Open letter from a concerned researcher on #coronavirus #covid-19

I received this from someone I know and trust in the research community who prefers to remain anonymous.  Nevertheless, it’s an important message to get out to policy makers, clinicians, and researchers.  –Anthony


Some operational advice to the research community, especially the funders and study leaders, of high impact clinical interventions.

We have a dilemma/operational quandary for these studies during this ongoing pandemic.

These studies are asking urgent clinical questions and they are asked to do so quickly, yet the budgeting processes are such that they are too pecuniarious and too slow.

All of these studies should be collecting extensive biosamples, yet it is often the case that the responsibility for collecting, processing, and storing these samples falls upon the same clinicians that have to take care of these and many other patients.

The result is only limited samples are collected.

Instead of this, every site in a government funded clinical trial related to covid should be funded for study coordinators, individuals who consent the patients, individuals who obtain the specimens, technicians to process and store the specimens.

Yes this will increase the cost of such trials. That is one of the reasons the congress just approved billions for new research.

The planners of such trials ( the government and clinical organizers) should plan for greatly increased funding for each trial based on back of the envelope calculations  that should take no more than an hour or two to complete.

We are losing the opportunity to collect vital information that will inform our approaches to the epidemic for years.

With most clinical research shut down, there many personnel (coordinators, research nurses, technicians) that are available. Finding qualified manpower should not be a problem.

What is needed is vision and a true sense of urgency.

131 thoughts on “Open letter from a concerned researcher on #coronavirus #covid-19

      • Salient point. Nursing homes send patients to local hospitals that present CV19 symptoms after chest x-rays indicate that it is prudent to do so. Then the local hospital declares the patient has “pneumonia” and sends the patient back to the nursing home. Then the CV19 test results come back positive for the patient now back at the nursing home…now the nursing home is stuck with a patient that they are not equipped to deal with. Hot potato…your link tends to support the notion that this whole deal is a hustle…but none of us really knows what’s going on. Maybe there are less “pneumonia” cases this year because of hand washing and social distancing? Maybe the Chinese meant to say 21 million dead but it got translated as 3200 dead? WHO knows?

        • The 21 million number comes from cell phone non-renewals. It is theoretically explained by the fact that a lot of Chinese have 2 SIM cards in their phone. One for when they are in their home district and one for when they are far away in cities working. If you can’t go to the city to work no sense renewing your phone.

          We will see soon as the number of phones registered should go back up as people go back to work.

          • Good point, but how to credibly monitor? And, a contact in China not far from Wuhan implores me to wear a mask so I have been doing so to protect grocery store workers if this deal happens to be real.

            Best part of the whole BF’n deal is, unlike the global warming scam, we should know soon enough how the first act of the play plays out.

            Chinese troops in the streets of the USA might be interesting. Or better yet we start making our our stuff again? Things will be different…or not, maybe we all just line up for the shot?

    • Hospitals in my area are known to be relatively empty of patients and personnel at the present.

      • Are “known to be”?

        People commenting here are “known to be” full of crap.

  1. I tried to compare public data from the Diamond Princess to data from her sister ship Grand Princess. The Diamond Princess was quarantined in Yokohama, Japan, the Grand Princess was quarantined in Oakland, California. Of the Grand Princess, only people showing symptome were tested before disembarking. Nineteen crew members and two passengers tested positive. Later all 19 crew members recovered. Then, a passenger died, then a second one, and then a third one. Someone is playing the game of hide and seek. Why do we have much better data from Japan?

    • Of the Grand Princess, only people showing symptome were tested before disembarking.

      After disembarking passengers were sent to quarantine**, and given the choice to test or not. Had a person tested positive their “day-count” would have been reset to zero. Ones I know of chose not to be tested, wanting to return to their own home. [ **Travis AFB for the ones I know of. ]
      I would have done the same.

      • “I would have done the same.” Really? Given the possibility that you could be carrying a deadly disease “home” to your family and neighbors, you would rather not know whether sticking it out at Travis for another 14 days could save their lives? The test’s 1/3 false negatives is bad enough, but your attitude borders on criminal, given the perceived threat at the time.

        • “family and neighbors”
          They had already been on the ship, in their rooms for days. They had 10 days to go before going home. Many of the folks were +75 and my sister-in-law is 83, and lives alone. There were elderly couples; but similar deal, with no others in their home.

          Speak for yourself! I have no close neighbors. Nearest is 300 meters away. Thus, I would endanger exactly Zero others.

        • What is your evidence that this is a deadly disease to anyone apart from some typical risk groups for pneumonia?

    • On the Diamond Princess, 712 were infected,11 are dead already, 10 are still on Ventilators. These will die later.
      Mortality is 21/712 = 3%

      • Given the demographics that 3% seems a fair figure though I would expect it to be a bit lower since it’s quite conceivable that not all that 10 will die. As Willis Eschenbach has written (and I have said the same from the beginning) the DP provides the perfect “closed system” to give us a true assessment of the likely effects.

        If icicsil’s link above is correct then it also bears out my contention that we *must* wait until the 2019-20 Excess Winter Deaths figures are in — for the whole of the Northern hemisphere. I’m not downplaying the severity of this infection but until we have hard and fast figures we are just bandying anecdotes!

        • For several weeks now I have been ignoring ALL numerical estimates of Covid deaths, etc, in favour of Total Mortality stats.

          These are not going to give the latest state – the public usually only get weekly data in arrears – but the major benefit is that they are not capable of misinterpretation. if you are dead you are dead, and a doctor of any skill level can usually make that diagnosis!

          They also measure exactly what you want to measure. The course of an epidemic, and the chance of you dying. Covid countermeasures might result in deaths occurring in other places – Total Mortality covers all this. It simply tells you what the threat looks like.

        • Also need to know death rates for various age groups in the 12-24 months after the pandemic is declared over. I feel that it will take a couple of years before things return to normal. Particularly in Northern Italy and Spain

        • “As Willis Eschenbach has written (and I have said the same from the beginning) the DP provides the perfect “closed system” to give us a true assessment of the likely effects.”

          nothing perfect about it.

          once you get the comorbidity data you might be able to say something about it.

          want a closed system. nursing homes.

          https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6912e1.htm

          • want a closed system. nursing homes

            Life Care Center of Kirkland is the place near Seattle folks ought to know about.
            120 residents, + staff, + medical responders going in and out. Staff and medics going to other nursing homes, to hospitals, and all other activities of normal daily life.
            The place had 3 to 7 deaths per month.
            Until deaths spiked above 7, and someone noticed, and several days passed – – this was not a closed system. Except for the elderly residents.
            It still took days for officials to figure out what was going on, and more days before much was done to curtail the outbreak.
            Anyone can (now) search this Kirkland facility up and read about the mess.
            It is not a good model to base forecasts on.

      • That’s the first I’ve heard of that number. I thought it topped out at 8. Source?

      • If everyone on a ventilator will “die later”, then why go to the expense of using ventilators? You have no first-hand knowledge of these patients current condition or their age or medical history. In Italy the median age of those who died from COVID-19 was 80.5 years old and 99.2% had pre-existing conditions.
        The mortality rate of those who tested positive on the Diamond Princess is 1.5% and the mortality rate of all those aboard (3770) is 0.29%. The sample set is considered skewed because the passenger list is dominated by the elderly who are much more likely to die from COVID-19.

        • From a UK study, about 50% of the people that go on a ventilator die and about 50% make it off although some with permanent damage. Men die more than women. This doctor has put out some incredibly interesting and informative videos. This is a short one and the study is referenced at 2:00 in.

          • The Wuhan experience was exceptionally poor. One study said that 97% of ventilator patients did not live and another said that over 80% did not live.

            It’s not known why the outcomes in Wuhan were so poor. Poor equipment is a likely contributor.

      • yep. andypne who uses diamond princess data should have their data analysis degree stripped from them

    • why do you assume the diamond princess is good data?
      especially when the death rate for 80+ doesn’t pass the smell test

    • The flu has never impacted our hospitals like this is. In New York and a growing number of other cities, it is quite literally like a war zone in the hospitals. Talk to someone working in one and find our what is really going on.

      • Respectfully, what is your evidence for this statement? I have anecdotal evidence from two people in health care on front lines who know what they are talking about who say hospitals are pretty easily keeping up with admissions for this virus. And, that only in a couple of places are there “significant” impacts. Almost all of the extra beds put in place by the Army Corps and the USNS ship in NY Harbor are empty and that’s the worst place in the country. Sorry, but I’m not buying that inpacts to hospitals is worse than any recent flu season at the moment. Granted this could change. Some evidence would be appreciated. And if it’s from CNN, it is immediately ignored. Change my mind.

        Thanks

        • From the Dutch state news NOS: Verder aangescherpte richtlijnen voor opname intensive care bij beddentekort https://nos.nl/artikel/2329320-verder-aangescherpte-richtlijnen-voor-opname-intensive-care-bij-beddentekort.html

          New Dutch ICU rule yesterday: “If there are not enough intensive care beds left, there may be a situation where no one at the IC is still being resuscitated. If the shortage of beds were to increase even more, people aged 70 years and older will no longer be admitted.”

          • What does a post about a Dutch ICU rule have to do with US hospitals? Nothing. I was responding to a comment about US hospitals being overwhelmed. Apples and oranges. We have many more beds total and ICU beds in the US than the Netherlands. The claim was that “The flu has never impacted our hospitals like this is. In New York and a growing number of other cities, it is quite literally like a war zone in the hospitals.” I call bull. Prove me wrong. My counter is that the medical system in this country is so far coping pretty well with this problem. And yes in a few hot spots, there is a surge. Doctors and nurses are working hard in those areas and are heroes and putting themselves at risk daily. No argument on that. “…like a war zone” is pure hyperbole. Show me a picture of a US hospital where there are patients in hallways on gurneys and where we actually have a shortage of needed beds and ventilators so far. I can’t find actual evidence of that. Unless you count the footage of an Italian hospital that CBS tried to pass off as being in NY. Frickin’ liars (yes they claimed it was a mistake).

        • As they stated before the hospital ships docked, the ships are to be filled gradually, and only with non-Covid19 patients.

          Recently, three patients with Covid19 were accidentally sent to one of the ships. They were in the ship for 24 hours before the error was detected. Fortunately all incoming patients are tested for Covid19 on arrival and are kept in a separate ward until the test comes back. The three patients were transferred back to NYC hospitals and the area where they stayed were sanitized.

          A spokesman for the Navy stated that accidents like this are precisely why they are filling the beds slowly.

          PS: The ships hold about a 1000 patients and several hundred beds have already been filled.

          • Are the patients sent to the ship based on lack of capacity in hospitals, or simply as a matter of policy? I suspect the latter because I’m seeing a lot of videos of NYC hospitals being virtually empty waiting for coronavirus patients.

        • Well I don’t know about elsewhere but I have strong anecdotal evidence for Indianapolis. My daughter in-law is an ICU nurse. Has been one for several years. She was pulled from her hospital to work in the ad hoc ICU of another hospital strictly with COVID-19 patents. Says the patient burden per nurse is 4x usual accepted. Every one of her patients on a ventilator. As of Tuesday last week they were doing ok on masks but running low and trying to sanitize used masks for reuse. They had run completely out of disposable gowns at the end of her shift that day.

          Yesterday my son called and talked to his mother. Told her that he had to pull his wife away from a guy she saw wearing an N-95 mask in a store. She was giving the guy hell and making a scene. He’s worried about her. Obviously what she is going through is very tough on her. She is a very caring person and apparently has not reached that psychological state one must eventually get to if they are going to remain effective in especially rough sustained situations with very high patient load of triage or medical care. I have no doubt she will though, because she is very dedicated and they say our area, including Indianapolis, is still about a week away from peak surge.

          • Your daughter isn’t the only one feeling stress in Indiana. The lockdown is doing more harm than the illness.

            In the US state of Indiana, calls to the mental health and suicide hotline have increased by over 2000% from 1000 to 25,000 calls per day due to the lockdown and its economic impact.

            https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

          • Masks for ICUs

            3M is missing an opportunity to show good will by shipping M-95 masks directly to needy ICUs. They’ve let their prices escalate from a buck and change for a mask to four and five dollars, claiming it’s the fault of their medical suppliers. When Fauci says “Our country is just not geared to…” I guess the middle men are the gears he’s referring to.

            Trump, who expressed his unhapiness with 3M early last week, is now invoking “war powers” of the Defense Production Act to command 3M to up their supply (of all protective gear) to whatever FEMA deems necessary. (WSJ, Friday 3rd)

            As I understand it, 3M is still considered a domestic supplier of masks even though their factories are in China, so they have no mandate to sell exclusively to U.S. buyers. They addressed the COVID-19 epidemic with the following note to the public on their website:

            …beginning in January we ramped up to maximum production of N95 respirators, doubling our global output to a rate of 1.1 billion per year, or 100 million per month. This includes 35 million per month in the United States…

            https://news.3m.com/blog/3m-stories/3m-responds-2019-novel-coronavirus

            So… not enough masks? a supply chain problem? Who knows?

            I purchased a box of masks for housework months ago. If ICUs actually are short in my area, I’ll rethink whether I need to make a contribution. There are gears and then there are gears. All I know is I still have work to do around the house – and will have when this flu season ends.

        • “….. I’m not buying that inpmacts to hospitals is worse than any recent flu season……”

          You can probably get evidence for any position you care to name. Infectious diseases tend to occur in clusters. If there is a local cluster, local hospitals can get overwhelmed, while those outside the shipping radius are empty…. So pick any hospital at a time that suits your argument…

        • Some vindication from the hottest spot. As I posted earlier, “like a war zone” comments were pretty much media driven, scare and panic bullSh!te. Our healthcare system’s done a pretty good job in difficult times, thanks mostly to docs and nurses on the front lines, a little bit of preparation by states and locals (not enough however, probably due to increasing dependency on the feds), and enough backstop support from the federal govt, including the military getting called in to help. As of today you are about 4 times as likely to die in France and about 9 times more likely to die in Spain and Italy of this disease than here in the US (as measured per 100K of population). That’s a big deal. But yes unfortunately we can’t save everyone here.

          https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/04/06/u-s-coronavirus-hospitalizations-lower-than-predicted-ny-marks-75-drop/?utm_source=whatfinger

          “Cuomo’s aide Jim Malatras says the projections are now showing that the state unlikely to need 110,000 beds for #Coronavirus. New projections show MUCH LOWER demand, near 20,000-30,000 range if the new chart is believed. That means the new projections for the number of hospital beds needed in NY are between about 70 and 80 percent lower than initially estimated.”

      • Brad says it isn’t happening. follow his BS link. I guess we didn’t really land on the moon either because people “caught” THEM (whoever they are) with a picture of a flag blowing in nonresistant wind on the moon. Yea, this is no worse than the flu. All those folks are lying and Sandy Hook was staged too. /sarc

        • It is obviously patchy, like mould growing in clumps on a petri dish. So why sneer and raise straw man comparisons at evidence that not everywhere is on fire? It looks like you, more than he, has an axe to grind. It is also true that deaths from all-causes shows no sign of increase. Pneumonia is way down, for example, so for deaths to remain constant it appears the ‘missing ones’ have been attributed to Covid.

      • There are some situations as you describe. Not many. Thus, the question is why.
        I’d start looking at overcrowding.
        Even elevators might play a role.
        Keep looking.

      • That is because as a society, we have come to accept the seasonal flu and it’s recurring high death toll for what they are.
        It’s because we don’t understand this new thing on the block and it’s long term effects, that we’re collectively going ape sh.t

      • Yet I have seen video, real time stuff showing hospitals in several American cities with empty emergency rooms and empty parking lots.

        • I started looking for details on this but have not found anything definitive yet. Usual hospital rooms and sterile areas have positive pressure ventilation to keep pathogens out. Areas containing pathogens maintain a Negative pressure with exhaust air filtered before exhausting to the atmosphere. I suspect that most hospital rooms are constructed for sterile use with relatively fewer areas for containment. With hospitals not accepting elective procedures I suspect that the sterile rooms with their positive pressure ventilation would be unused. So, it makes sense that entire floors not constructed for contagious confinement would be empty.

          • A logical design would allow switching the direction of flow of the air.
            Health care professionals have always known pandemics at inevitable.

          • In the building I work in, changing static pressure in any given room is simply a matter of changing a setting in the computer in Central Plant. I’m fairly certain it’s the same in modern hospitals. So it’d be a simple matter to change the rooms set up for sterile areas (positive pressure) for use as contagion confinement (negative pressure).

            As to whether their sterile room air handling equipment has adequate filtration on air discharge vents to prevent chucking viruses out into the air surrounding the hospital is another matter. Given the nature of a hospital, though, it’s likely they do.

            And cleaning those sterile areas after use as contagion confinement would be a chore… they may just be saving themselves the cost and work of doing that until those rooms are absolutely needed for that purpose.

    • Ok, so take a flight to NYC, ride the subway, hang out in a pharmacy, talk to lots of people you meet on the street. You can even volunteer at a hospital! Yeah, didn’t think so.

      • Ok, so take a flight to NYC, ride the horrible subway, hangout on the horrible grid, admire the horrible tower blocks, no pubs, no cafes, no Old Town Square, nowhere to relax – go for it, if that’s your idea of travel … (and yes, I’ve been to NY, and no, not in a hurry to go back)

    • Barbara McKenzie:
      Consider. The people of Wuhan get the flu every year too. Same flu actually. The Chinese never quarantined and locked down Wuhan (11 MILLION people) for any other flu season but this one. So why did they do it?

      Because ….
      This bug is different.

    • Barbara,
      I wonder what would happen if all the media had automobile accident and death counters at the top of their web pages that were updated hourly. Would people panic about driving to work or going to the grocery store? Maybe at first. One has to wonder how much of this pandemic panic is manufactured by to the political class and their enablers in the lamestream media. Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT saying the Wuhan Virus is fake or that it is no big deal. It is real and something to take seriously. I’m questioning the reactions to it. When faced with something scary, I prefer to take a rational, informed approach, not a reactive emotional one. Sometimes doing nothing (or something measured), is better than doing the wrong thing vigorously.

      I also worry about the precedent that the government can just declare an emergency and eviscerate our Constitutional rights. If our rights are to mean anything, they must include the right to be stupid as well as smart.

    • In one bad flu year in France, the media announced 86 (or was that 68) confirmed death. That’s right, less than a hundred, not tens of thousands as they would make us believe every year!

  2. All types of stress especially mental stress affects the immune system. Is there a correlation on the morbidity and mortality data from COVID in relation to how countries( or states for big countries like US) are spreading fear among its citizens on CAGW ?

  3. Try this one. Better yet–go have a look for yourself, I’m sure there will be a hospital close by. I’m going to check 3 within easy drive tomorrow and see for myself.

    • And these are all paid actors:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pg-kd945arA

      It is a good thing that the testing queues are no longer there. It means the lock down is working. Daily death toll in NY is predicted to peak on 10 April at 855. All those patients are in care now. By the end of April, NY should be under control. It takes up to 30 days from lock down before the full benefit is achieved but one of the first changes in a reduction in the number presenting with symptoms.

      If there was no lock down the military would be collecting bodies in the street by now as they have been in China, Spain and Italy.

  4. There is not much difference between a second order equation and an exponential one – in the short run. Both will fit a dozen or two data points.
    The difference is in the long run. The exponential sky rockets while the second order just chugs along.

    There are only 17 days worth of US data. The US cases/deaths didn’t really power up until day 79 post ECDC’s data zero 12/31/19. That isn’t enough stable data to call which way it is.

    So if the social distancing and destroying the economy flatten the exponential scenario nobody will ever know if that indeed were the fact. Nobody wants to do nothing and find out, i.e. precautionary principle.

    If the data continues on the flatter second order trend, as it would have anyway with no heroic actions, correlation actions = flattening cause, there will be cheers all around, second place medals for everybody, book deals, speaking tours, etc. and a repeat for every nickel and dime flu that comes around.

    And Trump is re-elected and the lying, fact free, fake news MSM has another petulant melt down.
    That’s you, Rachel!

  5. It’s about highly optimised systems breaking down
    I do this for a living.
    When you have six sigma efficiency any new variable throws a massive curved ball for you

    • H1N1, SARS1, SARS2, MERS, Zika, Ebola. At some point, the tail isn’t fat, it’s obese. There are flocks of killer black swans circling overhead. I think the little piggy who built his house out of straw had an optimized system in there. He published a paper on it in a well-respected journal.

      Seriously, here’s the problem: highly-connected systems create substantial gains but also unacceptable risks. Pandemic is one. The rise of a nuclear-armed, communist gangster state is another.

  6. What are ALL of the nurses doing? How many have been sent Home? A month ago I was told my Knee Replacement was “Temporarily” postponed. “Don’t call us, we will call you.” Local news claims there will be NO “Elective” surgery,” Emergency only till at least the end of May and, presently, we only have 23 hospitalized patients.

  7. I just read another article complaining that government was caught flat footed yet again. The non sequitir solution proposed? More government, obviously.

    The whole situation with the CDC test is the best possible example of how centralized government planning is one of the worst, riskiest approaches you can possibly take.

    There were literally dozens of good, high quality tests from experienced commercial entities waiting in the wings for months while the CDC bungled things.

    The CDC test came out first in the US because they were the only ones with access to the viral material needed to qualify the test under the higher US standards of proof.

    Instead of focusing inward on their own test, what if the CDC used that unique resource to run a dozen different commercial tests side by side and release some or all of them?

    Their own flawed test would have flunked our, and numerous other better tests would have come on line 6 or 8 weeks earlier. Government isn’t the solution, it’s usually the bottleneck. More government is the worst possible suggestion.

    Another lesson I hope we learn from this is that even if you could come up with an ideal test, there are manufacturing and supply bottlenecks for which no single entity can scale sufficiently. The strength of the America is the creativity and ingenuity and diversity of our vibrant capitalist economy, let it work!

    Regarding this complaint about funding of clinical trials, to me it just proves how clumsy this piece of our medical research status quo has become. We reward Rx companies that squeeze an extra 0.5% effectiveness out of a trivially different drug with billions of dollars of profits because they run a massive clinical trial to show that tiny difference.

    If we want to save 0.5% of the population with a trivially effective intervention, then yes by all means we should pour money and resources into these massive, clumsy, “perfect” trials.

    But by the time we know anything, this pandemic will be a distant memory. Meanwhile, the same “experts” oppose use of hydroxychloroquine because Trump blew the lid off it and orange man bad, plus the studies showing 90+% effectiveness only include a few hundred subjects. For a big difference, you don’t need a million people, you only need a few dozen or hundred, except for the rent seekers complaining that their cheeks aren’t coming through fast enough to break the clumsy bureaucracy from its slumber.

    • What drug and what clinical trial has ever been approved after showing such a tiny improvement and then made billions of dollars?
      Please name one.

  8. “Finding qualified manpower should not be a problem.”

    This is especially true as graduating classes of nurses, PAs, etc. etc. are scrambling to find acceptable final rotation clinical experience.

  9. A family member who is a health care provider at a top-tier hospital in northern NJ has been in shock for 2 weeks now. They have a critical shortage of ICU beds, and this provider’s comment this last mid-week was “they are letting them die,” in a reference to the shortage of equipment and the need to choose which patients receive that equipment.

    In addition, there are several news reports of some tri-state area funeral homes and morgues with an overflow of bodies. One funeral home in NYC was storing bodies a in a basement with only AC for cooling. So, this does show that this is a much worse situation than just the normal influenza strains, even in “bad” years.

    • You must be referring to the one article from the Associated Press where they interviewed exactly one funeral home owner. On interesting quote: “He estimated that more than 60% had died of the new coronavirus.” Note that is “estimated”, he doesn’t really know. I suppose a 50 or 60% surge in business is difficult to handle, but I doubt this is the first time that’s ever happened. I also don’t think you can extrapolate his experience to the entire tri-state area. So mostly this conjecture and fear mongering. Also, all the stories I found led back to this one article. So that’s pretty thin evidence of the entire system being overwhelmed.

    • The weak and infirm are being affected greatly; with one foot already in the grave, one would expect the influence of Covid-19 to put to put the “other’ foot in for the ‘weak and infirm’.

      NOW the question that should be asked, what portion of the population fits the demographic of ‘weak and infirm’? Is this population segment enough to overload the hospitals and morgues?

      I think, “yes” is the answer.

  10. Anthony,
    Curious what effect covering COVID-19 news has had on your site traffic. Thank you for your dedication.

  11. There’s only one certainty in all of this.
    No one will do anything about the root cause of the problem.
    Scientists will spend other people’s millions upon millions researching everything but the root cause.
    The medical industrial complex will do likewise putting its hand out for more millions for grants and programs etc.
    All the parasitic agencies CIA/EPA etc (none of who protected us one bit) will put their hand out for the big bucks.
    Oh and the Chinese puppet at the WHO will be re-assigned with a golden hand-shake.
    There’s nothing like a good Pandemic to get the money flowing . . .

    • Yeah, what could be a bigger waste of money than disease research?
      Defund that jackass crap!
      Reopen the NBA and theme parks and movie theaters. Reopen the iPod stores.
      Stop wasting money!
      *rolls the eyes*

      • Hey Nic please explain to everyone here how ‘disease research’ could have prevented COVID-19?

  12. I hope and pray you non believers, naysayers, and those prone to believe in conspiracies, do not end up actually having a hot spot pop in your vicinity.

    Sure there are hospitals that are practically empty. Over all mortality in the US is way down because the containment efforts are greatly restricting normal activities which normally result in accidents day in and day out. And has been noted, elective procedures of all types put on hold. Additionally people that may go in for treatment for some problem in normal times aren’t doing so since most understand that one of the best places to contract a contagious disease is at a health care facility. Also it appears there is some evidence emerging that the normal morbidity and mortality from our run of the mill influenza strains drops proportionally based on the COVID-19 load in a particular area.

    Further, for isolation purposes it just make sense when possible to use specific hospitals for potential or confirmed COVID-19 treatment there by concentrating the COVID-19 patient burden in one or several hospitals while leaving others open for other cases. There by minimizing the risk of exposure for non-COVID-19 patients and the staffs at those hospitals. Iatrogenic infection or disease is always a significant problem in health care facilities even when there is not a novel contagious pathogen on the loose.

    • Somehow I don’t believe you hope and pray they don’t, but I am a cynical that way.

      Personally and selfishly for myself, friends and family I want the world to go back to work. At some point, the response is going to take more lives than the pathogen 🙁

      • Yea right, this former medic wants you and yours and everybody else to be at high threat for the infection like my daughter in-law is right now. Want’s you and everybody else to have to worry about their 83 y/o father who has in home care. Your quite a piece of work Derg.

        • As are you. People are so scared they won’t even go to the doctor. People are getting laid off and their families in peril. How is that any better?

        • As are you Rah.

          As a current human who has seen people laid off, families thrown into peril, people too scared to visit a doctor explain to us how we are better off?

    • “Also it appears there is some evidence emerging that the normal morbidity and mortality from our run of the mill influenza strains drops proportionally based on the COVID-19 load in a particular area.”

      That’s because influenza is now diagnosed as COVID-19. Same illness, different name. The CDC has instructed hospitals to diagnose illnesses as COVID if they are presumed to be so without a test.

      • My daughters family down at Daytona Beach were all feeling flu like symptoms. They eventually went to a drive up testing location, were all tested, and it turned out they did not have COVID-19.

        From what I’ve been reading COVID-19, like other coronavirus infections frequently presents with a dry, unproductive cough, which is unlike what is presented in a typical case of influenza. That was one of the S&S the ER Doc in New Orleans listed in his determination on if to treat a patient as having COVID-19.

        I don’t believe it is canned as you believe.

          • I’d like to see the rationale for classifying cause of death by this criteria. It seems that someone wants the number COVID-19 deaths to be as high as possible without sufficient regard to accuracy.

    • “Further, for isolation purposes it just make sense when possible to use specific hospitals for potential or confirmed COVID-19 treatment there by concentrating the COVID-19 patient burden in one or several hospitals while leaving others open for other cases.”

      No it doesn’t make sense to concentrate everyone in one hospital, They’re treating it likes it’s ebola, and it’s not, not anywhere close. Also, that stresses one hospital’s resources, e.g. respirators. Other hospitals are not going to to send their respirators to other hospitals. So the appearance of a shortage develops. This is a panic-demic of stupid policy decisions.

      • Well I don’t have time to argue. This truck driver has to get ready to go out on the road. I don’t doubt what you are saying about CDC guidance. But what I know is that long before the CDC was saying anything much about the hydroxychloroquine, Z-pac protocol, and what it was putting out was cautionary, many of those at the point of care were prescribing it saving people and not watching their patients die while they waited for double blind trials and studies. Thankfully many Physicians at the point of care have been doing what they find works, both diagnostically, and clinically, through trial and error and what the CDC and WHO says be damned if it does not comport with what they are finding in the real world. I noticed both the governors of Nevada and Michigan did pretty quick 180’s on the use of that protocol.

        I have no doubt that the researchers are going to develop both more effective prophylaxis and treatment, but for now it’s the point of care people that are saving the lives using what they have available.

        I see now that something like 68 different drugs already on the market are being claimed to have potential therapeutic effects. A relatively new one on the list being Ivermectin. I await some leftist wacko getting into trouble taking their dogs heartworm medication themselves or giving it to someone else.

        • Z-PAK has some nasty side effects; example: sudden intermittent blindness, of course big pharma pushes Z-PAK so one returns to a MD for more pharma treatment. Careful what you swallow.

          • Dear Mr. Hund,

            You are invited to put total restrictions on antibiotics, HCQ, and any other medications into your Advance Directive Living Will. Then if you get sick, your doctor and family will be legally bound to deny you that care.

            But please don’t inflict your notions on me. Okay? You are not my doctor. I suspect that you are not a doctor at all. You seem to have some political biases. I reject your medical advice. I suggest that others should do the same.

      • My daughter in-law works for University. She was pulled to an ad hoc ICU at Methodist work. End of story.

  13. The original viral samples were all destroyed in an attempt at cover-up! This IS a bioweapon, and they don’t want anyone else to figure it out.
    From nucleotide and amino acid sequence BLAST search, we have concluded that there is a large stretch of 440 amino acids within the non-host-determining non-conserved S2 proportion of the SARS-COV-2’s S protein that are identical with the other highly suspicious virus, RaTG13, despite the presence of a whopping 79 nucleotide differences within the part of RNA that codes for the same protein. An abnormally high level of silent mutations that have only 1 in 5346 chance to have been a product of natural evolution amongst all possible sequences that are equally capable of causing the Covid-19 outbreak.
    BLAST tool:
    https://blast.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Blast.cgi

    The following are the BLAST search results of a part of the Wuhan Spike Glycoprotein sequence in comparison to the closest related natural coronavirus to date.

    This is the result of an amino acid BLAST comparision between the two different glycoprotein sequences.

    QHD43416.1, 681 to 1120.

    Query: surface glycoprotein [Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2] Query ID: QHD43416.1 Length: 440

    >spike glycoprotein [Bat coronavirus RaTG13]

    Sequence ID: QHR63300.2 Length: 1269

    Range 1: 681 to 1120

    Score:901 bits(2329), Expect:0.0,

    Method:Compositional matrix adjust.,

    Identities:440/440(100%), Positives:440/440(100%), Gaps:0/440(0%)

    Notice that there were ZERO amino acid difference between these two protein sequences. that is, these two sequences were identical.

    A BLAST search on the corresponding nucleotides gives this result.

    Query: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 isolate Wuhan-Hu-1, complete genome Query ID: MN908947.3 Length: 1560

    >Bat coronavirus RaTG13, complete genome

    Sequence ID: MN996532.1 Length: 29855

    Range 1: 23357 to 24904

    Score:2366 bits(1281), Expect:0.0,

    Identities:1469/1560(94%), Gaps:12/1560(0%), Strand: Plus/Plus

    In comparision, this is the result of the same Wuhan coronavirus Spike glycoprotein sequence when compared to a natural bat coronavirus.

    Query: surface glycoprotein [Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2] Query ID: QHD43416.1 Length: 440

    >spike glycoprotein [Bat SARS coronavirus HKU3-8]

    Sequence ID: ADE34766.1 Length: 1242

    Range 1: 654 to 1093

    Score:855 bits(2209), Expect:0.0,

    Method:Compositional matrix adjust.,

    Identities:406/440(92%), Positives:430/440(97%), Gaps:0/440(0%)

    Noticed that there were 34 amino acid that are different between Covid-19 and HKU3-8 within this domain, differences of which represent the natual number of amino acids that are variable across different Coronavirus strains within this domain, variations that are known to not affect the function of the resulting protein. As this domain, which is located after the end of the RBD domain of the coronavirus S protein and is known to be cleaved off after the maturation of the individual virions, it plays no critical role in selecting the host for the virus, and are generally considered to be a domain that is not well-conserved or evolutionarily pressured across different strains of bat-borne Coronaviruses.

    There is only 0.2450783^(79*(34/(1124-685+1)))=0.00018706121, or 1 in 5346 chance that these 79 nucleotide mutations not changing a single amino acid within the 685-1124 sequence of the Covid-19 Spike protein when compared to RaTG13, the closese related natural coronavirus to date. 1 in 24339 if another related bat coronavirus, HKU 3.4 was considered, possessing 42 amino acid mutations within this region. That is, there is only at best 1 in 5346, at worst 1 in 24339 chance that the current Covid-19 virus strain could have arisen from natural mutations, as opposed to being a codon-and-secondary-structure-optimized gene construct that can have only one purpose: for use as a bioweapon of mass destruction.

    • Madness.
      The idea that the USA (presumably) attacked China with this virus is ridiculous. Not only is it a double-edged sword it’s just not lethal enough to be worth the risk.

      We have worse bio-weapons (ebola, for example) and the West could have just nuked them.

      You write lots of clever-sounding words but have little street-smarts.

      • Same problem the other way round too.
        It’s just not lethal enough for China to have developed it as a bio-weapon.
        Still not gullible enough to fall for that silliness.

        • I tend to agree with you about the lethality. In December and January the CCP may not have had any information except that this virus had been introduced outside of the lab.
          Not knowing it’s lethality but being aware of its origin and potential purpose it makes sense to lock down millions.
          Smart to err on the side of safety. Embarrassing at best to have to admit it got out.
          Fear of international sanctions, isolation from the academic systems, economic disaster because it got out result in denials by high officials.

    • I don’t believe this is a bioweapon just based on how ineffective it is. The incubation rate is too long and the mortality rate is too low. If the US was developing bioweapons (and I don’t think they are for many reasons), they would do a much better job than this.

    • Pure malarkey from Athonis.
      Absolute my untrue, false, wrong, made up, conspiracy mongering fake news disinformation.

  14. “In Germany, several law firms are preparing lawsuits against the measures and regulations that have been issued. A specialist in medical law writes in a press release: „The measures taken by the federal and state governments are blatantly unconstitutional and violate a multitude of basic rights of citizens in Germany to an unprecedented extent. This applies to all corona regulations of the 16 federal states. In particular, these measures are not justified by the Infection Protection Act, which was revised in no time at all just a few days ago. () Because the available figures and statistics show that corona infection is harmless in more than 95% of the population (or has probably even already occurred) and therefore does not represent a serious danger to the general public.“

  15. There has been a failure of forward planning of medical science, if what I scientist onlooker can discern is indeed accurate.
    As an example, you can easily find arguments for and against the public wearing masks (not discussing surgery and their masks here). Very large numbers of masks have gone into circulation. That means very large $$$.
    What should be happening? Suggestion: several planned and properly-designed medical science experiments, with the usual blind and placebo concepts, to see if public masks are indeed worth the money being spent, using the corona virus pandemic as the infection. Valuable work ahead of future epidemics.
    These studies might be happening. I do not know. The appearances I am getting are that the stupid Precautionary Principle as stated in Rio 1992 is being used, so that properly structured research is replaced by sloppy and unverified anecdotal. Climate science is in the pits because of this PP and because they have not structured enough of their experiments well enough. But this is killing nobody, whereas the virus is. Please do not allow the slack efforts of climate research to drag down the standards of proper medical research Geoff S

    • Just go back to fundamental principles. One doesn’t get infected if one does not get exposed. Masks and other PPE are designed to eliminate or reduce exposure.

      One can argue about efficiency, of course. Cost is less of a concern than availability in this circumstance and that was perhaps part of the reason why there was debate in the first place regarding mask use.

    • Here are oodles of studies over many decades proving the value of PPE.
      Somebody else but me can find and post it.
      I am sick of posting data people here flat out ignore and keep arguing as if they never were contradicted.

      • NMcG,
        My beef is that established standards for good science have been thrown on the trash heap, casing widespread panic in the public. Sure, there are nmerous studies about masks for the public, but all of them I have read lack rigor, particularly in control comparisons.
        We have criticised junk science in climate research. Why are you not being critical of sloppy medical science? Like making decisions guided by stats and models that are definitionally deficient, as for example “died from” or “died with” with doubt even about the latter.
        And BTW, where are the error bars and formal estimates of uncertainty? Don’t let science standards slip. Geoff S

  16. more funding?
    why?
    labs established and well n truly paid for inc machinery by taxbreaks and massively overinflated charges for work done.
    staff wages a set amount regardless of the work done on whatever subject.
    if this event causes a Massive shakeup and reassessment of the usa health sytems fees charges and methods
    it would be a bonus
    however the politicians are owned BY the bigpharmas
    the pharmas and funds and insurers are all in the same bed
    but the ones being screwed are the people paying for a broken ripoff system

  17. this is going to get juicy-

    “The internationally recognized International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents will soon publish a paper that addresses exactly this question. Preliminary results of the study can already be seen today and lead to the conclusion that the new virus is NOT different from traditional corona viruses in terms of dangerousness. The authors express this in the title of their paper „SARS-CoV-2: Fear versus Data“. [3]”

    https://swprs.org/open-letter-from-professor-sucharit-bhakdi-to-german-chancellor-dr-angela-merkel/?fbclid=IwAR2_cBOzfq6t0U3poZkfW4VZTPrQK56hgM35RIo_VEkjKCPHQlozlEWdLEA

  18. I make this point re the “we lose this many every year with flu” crowd.

    Every day, multiple countries are losing lets say 600+ people.

    This is , what, two airplanes full….

    Every day.

    Imagine if we had , what, 10 major aircraft crashes, every day, for a period of many weeks.

    What would be the economic impact, not to mention policy response….?

  19. One would think with a crisis of this magnitude that all promising treatments would be accelerated and freely funded as in immediately. Especially treatment which use previous approved drugs ranging from the malarial ones to the anti-parasite Invermectin, etc. Special treatment clinics can be designated in each major city and treatments given to patients that accept those treatments. One could do dozens of these per week and for the next week, drop the ones that don’t work and expand the ones that do. We have the tech but obviously not the desire making one believe the experts are simply not very serious about treating.

    Then there’s actual factual reporting. Again, the tech is in place but it’s almost impossible to obtain data that is meaningful and not filtered, omitted, skewed, modeled or just conjectured “could be’s”. I for one, would like to know the age, sex, race, prior health status, drugs taken, treatment given, outcomes and any other demographic factor to indicate my personal risk. All we get is a plus-count of victims along with a raft of breathless media reporting that, essentially, it’s worse than the Andromeda Strain.

    But this also highlights the accumulations of the lifestyle the experts for promoted which have, as one enters “old people” status, of having the sickest population that has ever walked the planet. Before the Wuhan, you read, almost daily, of the obesity epidemic, the diabetes epidemic, the cardio epidemic, the various cancer epidemics, the dementia (Alzheimers) epidemics, the macular degeneration epidemics, etc. All severely impact “the old people”. Simple to confirm this by visiting a Walmart and count the ratio of people waddling around as if they’re on a ship at sea and those riding on one of those motor carts. And you’ll have plenty of time to count, since you’ll be metered into the store.

  20. “April 5, 2020
    In a 40-minute interview, the internationally renowned epidemiology professor Knut Wittkowski from New York explains that the measures taken on Covid19 are all counterproductive. Instead of „social distancing“, school closures, „lock down“, mouth masks, mass tests and vaccinations, life must continue as undisturbed as possible and immunity must be built up in the population as quickly as possible. According to all findings to date, Covid-19 is no more dangerous than previous influenza epidemics. Isolation now would only cause a „second wave“ later.
    The British Medical Journal (BMJ) reports that, according to the latest data from China, 78% of new test-positive individuals show no symptoms. This is a further indication of the relative harmlessness of the virus and raises the question whether the short-term increase in pneumonia in Wuhan may have had other causes, including the very strong winter smog.
    Dr. Andreas Sönnichsen, head of the Department of General and Family Medicine at the Medical University of Vienna and chairman of the Network for Evidence-Based Medicine, considers the measures imposed so far to be „insane“. The whole state is being paralysed just to „protect the few it could affect“. In an interview with the German SWR, he explains that the spread of the virus cannot be prevented anyway.
    In a world first, the Swedish government has announced that it is going to officially distinguish between deaths „by“ and deaths „with“ the coronavirus, which should lead to a reduction in reported deaths. Meanwhile, international pressure on Sweden to abandon its liberal strategy is steadily increasing. Some governments may fear that a success by Sweden (as by Japan before) could make their own measures appear disproportionate and counterproductive.
    The Hamburg health authority now has test-positive deaths examined by forensic medicine in order to count only „real“ corona deaths. As a result, the number of deaths has already been almost halved compared to the official figures of the Robert Koch Institute.
    As early as 2018, the German Doctors Journal reported a „multitude of pneumonia cases“ in northern Italy, which worried the authorities. At the time, contaminated drinking water was suspected to be one of the causes.
    The German Pharmaceutical Newspaper points out that in the current situation, patients often „fall seriously ill, even die, without having developed respiratory symptoms beforehand“. Neurologists suspect in this regard that the corona viruses could also damage nerve cells. Another explanation, however, would be that these patients, who are often in need of care, die due to the very high stress.
    According to the latest figures from Switzerland, the most common symptoms of test-positive patients in hospitals are fever, cough and breathing difficulties, while 43% or about 900 people have pneumonia. However, even in these cases it is not a priori clear whether it was caused by the coronavirus or by other pathogens. The median age of the test positive deceased is 83 years, the range reaches up to 101 years.
    The British project „In Proportion“ tracks mortality „with“ Covid19 in comparison to influenza mortality and all-cause mortality, which in Great Britain is still in the normal range or below and is currently decreasing.
    In the US state of Indiana, calls to the mental health and suicide hotline have increased by over 2000% from 1000 to 25,000 calls per day due to the lockdown and its economic impact.
    The medical specialist portal Rxisk points out that various drugs can increase the risk of infection with corona viruses by up to 200% in some cases. It is also known that vaccination against influenza viruses may increase the risk of coronavirus disease”

  21. This is a deadly virus. Ask doctors in Italy. They divide the lungs into sectors. Each sector is scored and then tries to heal.

  22. “Immunity must be built up in the population as quickly as possible.” [@Richard, 7:06 am]
    Many people would die in the process, so let’s build plague columns in their memory. That’s the way a responsible government would go: instead of killing the economy, it would build a new thriving economy of memorial column building and casket manufacturing🙂

    • That’s sad, but I’m not responsible for the infections other people might catch. That’s 100% their business, not mine. There is no right not be contaminated.

  23. I counted four shouldas and inferred a woulda coulda or two. I don’t doubt this anonymous author is reputable, but was the alarm sounded before the fire started?

    Unlike other things, there is no shortage of backseat drivers and arm-chair quarterbacks these days.

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