What SAGE Has Got Wrong

From Lockdownsceptics.org

16 October 2020

by Mike Yeadon

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, and Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, give a Coronavirus Data Briefing in 10 Downing Street. Picture by Pippa Fowles/No 10 Downing Street.

“It’s Easier to Fool People Than It Is to Convince Them That They Have Been Fooled.” – Mark Twain

Dr Mike Yeadon has a degree in biochemistry and toxicology and a research-based PhD in respiratory pharmacology. He has spent over 30 years leading new medicines research in some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, leaving Pfizer in 2011 as Vice President & Chief Scientist for Allergy & Respiratory. That was the most senior research position in this field in Pfizer. Since leaving Pfizer, Dr Yeadon has founded his own biotech company, Ziarco, which was sold to the worlds biggest drug company, Novartis, in 2017.


SAGE made – and continues to make – two fatal errors in its assessment of the SAR-CoV-2 pandemic, rendering its predictions wildly inaccurate, with disastrous results. These errors led SAGE to conclude that the pandemic is still in its early stages, with the vast majority (93%) of the UK population remaining susceptible to infection and that, in the absence of more action, a very high number of deaths will occur.

Error 1: Assuming that 100% of the population was susceptible to the virus and that no pre-existing immunity existed.

Error 2: The belief that the percentage of the population that has been infected can be determined by surveying what fraction of the population has antibodies.

Both of these points run entirely counter to known science regarding viruses and to a significant amount of evidence, as I will demonstrate. The more likely situation is that the susceptible population is now sufficiently depleted (now 28%) and the immune population sufficiently large that there will not be another large, national scale outbreak of COVID-19. Limited, regional outbreaks will be self-limiting and the pandemic is effectively over. This matches current evidence, with COVID-19 deaths remaining a fraction of what they were in spring, despite numerous questionable practices, all designed to artificially increase the number of apparent COVID-19 deaths.


The ‘scientific method’ is what separates us from pre-renaissance peoples, who might tackle plagues with prayer. We can do better, but only if we’re rigorous. If an important theory isn’t consistent with the findings it purports to oversee, then we’ve got it wrong. Honest scientists occasionally are forced to accept they’ve gone astray and the best scientists then go back and distinguish what they’ve assumed from what can be shown beyond reasonable doubt.

After nearly 35 years of work leading teams in new drug discovery, and trained in several biological disciplines, I like to think I’ve a good nose for spotting inconsistencies. I was once told by a very senior person who, at the time, was responsible for an R&D budget similar to the GDP of a small country that they’d noticed I did have an outstanding talent for “spotting faint patterns in sparse data, long before the competition did”. I’ll take that. Sometimes I spot inconsistencies in my own thinking (more commonly, it must be admitted, others do that for me); on other occasions it can be about others’ scientific work. This is an example of the latter – specifically, SAGE.

It is my contention that SAGE made – and tragically, continues to make to this very day – two absolutely central and incorrect assumptions about the behaviour of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and how it interacts with the human immune system, at an individual as well as a population level.

I will show why, if you’re on SAGE and have accepted these two assumptions, you’d believe that the pandemic has hardly begun and that hundreds of thousands of people will probably die in addition to those who’ve died already. I can empathise with anyone in that position. It must cause despair that politicians aren’t doing what you’ve told them they must do.

If, like me, you’re sure that the pandemic, as a ghastly public health event, is nearly over in UK, you will probably be with me in sheer astonishment and frustration that SAGE, the Government and 99% of the media maintain the fiction that this continues to be the biggest public health emergency in decades. I have written about the whole event in detail before (Yeadon et al, 2020). Mortality in the UK in 2020 to date, adjusted for population, lies in 8th place out of the last 27 years. It’s not been that exceptional a year from a mortality point of view.

It’s my view that SAGE has been appallingly negligent and should be dissolved and reconstituted properly.

Crucially, I will show that because the proportion of the population remaining susceptible to the virus is now too low to sustain a growing outbreak at national scale, the pandemic is effectively over and can easily be handled by a properly functioning NHS. Accordingly, the country should immediately be permitted to get back to normal life.


Flaws in Imperial College’s Modelling

I will now show you the two, absolutely fatal flaws in the infamous model of Imperial College. There may be other weaknesses, but these two alone are sufficient to explain why SAGE thinks the roof is about to fall in, whereas the wet science, the empirical data, says something entirely different. I believe we could, and should, lift every measure that’s in place, certainly everywhere south of the Midlands. It would probably be fine everywhere, but that’s to step into a firefight that is not needed and would detract from the force of my argument.

What are these two assumptions? They are so basic and alluring that you might need to read this twice.

If you don’t have the stomach to wade through all this, have a look at the two pie charts below.

First, the Imperial group decided to assume that, since SARS-CoV-2 was a new virus, “the level of prior immunity in the population was essentially zero”. In other words, “100% of the population was initially susceptible to the virus”.

You will be forgiven for thinking this surely doesn’t matter much and is a scientific debating point, rather than something core and crucial. And isn’t it a reasonable thing to think? I’m afraid it does matter, very much. Its not a reasonable thing to assume, either. I will come back to this first assumption in a moment.

But before that, the second fatal assumption, which was that, over time, the modellers would be able to determine what percentage of the population had so far been infected by surveying what fraction of the population had antibodies in the blood. That number is about 7%.

Surely, this too cannot be so terribly important? And isn’t it true, anyway? Again, I regret to inform the reader that yes, its absolutely central. And no, its not true.

Read the full article here


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Harry Davidson
October 19, 2020 2:47 pm

I would be interested to hear Carl Henegan and Sunetra Gupta have to say about this.

October 19, 2020 2:47 pm

It requires from 60-80% to be unable to be infected to drive R(t) below 1. Include in the unable to be infected:
a) those who had SARS version 1 or MERS and recovered,
b) those who have T-cell immunity to every coronavirus,
c) those who have recovered who have B-cell immunity,
d) those who have had their B-cell system activated by vaccine.
The estimate for (a) is but 5%, for (b) 50% but plus or minus 15, (c) including asymptomatic.
Group (c) may not show positive for the virus. They got rid of it. It’s gone. And, they have not been recently re-exposed.
Group (d) is months away. Group (c) is growing daily.

Reply to  Old.George
October 20, 2020 4:53 am

No, it does not. It does in an homogenous population. But that is not what we have. The real number in our real society, fragmented into groups with low contact between them, is going to be much, much lower. Maybe well below 50%.

John Finn
Reply to  michel
October 20, 2020 5:47 am

Oh good we’ve got another “maybe”.

Jeez, the same people who call this sort of stuff out when it appears in Climate Change research are quite happy to use it when it suits the agenda.

Reply to  Old.George
October 20, 2020 5:42 am

60-80% ( well don’t know where you got the 80% ) assumes a homogeneous population. As Nic Lewis has shown this may be more like 45% with a compartmentalised population model.

Just like an institution which calls itself a “Centre of Excellence” before they even start, a group calling itself SAGE ( or BEST for that matter ) almost certainly will fail to be either sage or the best.

You have to try harder than finding a contrived acronym to falsely acclaim elite status.

Most of what we are seeing is an exponential growth in the number of tests being conducted. This, without any change in the level of infection in the population, will lead to an exponential growth in the number of positive results.

Then you feed this to the click-hungry gutter press , like the UK’s Guardian which has been pumping this single issue as half its front page coverage for the last six months and they will misrepresent SARS-COV2 +ve tests as “cases” even if asymptomatic and thus not ill and a “case” of COVID-19: an illness.

Journalists are tooling like Toobin over explosion of click-bait headlines while consciously lying to the public.

The Rep. of Ireland has just announced the “most severe restrictions in Europe” forbidding citizens from travelling more than 5km from their homes. All this for a death rate of FOUR OR FIVE per day !

What is really going on behind the fake continuation of the pandemic alarmism? Follow the money.

Ever more public borrowing being pumped into Big Pharma and the banking system ensuring nation states remain enslaved to debt repayment for generations to come.

Reply to  Greg
October 20, 2020 6:06 am

“Most of what we are seeing is an exponential growth in the number of tests being conducted.”

The growth in tests in the UK is about linear. It is true that without correction for the number of tests current “cases” are running at 2x – 3x the peak in April.

Normalising the “cases” by the number of tests over time makes the current “cases” about 15% of what was reported in April. So not headless chicken time.

The problem for the SAGE theory is that the number of deaths is currently at only 5 – 6% of April, so there is another factor 3x problem somewhere in the numbers.

Deaths/normalised cases is currently still trending down since the start of October, so I think the numbers don’t make sense with the SAGE theory of the situation.

Reply to  Greg
October 20, 2020 6:11 am

It’s regrettable that the post here is so short, I thoroughly recommend reading the rest of the linked article.

The take home graph is the last one a log plot of deaths in several european countries. The slope of the log plot indicates the exponential rate of growth and is related to the doubling time and the much discussed “R number”.

The main point from these graphs is the trend line. The rising number of cases and deaths is proceeding 4x more slowly now than in the spring. This doesn’t prove that we are nearing the end state, but this observation is consistent with that concept.

comment image

Big T
October 19, 2020 2:48 pm

Blind eyes and deaf ears will sadly prevail.

Bryan A
Reply to  Big T
October 20, 2020 10:54 am

At least the U.S. no longer tops the mortality rate per total cases any more.
As of last right now
U.S. total cases 8,228,870
Total deaths 220,417
Deaths/total cases 2.67%
Brazil total cases 5,250,727
Total deaths 154,176
Deaths/total cases 2.94%

Reply to  Bryan A
October 22, 2020 2:36 pm

Have you looked at Canada? Home of socialized medicine. Total cases 204,954 Deaths 9826. Mortality 9826/204954 = 4.77%. 55% higher than US’ 2.67% https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/

Ben Vorlich
October 19, 2020 2:51 pm

It would have been interesting to see how things progressed in Greater Manchester but it seems likely that the Government will impose greater restrictions tomorrow with or without the Mayor’s agreement. Getting real numbers isn’t easy but it appears the local rates have peaked or stabilised.

October 19, 2020 2:53 pm
Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Sean
October 20, 2020 3:08 am

Thanks Sean.

First I read the article from your first link.

Then I had a soft boiled egg and coffee, while listening to the Covid podcast with Ivor Cummins where Sebastian Rushworth is interviewed for 55 minutes on Oct 12, 2020.

Virtually unpolitical and understandable by a novice person like me. It was worth the time spend, despite the talk was at a very slow pace.

You may also find Sebastian’s answer to one of the comment interesting.

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
October 20, 2020 6:30 am

Thanks Sean, I had not been following Sweden for well over a month. I just plotted up the latest ECDC data and they have a fatality rate hovering at 2(+/-2) per day for the last six weeks, ie often registering ZERO. No sign of the uptick seen in most european countries.

It seems like their strategy paid off.

October 19, 2020 3:03 pm

28% susceptible, and how many would notice it, if got it, how many will get mildly sick, how many will get something which is dangerous, and how many will die or have permanent damage from virus. And seems dying or having long term health effect, is important.

So, 1/3 got it, 1/3 didn’t get it, and rest aren’t effected much {though could be carriers- and seems to me we got to know a lot more about “super spreaders” and could be super spreader in different ways].
So 1/3 got it and 1/3 didn’t get it, certainly indicate we roughly pass crisis. But it seems that happened months ago. Lockdown were done wrong.
I would say US lockdown saved far more people outside of US, than inside US. And it seems we don’t need the international air travel restriction. But still need some restrictions, but international air travel has always some restrictions {though one can say have more than “normal”}. I think should continue to “warn” about crowding indoors- outlawing it, seems wrong, but serious warning in certain areas and certain times, could be warranted.
Should continue with protecting those who are mostly have serious effects from virus- and need greater knowledge of exactly who such people are. Elderly obviously, but would better to know which elderly are most likely to harmed the most. And it refine this, could find even younger and healthy, could be more susceptible than is generally thought.
But roughly we waited far too much time to “get out of lockdown”.

Doug Huffman
October 19, 2020 3:36 pm

The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense. Until the complete argument can be encapsulated in a ‘meme’ THEY will approve of each other’s masks.

John Finn
October 19, 2020 3:44 pm

I don’t know what to make of Mike Yeadon. He’s clearly an knowledgeable guy but seems far too ready to accept unproven hypotheses as evidence to make his case. Take this, for example, from the full article (link above)

In researching this specific information, I came across scientists on discussion boards. One of them, responding to emerging data that immunologists were discovering SAR-CoV-2 reactive T-cells in patients never exposed to the virus, speculated that varying exposure and immunity to common cold coronaviruses might play a role in defining susceptibility to the novel virus.

What is anyone supposed to make of this. A scientist speculated that patients never exposed to the virus, speculated that varying exposure and immunity to common cold coronaviruses might play a role in defining susceptibility to the novel virus.

We don’t even know how many patients *might* have this immunity. While I accept that some prior immunity is likely, I doubt if it’s anywhere near as significant as Yeadon claims. There are too many cases of large clusters in which most of the individuals get infected eventually.

Geographical separation has prevented a massive surge in the UK but that means there are still large parts of the country which have had little or no exposure.

Reply to  John Finn
October 19, 2020 4:06 pm

“A scientist speculated that patients never exposed to the virus, speculated that varying exposure and immunity to common cold coronaviruses might play a role in defining susceptibility to the novel virus.”

It’s ALL speculation. However, Yeadon’s seems somewhat more reasonable than that of SAGE.

John Finn
Reply to  Photios
October 20, 2020 5:33 am

No SAGE never assumed anything other than 100% of the population were susceptible. That was the correct approach at the outset. You cannot simply assume that 30% or 40% of the population will have prior immunity.

In fact judging by the way the virus has spread Yeadon’s numbers look highly optimistic. The reason people (and regions) haven’t contracted the virus is because they haven’t been exposed to it.

Reply to  John Finn
October 20, 2020 2:57 pm

It’s a corona virus. If you have had a common cold
you have been exposed to a coronavirus.

If you have had a common cold and survived,
you probably have some immunity to this virus.

The assumption that everyone is susceptible is overblown.

Patrick B
Reply to  John Finn
October 20, 2020 7:54 pm

Has there ever been a corona virus that 100% of the population is susceptible to?

Eric Stevens
Reply to  John Finn
October 19, 2020 4:59 pm

I’m afraid you have is argument inside out. Yeadon does not speculate that “varying exposure and immunity to common cold coronaviruses might play a role in defining susceptibility to the novel virus.”

He wrote that “I came across scientists on discussion boards. One of them, responding to emerging data that immunologists were discovering SAR-CoV-2 reactive T-cells in patients never exposed to the virus, speculated In other words, it is not Yeardon who is speculating, and the speculation but is accepting the observation that immunologists were discovering SAR-CoV-2 reactive T-cells in patients never exposed to the virus and that is the important part.

John Finn
Reply to  Eric Stevens
October 20, 2020 5:40 am

The ships that were at sea longest had far more than 1/3. A virus won’t sweep through in a few days. The Diamond Princess passengers were quarantined within 11 days of the single index patient boarding the ship. Over 700 were infected. That’s fast.

Reply to  John Finn
October 20, 2020 1:25 pm

Actually, there were 3,700 people on board the Diamond Princess and only 20% were infected. Had this been norovirus you would have had 2,500 infected in a matter of days.

John Finn
Reply to  Eric Stevens
October 20, 2020 5:44 am

What? Yeadon is still suggesting we act on speculation whoever is doing the speculating. His pie charts are speculation. Nothing more.

Effectively Yeadon is saying “look everything’s find because not everyone will get this virus – possibly”

Reply to  John Finn
October 20, 2020 6:20 am

John Finn,

You need to parse what Mike Yeadon reports a bit more carefully:

“I came across scientists on discussion boards. One of them, responding to emerging data that immunologists were discovering SAR-CoV-2 reactive T-cells in patients never exposed to the virus…”

The speculation is on cause, the statement in that sentence is about “emerging data”. That part is evidence.

Reply to  John Finn
October 19, 2020 6:55 pm

John… A theories are speculative until tested. The test, is how well the theory explains current observations and predicts future observations.

Real-world observation is that even under seemingly ideal conditions for transmission – like those damned cruise ships – only around 1/3 of those exposed caught the disease (or at least, tested positive at the time). A theory based on alternative (non-tested) forms of immunity has greater explanatory power that the speculative assumption that 100% are susceptible.

Reply to  PeterW
October 19, 2020 9:25 pm

October 19, 2020 at 6:55 pm

Peter, a theory and hypothesis that is crap to start with, needs not to be considered at all, let alone tested or considered for validation.

Low susceptibility and pandemics, especially global pandemic, do not add up at all.
Global pandemic, especially like this new one, can only be in the condition of very high susceptibility.

The low susceptible factor only claimed and pushed forward so eagerly only as a means to sell the fake story of the stupid actions like lock downs and masks being effective against this new infection disease.
To eagerly support the fake story that this infection disease can be suppressed or controlled by the primitive and destructive means of lock downs and masks… probably also as a means to highly support the vaccine application too in this case, as a “silver bullet” saving the world..

But again pandemics do not and can not be in low susceptible factor… that does not fly at all.

In essential, basically, in consideration of infection diseases the susceptibility is a lose lose term just for some basic attachment to a given condition for a preliminary simplified analyses.



John Finn
Reply to  PeterW
October 20, 2020 5:37 am

The ships that were at sea longest had far more than 1/3. A virus won’t sweep through in a few days. The Diamond Princess passengers were quarantined within 11 days of the single index patient boarding the ship. Over 700 were infected. That’s fast.

John F Hultquist
Reply to  John Finn
October 19, 2020 8:18 pm

One of the worlds best known scientist is quoted as:
Now I’m going to discuss how we would look for a new law. In general, we look for a new law by the following process. First, we guess it (audience laughter), no, don’t laugh, that’s the truth. Then we compute the consequences of the guess, . . .
[Richard P. Feynman]

Reply to  John F Hultquist
October 19, 2020 9:33 pm

John F Hultquist
October 19, 2020 at 8:18 pm

… and the consequences of unneeded unfounded new rules and unneeded and unfounded new laws tend to be the fracturing of the social and civic fabric and fracturing of social civic order.


Gerry, England
Reply to  whiten
October 20, 2020 6:16 am

And if it makes no economic sense whatsoever we get ‘but if it saves just one life’.

Reply to  John Finn
October 20, 2020 1:10 am

Science begins with guesswork. There’s nothing unscientific about speculation; it’s where you start. It’s what you do next that matters. Follow where the science leads or use whatever data will conveniently eliminate the Medieval Warm Period?

Reply to  John Finn
October 20, 2020 9:22 am

You’re missing the point. We KNOW that ~30% of the population not yet exposed to the covid virus already HAS T-cell cross immunity. How do we know? From blood donations preserved from well before the pandemic. We don’t know precisely how they got immunity hence the speculation. The fact that we don’t know precisely how this fraction of the population acquired immunity doesn’t change the central fact.

Zig Zag Wanderer
October 19, 2020 3:47 pm

Just imagine if the resources used to help countries recover from the effects of their paniced reaction to this virus had been spent on improving healthcare. We could have had wonderful health systems, an improved economy, and no need to enforce lockdowns. This benefit would have remained with us for decades, instead of the crippling debt we now have.

Al Miller
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
October 19, 2020 4:06 pm

ZZ you are correct. I have always made the similar point that if the money being thrown at fruitless and silly ideas like using windmills to power the modern world was put into areas that actually helped people think how much better off the world would be.
Remember wealth naturally reduces population growth and wealthier people will gladly adopt less wasteful practices- when they make sense.
Pretending to use windmills with no ability to store the energy is stupid and damaging beyond description.
But it never was about climate or ecology was it (rhetorical).

Les Francis
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
October 20, 2020 12:13 am

Improved health care or not.
Just go to your local supermarket and look at the trolleys that your typical MUM pushes to the checkout counter.
Boxes of 48 can Soda drinks
Boxes of easy cook processed food
Boxes of candy bars and processed instant deserts.

Whats missing. Fresh food. Greens, fruit and vegetables and fresh meat.

And even then. In my country the fruit and vegetables have been irradiated in a giant coolstore. There’s no nutrition or vitamins left any way.

Kids, teenagers and young adults today are developing old peoples diseases.

I have friends who don’t cook at home at all. Everything is takeaway or drivethrough fast food.
Child abuse

Or a future sink on the health system.

October 19, 2020 4:00 pm

I don’t follow all the data except for Texas cases. The new cases are pretty consistent and not taking off despite school and colleges having been open now for over a month. Bars and restaurants are partially open as well.

Curious George
Reply to  Stevek
October 19, 2020 4:47 pm

I saw a graph of total deaths in Czech Republic by week, in 2019 and 2020. The effect of the coronavirus is difficult to discern – at least, I can’t discern it. It might be nice to compare to US, UK, or Spanish data.
comment image
Legend: Horizontal axis, the week number in a year. Vertical axis, total deaths. Blue line 2020, red line 2019, green line an average of prior years, whatever it means.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Curious George
October 19, 2020 9:01 pm

The big picture seems to be ignored or embraced depending on the headlines our leaders are trying to created.

Here in Oz we have Chairman Dan of Victoria who has been bravely making daily press statements about new deaths, all of which are repeated in awe – “Gosh! Another 4 people died in Victoria! Gasp!”

What they talk down is the fact the average daily number of deaths in the state of Victoria is 114.

In context the entire panic of Covid in Victoria – something that has lead to massive lockdowns and restrictions – has resulting in a ‘death toll’ equal to the amount of people who die from all causes EACH WEEK.

In fact, if you were to look at the ages and conditions of the ‘Covid Deaths’ one might be lead to claim that the Covid Deaths and ‘normal deaths’ were actually largely the same people.

But our media don’t want context. They want headlines.

Reply to  Craig from Oz
October 20, 2020 7:05 am

JFW Craig from Oz
Aus has the virus pretty much controlled at present. Hence deaths will be low.

If the virus were to rampage without control do you honestly think the deaths would remain at 4.
Currently there are about 9 new cases daily. and deaths are 1-5 daily.
During the recent peak there were 17 deaths and 600 cases daily

If no isolating no handwashing no masks no distancing no vaccines then what would be the numbers? and how do you arrive at your data?

Chris Wright
Reply to  Curious George
October 20, 2020 4:22 am

For comparative data on deaths in all European countries and the UK, this is an excellent source:
It’s produced by the EU and is one of the very few things done by the EU that is actually useful!

The z-score graphs for each country are particularly useful as it allows a statistically meaningful comparison.
The UK government has just put Wales into severe lockdown. And yet the graph for Wales shows that deaths from all causes have recently been well below average for this time of year. In fact deaths from all causes in the entire UK appear to be slightly below average.

I think the author is absolutely right (it’s well worth reading the full article). He thinks SAGE (the UK’s equivalent of the IPCC for managing the pandemic) is incompetent and should be scrapped. I think he’s right. Their incompetence has caused far more economic and human destruction than the virus. Come to think of it, SAGE is remarkably similar to the IPCC: they are both the enemies of humanity and of science.

Reply to  Chris Wright
October 20, 2020 6:50 am

Er…minor correction. Your statement “The UK government has just put Wales into severe lockdown.” is not true.

I think it should read “The Welsh devolved government has just put Wales into severe lockdown.”

Chris Wright
Reply to  ThinkingScientist
October 21, 2020 3:34 am

Thanks for the correction!

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Curious George
October 20, 2020 9:45 am

The Ofice for National Statistics, ONS publishes data on deaths for England and Wales in downoadable spreadsheets. Individual years from 2010 to 2020 are available. Data is is split into weeks and by age and gender, earlier years is more coarse in age groups.


Some years make you wonder why there was no lockdown to cope wuith winter Flu

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Curious George
October 22, 2020 10:51 am

In Canada, in Quebec province (which thinks it’s actually a sovereign nation, but that’s a separate discussion), which was the province supposedly worst hit by Covid in Canada, the total mortality weekly graph looks exactly like the one from 2018, except that the peak mortality occurred in January in 2018 vs. in April in 2020 (i.e. after the lockdown). Otherwise it’s indistinguishable.

October 19, 2020 4:10 pm

I weary of epidemiology that only focuses on adaptive immunity. It just may be that this virus is so feeble that it only causes problems in those whose innate immunity is in bad shape. If that’s the case, epidemiology that only focuses on adaptive immunity will never get it right.

Reply to  icisil
October 20, 2020 9:16 am

The scv2 virus actively targets the innate immune system”Several innate immune signaling proteins are targeted by SARS‐CoV‐2 viral proteins. The interferon (IFN) pathway is targeted by Nsp13, Nsp15, and open reading frame (ORF)9b, and the NF‐κB pathway is targeted by Nsp13 and Orf9c. SARS‐CoV‐2 Orf6 impedes NUP98‐RAE1, an interferon‐inducible mRNA nuclear export complex. Orf3b and Orf9c of SARS‐CoV‐2 are canonical for replication”


October 19, 2020 4:13 pm

Models test assumptions. If the assumptions are wrong then the model will also be wrong.

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
October 20, 2020 1:19 pm

How sad it is that so few seem to be able to understand that.

Smart Rock
October 19, 2020 4:27 pm

Interesting. What is SAGE? I’ve read through it twice and haven’t seen a definition.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Smart Rock
October 19, 2020 8:10 pm

It’s something to go with onions and is stuffed up the back passage of chickens before roasting.

Bryan A
Reply to  Patrick MJD
October 19, 2020 9:47 pm

It’s great on Prime Rib Roast with olive oil, fresh garlic and Onion Soup Mix rubbed on top

Alec Rawls
October 19, 2020 4:44 pm

Yeadon writes about the difficulty of estimating, based on the percentage of the population that has Covid antibodies, what percentage has been infected (given that many infectees do not develop antibodies).

But we OUGHT to have very good data on what percentage of Covid infectees develop antibodies.

Many of us remember the astounding findings from the food packing industry. Positioned both as a critical sector that cannot shut down and as a possible source of contagion, food packers were required to conduct universal pcr testing of their workforces, testing that uncovered a spate of instances where 90% of workers were found to be infected with almost zero being symptomatic.

These were large workforces of 500-1000 people, plenty to follow up with and get a very accurate estimate of the percentage of asymptomatics that go on to develop symptoms and the percentage that go on to develop antibodies.

Was this follow up never done? Is this another example of Fauci, Birx and Redfield shirking their actual jobs in their politicized effort to panic and damage the nation, the more severely the better, in hopes that such damage might hurt Trump?

Similar widespread asymptomatic contagion was also found at a host of prisons where universal pcr testing was also conducted. Many prisons found similar 90% infection rates again with near zero symptomatic cases.

These instances allow direct estimation of the ratio of symptomatic to asymptomatic cases for the affected age groups (predominantly young in both cases), and if followed up with sero tests they offer the chance (or offered the chance) to find out what percentage of asymptomatics develop antibodies.

Was all of this squandered?

Reply to  Alec Rawls
October 19, 2020 9:22 pm

There is no logical reason to trust these test results ad being accurate. And no logical reason to believe that more than 40 percent of those infected have no symptoms or mild symptoms. Your statistics are questionable.

Reply to  Richard Greene
October 21, 2020 1:26 am

But they would have followed up on that too, right, if these hacks were doing their jobs? They must have cross tested at least SOME of those huge episodes of asymptomatic positive cases using other pcr tests to try to assess whether these were real outbreaks. Unfortunately I don’t think Fauci, Birx and Redfield ever produced ANY real research. All they have ever done is politics.

Reply to  Alec Rawls
October 20, 2020 6:17 am

I follow Kansas, because it is where I live. Ford and Finney Counties, in southwest Kansas, have meatpacking plants, and had big spikes early in this game. Today (I looked at the state health department numbers a minute ago) they have: Finney County 2420 cases, 16 deaths, Ford County 3268 cases, 13 deaths. Contrast this with the very suburban Johnson County in eastern Kansas–13,702 cases and 173 deaths, and 86% of the deaths are individuals over 70.

Early on, we were told that the cases in Ford and Finney were concentrated in the meatpacking plants, and I have no reason to doubt that. In Johnson County, they seem to fairly broadly spread out age wise, but one must have either symptoms or close contact with an infected person to test. Most of the deaths have been in nursing homes.

Reply to  starzmom
October 20, 2020 6:23 am

PS I have wondered in this whole thing whether there is more immunity–or at least an enhanced ability to successfully fight the virus–among people who are exposed to animals of all kinds on a regular and close basis. It seems anecdotally to me that places where there are more animals–farming etc–have fewer deaths, but I could not prove that.

Reply to  starzmom
October 20, 2020 7:17 am

Interesting hypotheses. My friends who manage and ride at a local equestrian facility are generally in good health, so far, other than an instance of a run-of-the-mill head cold. Plenty of outdoor activities, physical labor, and fresh air with and without dust and/or horsehair. They do follow the masking and distancing regulations. Perhaps keeping distant from the MSM and social media while engaging in these activities helps with their psychological well-being too. I have no proof either, just anecdotal.

Ian W
October 19, 2020 4:56 pm

As I have said before the major mistake being made is the disregard of the innate immune system. The innate immune system is the way that the body and its biochemistry are constructed that makes it difficult for some viruses to infect the body. In the case of RNA viruses this involves intracellular zinc that inhibits the virus from hijacking the RNA transcription mechanism in the cell. [See https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21079686/ ]

The title and first two lines of the abstract are sufficient for this reply:

Zn(2+) inhibits coronavirus and arterivirus RNA polymerase activity in vitro and zinc ionophores block the replication of these viruses in cell culture


Increasing the intracellular Zn(2+) concentration with zinc-ionophores like pyrithione (PT) can efficiently impair the replication of a variety of RNA viruses, including poliovirus and influenza virus.

If a person is sufficient in zinc and natural zinc ionophores such as quercetin or EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) from Green Tea (there are many other dietary ionophores). Then the level of intracellular zinc will be sufficient to prevent replication of RNA viruses. The person is effectively immune to infection. There are other important sufficiencies: selenium and vitamin D.

It is obvious from the infection rates that a majority of the population will not be infected with SARS-CoV-2 as the numbers of infected in large cities even in New York City, London, Wuhan do not exceed around 5% of the population. We all know families in which one person has got sick and has been nursed by the rest of the family who do NOT get sick. There is a tendency to call these people asymptomatic, well they are because they were not successfully infected by SARS-CoV-2 because their innate immune systems prevented the infection.

This would have been a surprise to the UNC Chapel Hill research team who created a chimera virus with a spike to mate to the ACE2 receptor on human cells – a proto-SARS-CoV-2, and checked its infectivity in humanized mice, They thought the virus they had made was not affected by known prophylactics, therapeutics or vaccine approaches. So they rederived the virus and demonstrated robust viral replication in vivo . https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26552008/

What they possibly forgot was that the humanized mice which are chimeras with human fetal cells perhaps do not have a developed human innate immune system. However, they felt that they had proved the virus ability to be a pandemic virus. If you look at the authors list on the report you will find the penultimate author was Zhengli-Li Shi director of the Wuhan Virology Laboratory – aka Bat Lady. Subsequently, further gain of function research was funded by the NIH with Zhengli-Li Shi at Wuhan.
So a SARS-CoV-2-like virus had been generated that the researchers thought that:

Evaluation of available SARS-based immune-therapeutic and prophylactic modalities revealed poor efficacy; both monoclonal antibody and vaccine approaches failed to neutralize and protect from infection with CoVs using the novel spike protein.

So there is the SARS-CoV-2 virus prototype complete with the ACE2 receptor binding spike protein. In December 2015.

Once released into the wild the researchers must have been a little set aback by the zinc/zinc-ionphore outpatient treatment that was cheap and based on a non-patentable ionophore and cured the patients within a week at a cost less than $30 which was used in France and in the USA. The response was to ban the use of the zinc ionophore Hydroxychloroquine and to carry out fake clinical trials (not using zinc) and The Lancet published a completely faked paper saying the HCQ did not work. Meanwhile all unexpected symptoms from COVID-19 caused by the viral infection of the endothelial cells in the blood vessels – affecting the entire body – were blamed on HCQ.

So the SARS-CoV-2 virus will only successfully infect people with insufficiency in their innate immune systems. The insufficiencies are Vitamin D, zinc, selenium – add a zinc-ionophore to ensure sufficient intracellular zinc and the viral infection fails. Typically treated as immediate outpatient regimen the patient will recover in around a week with no ‘long COVID’ after effects as the virus did not have time to propagate through the endothelial cells of the blood vessels and not caused a cytokine storm.

So we have a virus that will affect around 5% of the population with insufficient innate immune systems, which can be treated with a simple regimen (See the Zelenko Protocol) and this treatment shows close to 100% efficacy as it strengthens the innate immune system and that stops viral replication.

Modeling the infection in a population is more of a predator-prey algorithm – similar to herd immunity. If the prey are made insusceptible by diet changes building up the innate immune system for prophylaxis, and if affected a regimen that specifically beefs up the innate immune system as a treatment. This reduces the number of prey and eventually the pandemic fails.
Note that this approach also provides innate immunity to influenza and polio and all other RNA viruses. It is also difficult for viruses to mutate to get past the zinc block on the cell RNA transcription. It may be this generalized innate immunity to RNA viruses that made the vaccination industry concerned that the zinc/zinc-ionophore treatment should not put into use as it would be a treatment in direct competition with vaccination.

There was no need for this to be a pandemic. Thousands of lives have been lost unnecessarily. Those countries like Turkey and Uganda that used the zinc/zinc-ionophore treatment have very very low fatality rates. The people who were so set against the zinc/zinc-ionophore treatment have some explaining to do.

Reply to  Ian W
October 19, 2020 5:55 pm

I’m not so certain that a zinc ionophore is always necessary. The vast majority of zinc in the body is stored inside cells in vesicles, and zinc transporter proteins (ZIP, ZnT) move it into and out of cells and vesicles within cells. But it certainly can’t hurt to use a zinc ionophore.

Ian W
Reply to  icisil
October 19, 2020 6:25 pm

Some people’s diet will have natural zinc ionophores however some diets can lock up inter cellular zinc so that insufficient can cross into the cells. Adding a zinc ionophores ensures that there is sufficient intracellular zinc. But you are correct it is the presence of intracellular zinc that is important.

Pat Frank
October 19, 2020 5:23 pm

numerous questionable practices, all designed to artificially increase the number of apparent COVID-19 deaths.

Deliberate subterfuge should result in stripped license to practice. If deaths resulted, gaol (jail for Americans) is the proper answer.

It doesn’t take a medical scientist to read the literature and discover the core of the covid issue. Corona viruses are one cause of colds. Humans have had significant exposure to them, and many have T-cells ready to go if a new corona virus appears. Pre-existing immunity to corona viruses in the population has been known since early on in the pandemic.

Successful treatment with zinc, HCQ, and an anti-viral is in hand.

The mortality rate has been known since at least March to be small for the young (<60 years) and for older folk without serious pre-existing conditions.

This whole Cov-19 thing has been an exercise in deliberately induced and maintained panic. Prior pandemics have been as bad or worse. There is considerable prior wisdom available to deal with them. None of that wisdom includes police-enforced lockdowns, universal self-quarantine, imposed mask-wearing, or agovernment-encouraged neighborhood busy-bodies.

Absent a rationally defensible national or state emergency, I’d expect that the executive orders mandating the above have been thoroughly unconstitutional (in the US). Abuse under color of authority.

The covid-19 panic has been the worst break-down of sensible government (apart from Sweden’s), since WWII.

Apart from the climate panic, which, although of a kind and not more greatly irrational, has been braying forth for 35 years rather than just one year. And which (so far) has killed more innocent people.

Reply to  Pat Frank
October 19, 2020 6:25 pm

Your “prior wisdom” link seems broken.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Pat Frank
October 19, 2020 9:15 pm

Sorry Paul. The URL has a period at the end. My fault.

If you click on it, and edit the period out of the URL in the browser and hit return, it’ll go to the paper:

T. V. Inglesby, et al., (2006) Disease Mitigation Measures in the Control of Pandemic Influenza Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, 2006. 4(4): p. 366-375.

Reply to  Pat Frank
October 20, 2020 7:19 am

Got it. Thanks!

October 19, 2020 5:25 pm

Some experts are claiming herd immunity does not exist. Then humans does not exist since humans have been subjected to various types serious communicable diseases throughout its existence without any knowledge of disease transmission, vaccines or medicines. US had a war game called Dark Winter and the way that game has evolved is more or less the scenario of COVID-19 although the panic is lower. Sen Nunn was playing as POTUS in that game and he summarized his experience to the senate on the need to prepare the public. Prof. S. Block had made some earlier study the main objective of bio-warfare is destruction of the economy , the short and long term psychological impact of the disease on the population rather than actual deaths and physical damage. Preparing the public against hysteria seems and should be part of the disaster management. COVID 19 may not be an intentional or even accidental spread of the disease but the way it has spread and its global effect seems very similar but much lower in scale than the Dark Winter scenario.

Paul C
October 19, 2020 6:02 pm

From the Tokyo study “Seroreversion was not infrequent, seen in 12% of participants over the one-month span between tests” https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200924/Tokyo-citizens-may-have-developed-COVID-19-herd-immunity-say-researchers.aspx
That 12% in one month suggests that large numbers of those who were asymptomatic will have become seronegative over the course of the six months since the peak. Even if the level is below the herd immunity threshold, the reduced number of those suceptible reduces the effective R number, and means we can also be released from the ghettos in the north. A few more infections are probably needed before we achieve herd immunity, and it is better to get it done now than in the depths of winter.

Geoff Sherrington
October 19, 2020 6:19 pm

In work to reveal mechansms and pathways, it can be fruitful to investigate extreme, anomalous examples. One can roughly approach this for this virus by now looking at the deaths per million population at a given time after the infection started to grow. (Roughly, because diverse factors like season might affect this index).
By study of the highest and lowest death rate countries, some systematic differences ought to emerge. This is elementary logic, but difficulties arise when someone or some group has to prioritize which differences to search and study in depth. Dr Yeadon has a list that concentrates on prior infectivity while SAGE has less of this difference. Others point to prior medications like znc and Vitamin D and hydroxychloroquine as important.
There should not be an academic struggle before factors are prioritized. There is more than adequate money to finance them all, but politics and personal reputations are currently a large and unwanted influence.
Australia and New Zealand currently have very low death rates. Several other countries are competing for highest. I would be most interested to see pie graphs like Dr Yeadon’s chart 2 for high and low countries, but as an armchair observer I have no easy start to finding raw data.
Any bloggers here able to help?

Tom Abbott
October 19, 2020 7:01 pm

From the article: “This matches current evidence, with COVID-19 deaths remaining a fraction of what they were in spring, despite numerous questionable practices, all designed to artificially increase the number of apparent COVID-19 deaths.”

So you think there was a deliberate effort to artificially increase the number of apparent Covid-19 deaths? Who directed this effort?

The reason current death rates are decreasing is because patients are being treated more effectively as we learn more about this Wuhan virus.

I read an article yesterday where a doctor said he had a patient that was infected with the Wuhan virus, then recovered, but still had the Wuhan virus in his stomach and intestines 30 days after the nasal swab tested negative.

We have a lot more to learn about the Wuhan virus.

Long-term damage may be an issue with the Wuhan virus, and if it can hide in the human gut for long periods of time, that’s more time for it to do damage to the body.

Treating the Wuhan virus as soon as an infection is detected is the secret to defeating it.

Currently, official policy is not to treat it if and until the patient gets sick enough that he has to go to the hospital. That may be too late for a lot of people, even if they survive, they are at increased risk of serious complications from the Wuhan virus. Large percentages of recovering patients are reporting after-effects.

And we don’t know why yet.

October 19, 2020 7:09 pm

You should have made a list of things and just let us know what they got right. That was a super long read with all the links included. I did not read the 1000 page study.

Peta of Newark
October 19, 2020 7:13 pm

Here’s one that sums things up, from the Beeb
(They’ll have got it from the Grauniad, or vice-versa.


“Diabetes deaths +86% inside 6 months
Prostate cancer +53%
Breast cancer +47%
Parkinson’s +79%
Bowel cancer +46%”

“Office of Statistics says 25,000 extra deaths not virus related”

“Eurozone heads for $1 trillion deficit”

“Millennials have lost faith in democracy”

See also: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-54559228

Somewhere else I can’t remember said, must be easily found: “Chinese economy *growing*, now post-virus, at 5%
Meanwhile negative interest rates are coming.
Police are demanding ‘Test & Trace’ despite assurances that they’d not be given access and that it would be destroyed after 21 days

As a collective, we really are soooo close to doing something so monumentally dumb as to extinguish ourselves.

No Kip, in response to your recent post, this is NOT the best time of our lives
Vast numbers of people disagree with you and are simply ‘eating themselves to death’ – very simply done with the nutrients, trace elements and vitamins almost entirely absent from what passes as (staple) foods

BTW Kip- Why is it necessary to inject/vaccinate *Newborns*, within hours of their birth, against a sexually transmitted disease?
With vaccine loaded with aluminium – truly horrible neurotoxin.
Right up there with lead and mercury
Aluminium as found in all soil types and made mobile when soil pH dips below 5.6
Easily done via even modest applications of nitrogen fertiliser.
And sulphur fertiliser, as required almost universally now

Reply to  Peta of Newark
October 19, 2020 9:01 pm

It seems you are referring to Hep B vaccine. In Canada, it is only given to newborns in regions with high levels of drug problems. It is given along with the whole slew of 2 month vaccines in some provinces.

I saw one of the last smallpox epidemics: a 10 y/o dying on a string cot in a dark mud hut because her grandmother had said ‘Keep her back from the vaccinator so she can look after her younger brothers when they are sick from the vaccination.’ A kid I knew died of measles – the coffin was small.

Antivaxers are the scum of the earth.

Reply to  Fran
October 20, 2020 7:13 am

Antivaxers are the scum of the earth.


Ian Coleman
October 19, 2020 7:19 pm

I am fascinated that at least 75 percent of Canadians believe that the media has reported the facts of the pandemic accurately. I don’t know anybody who has had COVID-19. I don’t know anybody who knows anybody who has had COVID-19. And yet, most believe that there is a deadly plague loose in the land that is killing thousands.

It is so easy to frighten and stampede people, especially when the media get behind a story and refuse to publish any doubts that it is true. Look how easy it was to get people to believe that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Look how long it took (like, at least a year after the fall of Baghdad in 2003) for the media to finally admit that there had never been any weapons. There is a huge inertial drag to correcting a wrong story, once the general media have told it.

October 19, 2020 10:01 pm

Yet another self proclaimed COVID “expert” making wild guess speculations DURING a psndemic. This may be the worst yet. But he has a aPh.D, you say. Well he sure Piled his speculations High and Deep.

Glad he used some sentences to tell us how smart he was. The claim that 30 percent are immune and 32 percent have been infected is just wild guess speculation that I would compare with a pile of steaming farm animal digestive waste ptoducts.

We’ve all seen climate science ruined by PhDs and now we get wild guesses about COVID too.

The estimate that 100 percent are vulnerable is reasonable if you exclude children who don’t seem vulnerable. If they can carry and spread the virus without having symptoms I don’t know.

The claim that 7 percent have antibodies is reasonable, although I’d guess 10 percent and say it could be 20 percent. There are too many people with no symptoms or mild symptoms who will never be tested.

Of the five people I know who got COVID, no one died, two suffered a lot for two weeks and three weeks, and three only had loss of smell and taste. One of those 70 years old.

Two got tested for antibodies much later when they heard their symptoms could have been a COVID infection. The 70 year old’s long time girlfriend got sick, lost her taste and smell, and developed serious respiratory symptoms. She tested positive for COVID, they had a fight, and broke up. He actually moved out of the state. I told her I didnt trust the tests and she might just have ordinary flu or pneumonia.

She got tested for COVID twice more — both NEGATIVE — she was very sick with ordinary influenza, not COVID.

The COVID death statistics could be way off. CDC used to wild guess influenza deaths with computer models NOT a list of names of those who died. As of last year flu was not one of the 110 causes of death on the CDC list. Almost everyone who dies from flu had other health problems. So it is a guess if the flu was “the cause” of the major organ failure that actually caused death.

Reply to  Richard Greene
October 20, 2020 4:04 am

If he is right, how does he explain the nearly-overflowing critical care units in hospitals thoughout the midlands and north of England?

Paul C
Reply to  steveta_uk
October 20, 2020 5:22 am

Business as usual. Whilst there is a massive backlog of patients denied care during the epidemic stage of COVID-19, many patients who did not die due to lack of care are now recieving some hospital treatment. Some 82 per cent of Greater Manchester’s critical care beds are in use — the same occupancy rate across the region this time last year – from the following article.
In my opinion, the following points are valid.
General hospitals are NOT the correct place to deal with highly infectious diseases. Historically, there were TB hospitals and Fever hospitals to isolate patients with highly infectious diseases, allowing the general hospitals to maintain their services to other patients during an epidemic. The nightingale hospitals should have been designed and used for that purpose rather than as a contingency in case of overflow.
If the nightclubs had been allowed to open in the summer, the university students would have largely built up immunity before the autumn term, and we would not be sliding towards winter needing to deal with more infections to reach the herd immunity threshold.
There is strong evidence that basic nutrition (Vitamin C, D, zinc, selenium, plus other vitamins) give some level of protection against the worst affects of the coronavirus with no adverse risk. A basic daily supplement could be provided to the entire population so cheaply that the general improvement in health would likely outweigh the cost many times over.

Grumpy Bill
Reply to  Paul C
October 21, 2020 2:00 am

Paul C wrote: “General hospitals are NOT the correct place to deal with highly infectious diseases. Historically, there were TB hospitals and Fever hospitals to isolate patients with highly infectious diseases…”

This is exactly what I’ve been saying since the virus entered the US.
Designate select facilities as isolation and convalescent centers, like the “sanitariums” during the TB epidemic when I was a child. How many elderly care-home residents could have been saved if this had been done?

Reply to  steveta_uk
October 20, 2020 6:59 am

Steveta– people do get sick this time of year with ordinary influenza when the wetter gets colder and people stay inside more. And a lot of people who needed hospitals were avoiding doctors and hospitals for quite a few months in 2020.

I avoided a doctor for three months when COVID started and really should not have done that. My new doctor wanted to send me to the hospital for more tests. I told him forget it – it took me three months to build up the courage to see you !

October 20, 2020 12:12 am

Some basic facts about the UK situation. I have been following this with downloads from the Gov website and simple calculations for several months now. The last set I looked at in detail were up to 8 October 2020, but nothing much has changed since.

First a very simple table of numbers looking at occurrences between April (the peak), September (very low, background) and the first 8 days of October (up to a Thursday, so average is probably ok). These are all daily numbers but from trailing 7 day averages so smoothed:

Deaths Cases CasesNorm CasesNormTP
April Peak 919.1 5030.4 74922.9 67716.1
September 17.3 3431.2 3871.4 1323.1
October 50.8 9993.8 10252.5 3387.5

Deaths are deaths for any reason within 28 days of a positive test.
Cases are the reported number of cases (Pillar 1 and Pillar 2).
CasesNorm are the number of cases normalised by the number of tests performed (my calculation)
CasesNormTP are number of CasesNorm adjusted by a 6% True Positive rate for Pillar 2 (Mike Yeadon’s possible highest rate to account for False Positives – however this is very subjective and currently unknown)

Here are the ratios of the numbers above to the April peak (ie normalised to April Peak:

Ratios Deaths Cases CasesNorm CasesNormTP
Sept/April 1.9% 68.2% 5.2% 2.0%
Oct/April 5.5% 198.7% 13.7% 5.0%

Firstly note that there has been growth from September to October (and this continues). However, the scaremongering/headless chicken media response is the second column – October cases appear to be at 200% of April (and even higher to date). However, when normalised by the number of tests, CasesNorm in October is under 15% of April and is only 5% of April in September. However, during the benign low (September) I would expect some consistency in the ratio of deaths and the ratio of normalised cases. But there is not.

However, factor in an adjustment for False Positives and the numbers align. Now I think the FP adjustment is much to high (lots of reasons related to priors) and there are many other factors (not least a 3 week lag between diagnosis and death/recovery), but it suggests a significant unknown correction is required (and its not the lag – I investigated this). On face value the numbers just do not add up and the October numbers of cases and deaths just don’t fit, even when corrected for the number of tests. This last point is further made by (a) the ratio of deaths to cases in the last 2 weeks is falling and (b) the numbers of ventilators are steady.

I am actually wondering if the current hospitalisations (which are rising) are actually (a) precautionary and (b) there is conflation with seasonal flu in the numbers. Deaths are just falling further out of step with cases, even when cases are normalised by tests. Something is wrong with the official interpretation: on any simple measure (CasesNorm), cases are only at about 15 – 20% (now) of April and deaths per case are dropping.

October 20, 2020 12:13 am

The biggie not mentioned.

The NHS has NICE. NICE sets the rules for spend or don’t spend, on lives saved versus cost.

Where did SAGE apply the NHS’s own cost benefit analysis?

Reply to  LB
October 20, 2020 3:28 am

Blair’s NHS NICE became quite controversial when applied to the US
Who Gets Medical Care, Who Dies

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, really National Institute for Health and Cost Excellence

The model for this type of healthcare is the 1938 Aktion T4, T4 being the health ministry address Berlin Tiergarten 4. This was kept secret until war broke out, for obvious reasons. It opened the door to horror camps following. “Lives worth living” , are todays QUALY’s of the NICE-ly smiling practitioner.

This is well known since 2009, and SAGE just might be skittish?

October 20, 2020 12:17 am

infamous model of Imperial College.

If you invested £1 trillion with Fergusson asset management on the basis of his past epidemic predictions, you would be left with £2.11

He’s been that bad. That’s best estimates not extremes.

Why didn’t peer review pick up just how bad his track record has been?

john cooknell
October 20, 2020 12:28 am

In the UK this has never been about Covid 19. All this rubbish about statistical projections is irrelevant.

Our health service does not cope with business as usual.

October 20, 2020 2:11 am

I’ve been looking at SAGE from a slightly different perspective from Dr. Yeadon, and it seems to me that they are behaving as a political organization, not a scientific advisory one. Here’s my article:


Looking at the UK new cases figures, it looks as if the all but exponential growth, that has characterized the “second wave” since the beginning of September, may have recently stopped. New cases are still going up, but not as fast as before. If Dr, Yeadon’s contention that the proportion of immune has been significantly under-estimated is correct, we should expect UK new cases to peak, and then start to fall, within the next couple of virus cycles – i.e., inside the next two weeks. I, and others, will be watching to see if this happens.

October 20, 2020 2:38 am

Marcello Ferrada de Noli has studied Sweden’s response to the virus and advises countries elsewhere to reject the neoliberal model and survive instead.
Marcello Ferrada de Noli is a professor emeritus of epidemiology. Formerly at Karolinska Institute, Sweden, and Harvard Medical School, he chairs Swedish Doctors for Human Rights, or SWEDHR.
Great quote :
“This new Ikea-wrapped neoliberal concept of democracy, should not be unpacked by countries in Latin-America, Africa and other latitudes. “

October 20, 2020 2:46 am

What the wise men of SAGE might know :
China’s offer of the Health Silk Road, which the CFR, analyses – links abound in the report.
CFR Quote :
The world’s road to pandemic recovery will be long and winding, but if China has its way it will run through Beijing.

It sure looks right now the winding road does not run through the UK, it missed the boat again.

October 20, 2020 2:48 am

So first we have a consensus in the guise of the SAGE committee with 268 members (some don’t want their names published) and then we have the Independant SAGE, who I am assured are not in receipt of oil company money. They number 9 “scientists” who we can refer to as Deniers and are led by Sir David King, an ex-chief scientist, and the man resposible for viciously remonstrating with the President of the Academy of Sciences Yuri Sergeyevich Osipov on his denial of the science of global warming. (For those interested the Bishop covers the full discourse. http://www.bishop-hill.net/discussion/post/2702725). The consensus amount to 94.5% of the community and should only be listened to by the BBC as distinct to the 5.5% who must be ignored, slandered, libeled etc, etc

donald penman
October 20, 2020 2:58 am

The amount of virus being transmitted is less now than it was at the peak because we have brought the number of people infected down. The positive tests are not evidence of infection and we have brought down the number of people infected by isolating those who are infected. The herd immunity while it may play a role in the long term does require that those who we have prevented from being infected getting infected and possibly dying so I think that those with obvious symptoms should self-isolate and not infect others. Both lockdown and herd immunity have a political bias and is not simply based on science.

October 20, 2020 3:15 am

So first we have a consensus in the guise of the SAGE committee with 268 members (some don’t want their names published) and then we have the Independent SAGE, who I am assured are not in receipt of oil company money. They number 12 “scientists” who we can refer to as Deniers and are led by Sir David King, an ex-chief scientist, and the man responsible for viciously remonstrating with the President of the Academy of Sciences Yuri Sergeyevich Osipov on his denial of the science of global warming. (For those interested the Bishop covers the full discourse. http://www.bishop-hill.net/discussion/post/2702725). The consensus amount to 94.5% of the community and should only be listened to by the BBC as distinct to the 5.5% who must be ignored, slandered, libeled etc, etc

October 20, 2020 3:17 am

Edit 12 scientists on Independent SAGE not 9

October 20, 2020 4:17 am

I don’t mind people like the ones at SAGE being wrong a lot of the time. Probably we all are wrong about something, being safely ensconed in the comfort zones of our fancy. What I do mind is people being so loud and repetitive about it and “social” media and MSM taking sides.

John Finn
Reply to  Josie
October 20, 2020 5:51 am

I don’t know who will turn out to be most right. But it might be worth considering that it is Yeadon who is wrong.

The Imperial model got the death toll pretty much spot on given the March 23rd lockdown. They also got the timing of the second wave right. I’m far from convinced that we can say the model has been proved wrong – yet.

Reply to  John Finn
October 20, 2020 6:35 am

So simple point about the government data that needs explanation:

1. The ratio of deaths per week now compared to April is about 6%
2. The ratio of “cases” per week now compared to April is about 300%
3. The ratio of “cases” per week after normalising by testing per week compared to April is about 15%

Q1. How can normalised “cases” be running at 3x deaths? (and no its not a lag).
Q2. Why is the ratio of deaths per case declining since the start of October?

Even a cursory glance at the data published by UK Gov shows some fundamental holes in the logic of the current lockdown strategy and the idea of a “second wave”. There are glaring inconsistencies. Deaths should be rising real quick, but they are not rising any faster than seasonal flu might be expected to increase them at this time of year. Why not?

Finally – hospitalisations seemed to have plateaued somewhat (even the BBC noted that) and so have mechanical ventilator use statistics. Again – why, if we are entering a second wave, aren’t all these indicators aren’t going off the chart like “cases” are?

John Finn
Reply to  ThinkingScientist
October 20, 2020 12:58 pm

Cases in March & April were well above current numbers. The testing capacity wasn’t available in the spring.

Finally – hospitalisations seemed to have plateaued somewhat (even the BBC noted that)

The rolling 7 day average is increasing by about40% per week. Not a problem providing it doesn’t continue indefinitely,

Again – why, if we are entering a second wave…

Cases, hospitalisations & fatalities are increasing. We don’t yet know for how long and how fast this will continue.

Reply to  John Finn
October 21, 2020 7:55 am

John Finn said “Cases in March & April were well above current numbers”.

Er…no they weren’t. Cases in April peaked at about 5,000 per day. Current reported cases are more than 3x that.

Cases corrected for level of testing would be much lower now than April – about 15% of April.

October 20, 2020 5:38 am

From Tony Young in the Spectator (right wing weekly magazine in UK) talking about the Great Barrington Declaration (that which will not be named):

But it gets worse. On Monday, Professor Gupta appeared on BBC News to talk about the new lockdown measures in the north of England. Just before she went on air, one of the producers told her not to mention the declaration. Naturally, she ignored this instruction, but where did it come from? At the end of last month, Professor Susan Michie, a member of Sage, took to Twitter to complain that she’d been invited on to the Today programme to discuss focused protection on the understanding that the scientists behind it would be portrayed as beyond the pale, only for Professor Gupta to make a compelling, logical argument. ‘I’d got prior agreement from R4 about the framing of the item,’ she wrote. ‘I was assured that this would not be held as an even-handed debate.’ On whose authority had she been given that assurance?

Full (short) article at:


Jan Smelik
October 20, 2020 5:39 am

The worst of all: history repeats itself. See how the Mexican flu was handled in 2009. Those ‘experts’ could and should have know this. Same story here in Holland with our RIVM. Not able to think clearl when in panic. And our politicians can’t think for themselves, and don’t listen to other experts outside their own circle. Irrepairable damage is done in the meantime.

Ed Zuiderwijk
October 20, 2020 5:46 am

I see massive lawsuits on the horizon.

October 20, 2020 6:16 am

I did a quick back of the envelope calculation:

1. If you normalise the “cases” by the level of testing back in time and then calculate the sum you get about 2.85 M people. Clearly a big underestimate – just what is “detected”, not actual cases.
2. About 45000 have died, giving a CFR = 1.6%. (45000 / 2.85M)
3. I understand Mike Yeadon’s point about IFR being much lower. If IFR is 0.2% then the “unseen” cases would be about 8x larger.
4. 8 x 2.85 M= 22.8 M cases to date
5. UK population is about 66.5 M so 22.8/66.5 = 34%

Or put another way, to get about 23% of the population already had it would mean an IFR close to about 0.3% ie in the ball park of seasonal flu.

Bruce Cobb
October 20, 2020 6:39 am

An interesting phenomenon in Canada is something referred to as the “Atlantic bubble”, affecting Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. There is a bit of that “bubble” effect here in New Hampshire, especially the further away you get from the southern border state of Massachusetts. This has allowed at least some relaxation of the stricter Covid rules elsewhere, although there is a fear of losing that “bubble” effect. One has to wonder what, exactly that “bubble effect” is, and what factors cause it.

October 20, 2020 7:44 am

I would advise looking at the latest UK deaths overall. The latest report for the most recent week 41 is at:


It is clear that (a) covid deaths are about 4.4% of all deaths currently and (b) in England and Wales, 16.3% of all deaths mentioned “Influenza and Pneumonia”, COVID-19 or both. Influenza/Pneumonia deaths are at least double Covid deaths currently.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  ThinkingScientist
October 20, 2020 10:25 am

The worldometers coronavirus data, which may not be that accurate, but it’s all I have apart frm the ONS, has cases with an outcome data. For the UK tis not available, for an advanced country in the 21st century this is unacceptable. But globally those who died as opposed to recovered is just below 3.6%. The percentage of deaths in this group has been gradually falling for a few months.

The ONS data for England and Wales 2010 to 2020 shows an average weekly death rate in the early years significantly lower than more recent years. For exampple 2010 averge 9484, 2011 – 9315, 2018 – 10252, 2019 – 10372, I haven’t looked in detail but imagine it’s down to excess winter deaths.

Dave Andrews
October 20, 2020 9:43 am

From the Euromomo graphs the number of excess deaths in the 24 European countries involved at week 16 , the height of the first wave, was 25,035. At week 39, late September, it was 954.

The ONS data for all deaths registered in England & Wales show that in week 41 there were only 9 more deaths than in week 40 and that deaths in hospitals and care homes remained below the 5 year average.

Yet more and more parts of the country are being placed under restrictive measures and here in Wales we are facing another total lockdown for two weeks from next Friday. The politicians and their advisers are in full panic mode again!

October 20, 2020 10:25 am

Since getting the American public flying again is so crucial to the overall economy, I contacted an Aeronautical Engineer to see if the recent “Flying is safe” press releases were based on actual facts. I have been telling you for months that the main spreading vector for Covid-19 is Brownian-motion sized aerosols. The Engineer said:

“To your question, I have seen the results of the XXXXX study but I have not seen the details of the testing methods. I can say that there are a few details that make flying in a plane safer than other public environments.

First is the cabin air is completely replaced every few min (on the order of 2 to 3 minutes). This is not something you will experience in a grocery store, bus, or even your car. In those environments you soak in the same breathed air for long periods.

Second is the way the air vents circulate the air. There is a circular flow of air within a row so that air does not predominantly flow forward to aft.

Third and final are the HEPA filters used on airplanes are able to filter out 99.9% of viruses and bacteria. ”
Works for me.

john cooknell
October 20, 2020 1:05 pm

Not convinced by anything written here. A lot of wishful thinking with some science lipstick on.

Oh how easy it would be to believe that what Mike Yeadon says, but the world is not like that.

We already have herd immunity to influenza, but as somebody pointed out influenza deaths exceed the 2nd wave of Covid 19 at this point in time. We have limited herd immunity to Covid 19. In a months time or less, Mike Yeadon’s speculation will be lost in the confusion.

We compare ourselves to Sweden, who did introduce social distancing controls contrary to popular opinion.

However what really matters is how people actually behave, and my observation is the Swedish nation was very compliant and careful, whereas others ignored every reasonable precaution. A survey said 25% of the UK nation do not obey social distance rules, that means the other 75% lie!

Richard Saumarez
October 20, 2020 3:56 pm

One major problem with the second wave of infections is the false positive rate of the Covid PCR test. According to our politicians (in the UK) it is 0.8$, while various estimates are between 0.8 and 4%.

Let us assume, for sake of argument that the FPR is 2%. Note: this means that when the entire population is tested, 2% of the entire population is test positive, not 2% of the test-positive patients are are false positive, as stated by our minister of health.

We test 2 million people and we find that 45000 people are test positive.

The expected number of false positives is 40000+- 400, leaving 5000 people who are genuinely true positive.

It is a well known epidemiological principle that if the test false positive rate is comparable to the the prevalence of the disease, the test is useless.

October 22, 2020 7:05 am

This is a soundly based presentation. The SAGE modelling, much like climate models, aren’t soundly based and don’t accurately represent the real world. So, Dr. Yeadon makes a much more believable model base. The one critique I have is that any anthropomorphisms such as “the virus is finding it ever harder to find the next person to infect.” mislead. This style of writing is often used, particularly in the press and politics, to make an emotional connection to an idea without regard to the idea’s actual connection to reality. Emotions are much easier to manipulate and ~95% of the political discourse is now based solely on emotions. That completely muddies the water for policy making.

The first warm, sunny day in spring feels wonderful. It doesn’t love you though, and it doesn’t predict what the summer will be like.

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