. There are no Tony Starks doing research and development on their own dime. In general, a scientist either works for a corporation or he works for the government in some fashion, usually for a public university.

      Each of those roles bring different biases to the table. That is not to say that a government run scientist is incapable of doing honest science. Just as a corporate scientist is not necessarily incapable of doing honest scientist either. But, all these entities have their own interests that tend to push things in one direction or the other.

      • Yes, I agree. The reason that the scientific community is the best arbiter of truth that humanity has yet to create is that we’re a diverse group, open to contradictory voices, answerable to one another. That and the fact that we have rules of argument based on evidence and logic.

        These are things I don’t want to lose. I see suppression and censorship as kryptonite — it will kill science.

        • Sadly, ResearchGate is part of the ongoing censorship. They deleted Denis Rancourt’s paper on masks, and closed Andreas Kalker’s account altogether. I would be shocked if it wasn’t for the obvious collusion of Facebook, Google, Twitter, to censor valid science.

        • The Scientific Method is the best arbiter of truth so far devised by man.

          The Scientific Community I’m not as sure of. 😉

          • “The Scientific Community I’m not as sure of.”

            Indeed, well said!

            I wish the scientific community would at least stand up for free and open discussion, and protest the massive ongoing censorship. Free discussion is the best way to arrive at the truth. Censorship stops the journey altogether.

            The current system of funding research, getting academic tenure, and business-motivated suppression/misdirection/falsification is badly, badly broken.

        • Forgive me if I am wrong, but I thought my research lead me to find that many researchers use independent labs financed by donors that do not represent a bias agenda, or at least not a forced one. In these locations, scientists donate time to analyze peer reviewed research available on controversial issues like correlational (causation could not be the design of the research for lack of control on too many variables) studies on vaccines and the autism spectrum.

          Josh Mitteldorf, you are a man of beauty, intelligence, passion, commitment to humanity consistent with the purpose of the work, honorable in character and integrity, I imagine. I love you from the bottom of my heart for this blog. Thank you.

  3. Well…who to trust? Every health-related gov’t agency in the US has condemned “smoking” (by victims) and “tobacco” (though any number of brands may contain zero tobacco but, instead US Patented alternatives). All of this distraction serves Big Pharm, Big Pesticides, Big Cig, For-Profit Health Insurers that invest in all that, Chlorine industries (chlor-bleached cig paper) and etc.
    Lots of “science” supports “anti smoking”…but, considering just this one issue, such “science” is better spelled, “$cience”…and is thereby discredited.

  4. Josh, Your post sounds like it was written by the Republican National Committee. You’ll have to do a bit more to convince me that big science is ganging up on poor, innocent Donald Trump.

    From my observations, Everything Trump says should be considered BS. (It may be right; it may be wrong. But the only reason he is saying it is because he believes it will be good for him for people to believe it.) In fact, much of what he says is wrong. So my default response to a Trump pronouncement is that he’s BS’ing as usual.

    On the other hand, I find Fauci and Gates generally honest and believable. They could be wrong, but my default response is that I’ll assume they are right until shown otherwise.

    If the point of your post is to argue that Fauci and Gates are wrong and that Trump is right, you haven’t convinced me.

    • I hope I’ve made it clear that I am no admirer of Trump. I was a lifelong Democrat, before the Democratic party abandoned me, and now I don’t support either party.
      Trump says whatever it’s convenient for him to say at the moment. It’s a travesty that someone like him ends up in charge of a “great democracy”. But there’s not much method to his madness, except “me, me, me!”. I think he’s less dangerous than an organized messaging machine that perpetrates the Big Lie and censors anyone who disagrees.

      • People should understand that Trump is the symptom of a dysfunctional political system not just “racist ignorant voters” has has been portrayed.

        Neither political party has been listening to the people for a long time now. And when people feel they aren’t being heard, they will start to take ever more radical moves to change that dynamic.

        Both parties are culpable in this, and if they had sound, rational, less self interested leadership both would be doing a lot of soul searching asking themselves “What have we done to cause people to turn to the likes of Trump?”. Instead they have simply blamed “bad voters” for his election. Anything but admit that they’ve had a huge hand in electing the this man.

      • Agreed.

        I have never witnessed such a blatantly dishonest press.

        It is quashing valid scientific research and hiding facts, in favor of spin.

        The Press in the USA has always leaned toward the Democrats. However they at least made a good faith effort to report the opposing view or facts that were helpful to the public.

        For the past ten years or so, the medias suppression of valuable information and Their obvious preference for the Democrat party, no matter what, had been rising.

        Now, it is so blatant that it is becoming harmful to the public.

        The media knows that a majority of people do not read past the headline, a large percentage do not read past the jump line, and out of context sound bites are a way to easily sway pubic opinion among the masses.

        Only a minority of people do their own in-depth research. The press takes advantage of this.

        I, too, feel the Democrat party left me.

        I talk to Democrats daily who feel the same.

      • Thank you, Josh. I feel the same way about the Democratic Party as having abandoned their senses. 45 years (since I began voting) voting mostly straight party line, but no longer. Since May, I am registered “No Party Preference.” I find my former party now more dangerous, albeit in very different ways, than Trump, who despite being sans moral compass, like a stopped clock can get the time right a couple times a day. His replacing Fauci with Atlas was an important step.

        As for the GBD, while they spoke clearly for the need to protect the elderly, they failed to sufficiently focus on the risks that too many Americans—of all ages—face through poor metabolic health. Now, the chronic fear perpetrated over the last 8 months can be added to their health risks.

  5. It amazes me how good people truly believe that anything Trump supports must be bad. I am no Trump supporter, but I do know that this kind of intense polarization is not healthy for democracy. Thanks for your excellent, provocative writing based on very solid evidence, Josh. I especially appreciate the links for verification.

  6. From my observations anything any politician of any party says should be considered BS. Trump certainly hasn’t cornered the market on bullshit.

  7. Josh, your post links to an opinion site, rather than to research papers that support your assertion that masks and social distancing are the “least effective” interventions.

    Granted, society has not reacted to the epidemic in a perfectly rational way, but that is almost certainly due to confusion and emotion, not a conspiracy.

    • I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, and think that they’re stupid or cowardly or bureaucratic, rather than evil. For the vast majority of politicians and mid-level decision makers, I’m sure they’re just going along with what they’re told and with the public mood.

      For the people at the top, I’m not so sure. It haunts me that Dr Fauci sponsored the research that probably led to the creation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and now he’s in charge of the national response. Is it just coincidence that he has become so powerful because of a virus that accidentally escaped from a program that he funded? At minimum, I’d ask Dr Fauci to recuse himself from managing the US response because of his conflict of interest.

      And you can’t convince me the suppression of chloroquine has been anything but scientific fraud. The vast majority of doctors are innocent — they’re just following the standard of practice. They don’t have time to look closely at the literature. But the big names who signed onto the Lancet study must have been well-paid, and many other smaller studies were clearly designed to fail.

      • Diane Feinstein was photographed traipsing through an airport, without wearing a mask.

        Why was she not concerned? She is in her 80s.

        Pelosi was also caught without a mask out in public.

        Gov. Tom Wolfe and Rep Wendy Ullman caught on a hot mic, claiming they should put on their masks for a little “Political theater” Political theater being their words.

        Why are these actions not being widely and endlessly reported in the Press?

        Also, let’s not forget that Dr. Fauci himself initially advised the public not to wear masks and stated that they may actually cause harm.

        Fauci later claimed it was because there was a shortage of masks for health professionals,

        Nevertheless, that is Fauci’s own admission that he lied to the public.

        Given all the facts regarding Fauci and his willingness to lie to the public, why would anyone, particularly the supposedly savvy press, ever take Fauci seriously again?

        The press is supposed to remain neutral and alert the public to crucial facts. They are not. They are, instead, working to suppress facts that may be helpful to the public.

        To quote Shakespeare’s line from Hamlet:

        Something is rotten in the state of………(fill in the blank)

      • More and more I see the scam we are dissecting—the psy op of making an assault on scientific method appear like an expression of science— as an extension of the HIV-AIDS scam pulled off by Fauci and his surrogate Gallo. The AIDS-HIV fiasco created the prototype for the invention of a designer disease then attached to the realization of various political objectives. One of these objectives involved the creation of a fraudulent explanation for the real ailments afflicting tens of millions of Africans… the ailment of poverty combined with basic infrastructure deficits. Fauci’s stage managing of this current scam on behalf of the Gates crime does fulfill the criteria of criminality in many ways. Many people should be pointed towards prison for their role in this fraud. Like the specious responses to the events of 9/11, this misnamed pandemic creates and exploits emergency measures aimed at realizing objectives that have nothing to do with advancing the conditions of security and public health.

  8. The economic damage from COVID is not caused by lockdowns and social distancing policy.

    Even in places without instituted lockdowns the same level of damage has occurred because people don’t want to congregate and risk getting COVID.

    It would be much more in the interests of corporations and governments to do the opposite of what people speaking for scientists want ie to carry on a force people to take the risk.

    You are also too optimistic about zinc and Chloroquine. It is much more likely that this just doesn’t work that well than it worked and was suppressed.

    Incompetence, contingency and opportunism are all more likely than conspiracy of the scope you are asserting.

  9. I couldn’t agree more Josh. It was difficult for me to shed my naivete and accept that public science research as practiced now in the US is less about the pursuit of truth and more about pursuit of federal funding and support of political objectives. Your call for objective evaluation of data will be slandered by ideologues of various stripes and your honesty questioned.

    Accepting that the US is the most advanced technological nation leads to the conclusion that tribalism is written deeply into human sociobiology since the US is suffering from an extreme attack of tribalism. There aren’t any objective truths in the current debate but only sides. People who would be expected to provide balance and reason are those most committed to promoting their political views and be damned with the data.

    I looked at the data for Sweden (they were kind enough to provide a control group of sorts with respect to lockdowns) to estimate the severity of this pandemic with those of the past to provide some historical context. Their current deaths from Covid are essentially zero and about 6,000 deaths total with a current population of about 11 million. During the first year of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic they suffered 35,000 deaths with a population of only six million. Relative to Spanish Flu this is a minor pandemic with respect to total deaths. If you consider further that the 1918 pandemic was much more deadly for children and younger productive adults then even a further disparity. This leads into the general topic of this blog, aging and the aged. Why does society find it acceptable to warehouse aged people (pending death actually) in facilities that are ideal for viral transmission but then are surprised and alarmed when those people die from a virus. It makes no sense to me.

    Throughout this exercise high quality data was available that was ignored. The Princess Diamond cruise ship data was ignored as was post SARS Coronavirus research conducted by reputable laboratories in Singapore and Hong Kong. Sweden did use this data to develop a reasoned targeted response while political considerations drove the response elsewhere.

    The link is to a table showing current population mortality rates from Covid by country. If anyone can find a reasonably strong correlation between national lockdown strategy and national population mortality rates then I would certainly like to see it.
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/1104709/coronavirus-deaths-worldwide-per-million-inhabitants/

    The US pandemic response was originally justified to flatten the curve to avoid overload of the health care system. When it became clear that national health care systems were not in danger of being overloaded the argument morphed into one that somehow conflated current deaths and ultimate deaths.

    I guess you just can’t take tribalism out of man and its most vociferous critics are too often its most dedicated practitioners.

    • Information space diagnostics of ISD (dyagtor.com.ua) obtained the active substance malic acid stabilized by MAS, which for 3 hours suppresses all viruses in the patient – coronaviruses, cancer, influenza … According to the ISD, the 1918 Spanish flu and a new cancer virus are expected to spread from December. Deaths should be significantly higher in 2021 and 2020. MAS can suppress all viruses

      • Ermakov:

        Yes. Malic acid has been found to be low in SARS-CoV-2 aka Covid-19 patients

        Link to article, and excerpts:

        https://www.americanherbalistsguild.com/sites/americanherbalistsguild.com/files/coronavirus-1.pdf

        L-Malic acid has been found to be extremely low in the infected; levels become progressively lower as severity increases.

        L-Malic acid is an essential amino acid in the body when the immune system is struggling with any type of systemic inflammation.

        This amino acid is rapidly consumed during inflammatory states in order to provide energy and materials for the proliferation of and phagocytosis capacities of immune cells.

        Supplementing L-Malic acid is strongly suggested, especially during more serious infections.

        In addition, Ermakov: It is interesting to note that from the same link they discuss pure nicotine patches:

        From the link:

        Other researchers speculate that because nicotine has definite effects on the RAS/ACE system (modulating its actions) that that is the reason for smokers’ better outcomes during infection.

        As well, nicotine actually prevents acute lung injury in animal ARDS models and has immune modulating actions.

        (To stop the run on nicotine patches the French government prohibited the sale of over the counter patches until the pandemic subsides.

        Nevertheless at least one hospital in the EU issued nicotine patches to all its medical workers. . . . always fun to see a prejudice defeated by a deeper prejudice or, in this case, a deeper fear.)

        Also from the same link.

        NORMALIZING and strengthening dysregulated Ace 2 receptors is deemed important.

        From the link:

        ..Won’t up regulating and strengthening ACE2 lead to more attachment points and more infection?

        Well, no, it’s not that simple.

        For one thing there are some 4 trillion cells in the human body, a significant number of which have ACE2 receptors on them – including fat cells. The more fat you have the more ACE2.

        More….

        In addition to attaching to and infecting ACE2 receptors, the virus can also down regulate ACE2 and induce the shedding of “catalytically active ACE2 ecto domain” – as they say.

        What this does is initiate the loss of ACE2 function in the lungs which generally results in acute lung injury.

        This loss of ACE2 function often causes dysfunction of the renin-angiotensin (RAS)system in the body. RAS is intimately involved in modulating a number of systems in the body…

  10. Tagamet, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, quinine, atovaquone, ivermectin, itraconazole and niclosamide all have some effect on coronaviruses and trials were supposed to be happening for at least some of them.

    How come, after all this time, we still haven’t heard anything in the mainstream press? Surely in 7 months with as much as is at stake, results of some kind would be known.

  11. Timing of this post couldn’t be ironic with Trump himself testing positive after surrounding himself with people not wearing masks.

    Fact is that cases are rising in Sweden and they are switching strategies even as their initial strategy still resulted in a worse economic outcome than neighboring countries.

    • Sweden daily deaths 10/02/2020 here: https://ibb.co/55HfTVK

      The new cases chart can be somewhat deceiving since the sensitivity of these covid tests have not been constant with time, and there are some indications that they are catching some patients they were not before and that the false positive rate may be an issue. But, deaths per day seems to be a reliable number and at the end of the day something we care the most about.

      • quote from September 22

        “The rolling average has increased somewhat,” Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s chief epidemiologist who devised its pandemic strategy, told a news conference.

        “It hasn’t affected the healthcare – yet. The number of new cases at ICU is very low and the number of deaths are very low,” he said.

        Tegnell said that new measures for the capital could not be ruled out. “We have a discussion with Stockholm about whether we need to introduce measures to reduce the spread of infection. Exactly what that will be, we will come back to in the next few days,” he said.

        Earlier on Tuesday Stockholm’s top health official warned that the region saw an increase in cases.

        “The downwards trend is broken,” Stockholm Director of Health and Medical Services Bjorn Eriksson told a news conference. “We can only hope that this is a blip, that the spread start decreasing again. That depends on how well we follow the guidelines,” he said.

        https://news.yahoo.com/sweden-says-stockholm-measures-possible-131658321.html

        Deaths follow cases. But also notice the quote about following guidelines.

        • In a lot of respects, Sweden did the right thing, isolating the vulnerable, quarantining the sick, allowing healthy, young people to go about their business and develop herd immunity with minimal risk of hospitalization or death. They now have lower cumulative mortality than the US, with all our lockdowns and closures, economic and psychological damage. And they have a very low case rate and negligible death rate because they have herd immunity.

          But one important thing they didn’t do is that they didn’t use chloroquine. Countries that used chloroquine have COVID death rates 4 times lower than countries that did not use chloroquine. https://c19study.com/

          • Thanks for the link. I have a box of HCQ ready for use at first indication that I purchased some time ago. In the US it may be difficult to obtain because of the notoriety but at my current location it is OTC. An MD friend that I actually respect recommended Pepcid AC in addition to HCQ due to the observation in nursing homes that patients receiving Pepcid AC had better outcomes. I haven’t yet purchased Pepcid AC equivalent here. I lived in a high malaria area for some years and was incredulous that a compound that is so widely used for many years suddenly became a hazardous medication with extremely dangerous side effect profile.

            I vaguely remember a study some years ago that suggested HCQ had pro longevity indications due to reduction of inflammation but don’t remember details and can’t locate the study.

    • I checked back through this claim that otSweden has suffered economically disproportionately with respect to their neighbors and believe it came from a Reuter’s article when Swedish Central Bank lowered their GDP estimate to -4.3%. It has been parroted ever since. In fact Norway now estimates -6.3% but in any event it is the reddest of herrings. The Nordic countries depend heavily on exports and are Very sensitive to the global economy. Norway’s GDP , as an example, is sensitive to oil price since a crude exporter. If Sweden had zero deaths and zero Covid cases their GPP would have fallen in 2020. They export various manufactured goods and their economy is more entwined with the US than it’s neighbors.

      Another poster stated that deaths follow cases but this ignores the variables associated with testing including sensitivity (as has been pointed out) and testing frequency. In the case of Sweden deaths have not followed this uptick in cases. CFR has been shamelessly Used throughout this pandemic to political ends.

      Of course Sweden follows the current course of the pandemic and will change strategy if required. This is entirely reasonable but willing to wager that elementary schools will not be closed there this school year nor will a general lockdown be imposed. They still have a logical well reasoned non political response to the pandemic.

  12. Josh,

    You have consistently said that chloroquine doesn’t work without zinc. Were all of those countries also using zinc? If not, how is it working? And why do more controlled studies not show that it works?

    What else might those countries have other than chloroquine that might account for differences? Let me just list a few possibilities:

    1- Off the beaten path in the world economy so the virus hasn’t made as many inroads.
    2- Lousy reporting so we don’t know what the real rates are.
    3- TB vaccine widely administered.
    4- Much younger demographics.

    • The fact that hydroxychloroquine relieves inflammation, may be enough to quell Covid in mild cases.

      It also may work as a prophylaxis for those not infected.

      Hydroxycloroquine plus zinc may be more effective for those early in actual infection.

      According to John’s Hopkins:

      “Hydroxychloroquine is used in the treatment of arthritis to help relieve inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain and also to help control the symptoms of lupus erythematosus (lupus; SLE).”

      Also adding Zinc helps for many reasons including:

      “…increased intracellular Zinc concentrations inhibit RNA-dependent RNA polymerases and other proteins essential for the completion of different phases of the virus life cycle. Further, zinc also helps to maintain robust immune responses by producing cytokine and by modulation of immune cell activity.

      Both the drugs are FDA approved and are readily available.”

      IMO, it is important to note that as noted….. both drugs are readily available.

      Easy availability is crucial.

  13. Did you write this before or after hearing about our anti mask wearing Nazi administration coming down with COVID? You have lost all credibility. Bye Bye.

    • This is exactly why our political system is in disarray. Trump is crude, frequently stupid, almost always immature, intemperate, and aesthetically unappealing. But, he is not a Nazi. The word “Nazi” means something, and that meaning is not “someone I disagree with or dislike”. I have seen people such as yourself accuse Trump and his supporters of being “divisive” in one breath, and then call them “Nazis” or “Racists” in the next. Do you even listen to yourself?

      The fact that you are on a public forum calling Trump a Nazi is ironically proof that he’s no such thing.

      • I really like your last sentence-just a super good observation. I am so tired of this ridiculous demonization but it is what it is.

      • Perhaps my first response to Michael got lost in transit. I didn’t call Eisenhower a Nazi, besides the fact he fought them, he did sign Executive order 10450 forming an FBI Gay and Lesbian witch hunt that led to the firing of 5,000 federal employees. They lost their passports as well as their jobs. I didn’t call Ronald Reagan a Nazi even though he said on a Nixon tape: “To see those, those monkeys from the African countries-damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes.” Reagan ignored the AIDS pandemic because it largely affected blacks and gays. Today over 32 million people have died as a result of his inaction, many white heterosexuals and children. George H. W. Bush used the murder of a white woman by a black man in his campaign ad and his war on drugs targeted minorities. I did not call him a Nazi. Trump we know studied MY NEW ORDER a collection of Hitler’s speeches and strategies and has sent racist messages to his base like presenting the Navajo Code Talkers an award after carefully placing a portrait of Andrew Jackson overhead. He has rallied his white supremacist Neo-Nazi base to threatening numbers and that is just a small part of why I call our totally incompetent president a Nazi.

        • It would take too much time to respond to this in detail so just comments on your Reagan claim. The National Cancer Institute in NIH, via US federal funding, was instrumental in identifying the link between HIV and AIDS. The link is to a SCIAM article from 1987 providing some of this history. The HIV link was not even established until 1984 and based on joint work between NCI and French researchers. In addition his Surgeon General, Koop, began non judgmental public service messages explaining how to minimize transmittal risk as soon as the facts were known. It is impossible for me to understand how Reagan can be blamed for deaths due to AIDS unless considered as a myth that has propagated through the years.

          As an aside AIDS research has been overfunded in the US relative to its importance as a cause of death and this due to political considerations. It has caused a few percent of the deaths of influenza as an example but enjoyed much better funding. The link shows this comparison for the last few years-
          https://report.nih.gov/categorical_spending.aspx.

          Coronaviruses were considered to have high pandemic risk post SARS but mitigation/vaccine research for these were completely eliminated from the NIH/CDC budgets as SARS abated. AIDS funds continued at high levels. Incredibly Fauci was apparently spending funds to increase the virulence of CV’s during this same period.

          • The term AIDS was coined in 1982. It was in 1983 the Institut Pasteur found HIV. In 1984 Reagan’s press secretary Larry Speakes said, when questioned about Reagan’s response to AIDS “I haven’t heard him express concern. After Speakes and the press joked about it, Lester Kinsolving asked Speakes, “No, but I mean, is he going to do anything, Larry? “To which Speakes replied, “Lester, I have not heard him express anything, sorry.” It wasn’t until 1985 that Reagan publicly said the word AIDS, and that was in response to a reporter’s question. It was in 1986 when Everet Koop published a report on AIDS calling for sex education. It wasn’t until 1987 that Reagan gave his first major speech on AIDS calling it “public enemy number one.
            With contagious diseases, like wildfires, they spread exponentially, so the speed at which they are addressed initially has a direct correlation to the death toll. I hope this clears things up.

          • Were you around in 1982? I was. There was great confusion about what AIDS was. All that known in 1982 was that a number of gay men were presenting with a curious constellation of symptoms. HIV wasn’t identified positively until 1984, and it actually took another year or two to get widespread acceptance in the medical community that HIV was the underlying cause of AIDs. Some proposed that HIV was an innocuous virus that only became pathological in the presence of a compromised immune system that had been caused by something else.

            Also, your list of horribles was curiously one sided. You mentioned nothing about FDR interring 120,000 Japanese Americans, nothing about Truman’s well known use of racial slurs, ditto for LBJ.

            You strain at the mote in other’s eyes, but ignore the beam in your own. But, I suppose that when you’re on the side of light some things are to be forgiven. It’s those damned Nazis! on the other side!

          • Truman and FDR were before my time and although you failed to cite specifics with LBJ, I don’t doubt the Texan doing such. I was not a fan of his at all but he did sign the civil rights bill.

          • Also, LBJ had negotiated a peace agreement with Vietnam at the end of his term but Nixon went behind his back and told the the Vietnamese he would give them a better deal if he was elected, so the war went on for four more years. That is from the declassified Johnson tapes. Watergate was kid stuff compared to Nixon’s real crime of treason.

        • Trump has a “Neo Nazi Base”?

          What utter claptrap. There aren’t enough neo Nazis in this country to elect someone to dogcatcher. much less form a “base” to be elected president.

          What you’re doing is dehumanizing those that you disagree with. They aren’t simply wrong because they reach different conclusions than you, they’re evil. And anything is allowed in fighting evil. This is also a way to give meaning to one’s life. After all, what could be more noble than fighting Nazis (a la Antifa). And damn it, if no Nazis are available, you’ll just have to manufacture some.

          The Nazis rounded up millions of people and shot and gassed them. You lobbing the term about with such wild abandon does nothing but cheapen it and degrade the true horrors that those people committed.

          • Here’s some of Trump’s fans I didn’t manufacture:
            White Supremacist/Neo-Nazi groups include: 11th hour Remnant Messenger, American Renaissance/New Century Foundation, American Freedom Party, American Nazi Party, Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, Aryan Republican Army, Aryan Nations, Asatru Folk Assembly, Atomwaffen Division, Council of Conservative Citizens, Creativity Alliance, EURO, Hammerskins, Identity Evropa, Ku Klux Klan, National Alliance, National Association for the Advancement of White People, National Policy institute, National Socialist Movement, National Vanguard, Nationalist Movement, Occidental Quarterly, The Order, Pacifica Forum, Patriot Front, Phineas Priesthood, Pioneer Fund, Volksfront, White America Inc., and White Aryan Resistance.
            You may have noticed in recent years the popular vote does not put Republican presidents in office.

          • And Biden has some rather unsavory allies on the communist/antifa side. Go look at the flags being carried in the various protests around the country. Those aren’t Trump supporters.

            Hey, quick quiz – who killed more people – Nazis or Communists? No fair looking it up on Google.

            Perhaps it is the case that a candidate isn’t responsible for every supporter in the country?

  14. You wrote “Ventilators remained the standard of care long after it was reported by front-line doctors that they were killing COVID patients”.
    I can not find any serious sources with evidence of this claim (only misleading articles in press). Could you provide any evidence?

  15. “The scientific community has not come together, 8-million strong, with a public statement that ‘These men do not speak for science.’ ”
    Since the largest and most prestigious association of scientists, AAAS, will not do it, let us envision a new association of scientists who embrace the truth, regardless of whether or not it offends the powerful. May it start small and strong, a beacon of intelligence based in free scientific inquiry, without conflicts of interest, and may it grow to earn the respect of the millions, which scientists will otherwise rapidly be losing in these oligarchical times. May they even have a contingent of lawyers filing lawsuits where bad science, suppression, and censorship has caused injury and harm (childrenshealthdefense.org, does this type of thing, do visit their website). May it be so.

  16. The problems with science are hardly limited to Covid-19. Science has become a club of academics with gatekeepers protecting their own prestige and income. From epidemiology to cosmology, from climate science to evolution new ideas that challenge the consensus view are being suppressed even to the point of absurdity.

  17. Larry DePuy

    It is well documented that Reagan, as governor of CA, strongly opposed Proposition 6 in 1978 that forbade gay men and lesbians from teaching in CA public schools. The proposition was defeated. To tar him in this way with statements made by his press secretary is inconsistent with his public record.

    The HIV virus was isolated from AIDS patients in 1983 but the firm linkage between HIV and AIDS was only made in Science in 1984. Actually the French scientists that isolated the virus didn’t believe AIDS could result from a retrovirus and there was considerable scientific debate if the isolated virus could possibly be the cause of AIDS.. If you can guide me to a paper from 1983 that describes the cause and effect linkage between HIV and AIDS then please post here. Shortly after the definite linkage was established Reagan made his speech in 1985 about combatting AIDS.

    Not all viruses spread exponentially (MERS as an example) and with well defined precautions AIDS doesn’t spread exponentially because it is possible to interrupt its mode of transmission through appropriate behaviors.

  18. In other news:
    While doing some of my daily reading about slowing aging I wondered which countries had the longest life expectancy for people that were already elderly. I was not sure the data was easily available but decided to check worldlifeexpectancy.com. It turns out they have a searchable page where you can enter the age you would like life expectancy for and it will list the average results for all of the countries in the world.
    https://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/your-life-expectancy-by-age

    I was stunned to find that 1-10 are Dominican Republic, Panama, Canada, Viet Nam, Bangladesh, France, Nicaragua, Cuba and Bhutan. 93 years for #1, 92 for #10. You have got to be kidding me. #183 Sierra Leone still managed 87.9 years and the US came in at 18th with 91.9.

    I am not sure what to make of this. The ranking order has zero association of average life expectancy from birth. Apparently if you can somehow make 85, access to health care must not be very important. These must be hardier people in some way, most likely better immune function. Can’t be climate or diet. Google’s Calico and others have said that genetics and longevity is at most 7% connected.

    • Interesting data point. One brainstorm idea is that some of this could be explained by noise. The difference of a year of the top 20’ish could be smaller than the error in birth documentation from early 20th C. in 3rd world. Perhaps there could be a cultural component where ages are overstated. Just ideas and could easily be completely wrong. Would be nice if there was a real signal there to find.

      • Here’s another one. Just the simple explanation of survivorship bias. If one makes it to 85, then that is correlated with winning a health lottery, could be genetic lottery or environmental or any combo. General low correlation of genetics and longevity likely doesn’t account for nuisance, so wouldn’t necessarily discount that aspect too much.

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