I Am Not a Number, I Am a Free Man

November, 22, 2022 | 13 Comments

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  1. Initiating a Globally-Recognized Vaccine Passport, Indonesia’s G20 HWG Meeting Series Welcome More International Visitors
    NEWS PROVIDED BY

    The Indonesian Ministry of Health
    04 Apr, 2022, 18:02 BST

    JAKARTA, April 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Assuming the presidency in the upcoming G20 summit, Indonesia has begun the Health Working Group (HWG) meeting series that took place on 28-30 March 2022 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

    Indonesia’s G20 presidency seeks to harmonize safe and healthy travel procedures worldwide, especially the recognition of COVID-19 vaccine certificates in the wake of the pandemic that ravaged countries globally. The HWG meeting was aimed to foster a dialogue in the health sector between participating countries and synchronize global health protocols.

    Continue Reading
    Indonesia’s Ministry of Health Discussed Global Standard Health Protocols in the HWG Meetings
    Indonesia’s Ministry of Health Discussed Global Standard Health Protocols in the HWG Meetings
    The meeting was attended by 70 foreign delegates and 50 local delegates. Delegates who participated in person were Australia, Argentina, the United Kingdom, India, etc., and the World Health Organization (WHO). Meanwhile, those who attended virtually included Canada, France, etc., and international organizations such as the World Bank.

    “We need to have synchronized health protocols globally to enable safer international travels and accelerate the social and economic recovery for good,” said Budi Gunadi Sadikin, the Minister of Health of Indonesia.

    The HWG meeting has unveiled the initiation to standardize the digital COVID-19 vaccine certificates through a universal verifier made according to the WHO standards. The system is web-based that can be used on all devices. Each country does not need to change the system or the QR codes that are currently used.

    Health protocol restrictions differ for every country. For instance, European countries like Denmark, Hungary, etc., have lifted all measures, but some still require a vaccination certificate upon arrival. While Middle East and African countries still require a vaccination certificate or a PCR test.

    Each country is given the flexibility to apply necessary health protocols for their countries. However, the procedures are clear and universal thus strengthening the global health architecture and easing traveling across countries.

    The synchronization of health protocols is needed to support the interconnectivity of health information. This process is expected to start from the G20 countries and expand to other countries globally.

    The second HWG meeting in Lombok in June, will discuss about the global health fund in case of a future pandemic. The last of the HWG series in Bali in November, will discuss about the global medical research.

    More information can be accessed at the Indonesia’s Ministry of Health website https://www.kemkes.go.id/.

    Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1779676/51966371023_bb8af715ed_6k.jpg

    SOURCE The Indonesian Ministry of Health

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  2. Here’s the trick –change the names minister No1- issues a lie/policy -change the lie by appointing a different minister No 2. So the first one is not responsible for the change as he is no longer the minister -and neither is the second one resposnisble for what No1 said – he/she makes his own decisions thanks very much with respect to No1…

    The Guardian –

    Nadhim Zahawi: UK has no plans to introduce Covid vaccine passports – video
    1:03
    The vaccines minister insisted the government was not considering vaccine passports to allow those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel internationally. ‘Vaccines are not mandated in the UK … and it would be discriminatory,’ Zahawi told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show. ‘We have no plans of introducing a vaccine passport’

    Coronavirus live news
    Sun 7 Feb 2021 11.39 GMT

  3. ‘The process is open, transparent blah blah….Have they been popping laughing gas at these jolly gatherings?

    Reuters
    4 minute readNovember 18, 20227:00 AM GMTLast Updated 4 days ago
    Big Pharma may have to reveal government deals in WHO’s draft pandemic rules
    By Jennifer Rigby and Emma Farge

    LONDON/GENEVA, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Pharmaceutical companies could be made to disclose prices and deals agreed for any products they make to fight future global health emergencies, under new rules that would govern a World Health Organization-backed pandemic accord reviewed by Reuters.

    A draft version of the WHO accord, which is being negotiated by the U.N. health agency’s 194 member countries, calls for it to be compulsory for companies to reveal the terms of any public procurement contracts.

    It says that public funding for the development of vaccines and treatments should be more transparent,
    During the pandemic, many deals governments made with pharmaceutical companies have been kept confidential, giving them little scope to hold drugmakers accountable.

    “The process is open, transparent, and with the input from other stakeholders, including any interested stakeholders and public, able to submit comments at public consultations.”
    t is at an early stage and likely to change in the course of negotiations with member states and other stakeholders. The draft will be presented to them in full in a meeting on Friday, after being circulated earlier in the week.

    The document is vague about what would happen if countries that sign up do not stick to its rules and if companies do not comply. The U.N. agency cannot force companies to follow its rules.

    The proposal may face resistance from the drug industry after its meteoric race to develop vaccines and treatments that proved to be critical tools in controlling the virus which has killed more than 6.5 million people worldwide.

    Thomas Cueni, director general for the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associationsit was important not to undermine how pharmaceutical companies innovate and to protect their intellectual property (IP).

    By Jennifer Rigby and Emma Farge
    LONDON/GENEVA, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Pharmaceutical companies could be made to disclose prices and deals agreed for any products they make to fight future global health emergencies, under new rules that would govern a World Health Organization-backed pandemic accord reviewed by Reuters.

    A draft version of the WHO accord, which is being negotiated by the U.N. health agency’s 194 member countries, calls for it to be compulsory for companies to reveal the terms of any public procurement contracts.

    During the pandemic, many deals governments made with pharmaceutical companies have been kept confidential, giving them little scope to hold drugmakers accountable.

    A spokesperson for the WHO said it was member states that were driving the current process toward a new agreement.

    “The process is open, transparent, and with the input from other stakeholders, including any interested stakeholders and public, able to submit comments at public consultations.”

    The agreement is at an early stage and likely to change in the course of negotiations with member states and other stakeholders. The draft will be presented to them in full in a meeting on Friday, after being circulated earlier in the week.

    The document is vague about what would happen if countries that sign up do not stick to its rules and if companies do not comply. The U.N. agency cannot force companies to follow its rules.

    The proposal may face resistance from the drug industry after its meteoric race to develop vaccines and treatments that proved to be critical tools in controlling the virus which has killed more than 6.5 million people worldwide.

  4. David

    I’m not sure that EMIG is avowedly ethical, or even claims to be.
    Here they are arcanely referring to “Ethical Medicines” which were proprietary medicines that were not supposed to be advertised to the public.

    Your correspondent hasn’t told us about another wretched quango – the European Confederation of Pharmaceutical Entrepreneurs (EUCOPE). http://www.eucope.org/
    (Yes, it has a “Rare Disease Hub”)

    This is what EMIG chair Leslie Galloway said when EMIG joined EUCOPE in 2010: “EMIG has excelled at lobbying on behalf of its members in the UK, and EUCOPE membership will now enable us to influence policy in Brussels without distraction from our core objectives.

  5. “What can we steal with pride” she said…

    https://www.normanfenton.com/

    Norman, here, constructively kicks these Data Outfits in to the long-grass :

    We analyzed data for specific conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, chronic heart failure, pelvic floor syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and worked with the clinicians to determine causal explanations for observed data so that they can be incorporated into our decision-support systems. So, for example, in the area of trauma we collaborated with surgeons to help improve the decision-making parameters for whether or not to amputate a limb.

    For these types of analyses there aren’t massive relevant databases, which is why you need to combine the relatively small amount of available data with the perspective of experienced clinicians. We work with them to build frameworks for effectively eliciting the knowledge needed to make sound decisions. Practical causal models are designed that can be populated with the raw data that we have available, which then provides guidance for those involved in healthcare procedures.

    Ben Goldacre Retweeted

    DataSavesLives
    @DataSaves_Lives

    You may know @UniOxford Prof @bengoldacre as the author of ‘Bad Science’ or the initiative to make data from #AllTrials public. But #DYK you can now read his independent report on how the efficient and safe use of #HealthData can benefit patients? READ: https://bit.ly/3aDHyeO

    But #DYK

    —Witty seemed to be ushering in a glorious new era of openness.
    Ben Goldacre, doctor, AllTrials campaign leader, and author of Bad Pharma, which fiercely critiques the industry, called it “a cartwheel moment.”

    In an exclusive interview with the Community Forum, Norman Fenton, a veteran UK risk management professor and mathematician explains how the manipulation of pandemic data by scientists, government agencies and mainstream media supports a false narrative with devastating consequences.

    https://rwmalonemd.substack.com/p/forum-conversation-norman-fenton

    Forum: Norman Fenton, welcome to the Forum Conversation. The analysis you’ve done over the last few years gives incredible insight into what actually unfolded during the pandemic. Before we discuss those findings, can you help us understand how you apply your knowledge to evaluating information outside of your area of expertise, including medical data?

    Fenton: For many years I’ve collaborated intensively with clinical experts in different medical domains. For example, before the COVID crisis, I was the principal investigator of a large project funded by the United Kingdom Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Our group uses Bayesian statistical methods, where available knowledge and expertise are combined with data to help improve decision-making for prognosis and diagnosis of chronic medical conditions.

    We analyzed data for specific conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, chronic heart failure, pelvic floor syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and worked with the clinicians to determine causal explanations for observed data so that they can be incorporated into our decision-support systems. So, for example, in the area of trauma we collaborated with surgeons to help improve the decision-making parameters for whether or not to amputate a limb.

    For these types of analyses there aren’t massive relevant databases, which is why you need to combine the relatively small amount of available data with the perspective of experienced clinicians. We work with them to build frameworks for effectively eliciting the knowledge needed to make sound decisions. Practical causal models are designed that can be populated with the raw data that we have available, which then provides guidance for those involved in healthcare procedures.

    We rely on clinicians for checking all aspects of analysis. Although we have worked with pathologists and epidemiologists in understanding the numbers, information about the COVID pandemic doesn’t require a lot of medical knowledge. What was more important was that using only publicly available data enabled us to expose many crucial flaws in the COVID narrative pushed by governments and the mainstream media.

    Forum: How did you apply Bayesian analysis to understanding the initial data about testing for the COVID virus?

    Fenton: A good example of how we used Bayesian analysis was to answer the question: Do I, or do I not, have the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID) virus? And specifically, if I’m asymptomatic, what is the probability that I might have the virus? Answering this question correctly was the focus of one of our first inquiries.

    Suppose that at a given time there is data available suggesting that, in the general population, one in a thousand asymptomatic people were likely to have the virus. Such data was never confirmed of course, the infection rate varied over time, but I will use it to explain the Bayesian reasoning.

    If I take a PCR test and it’s positive but I’m not feeling ill, I would want to know if I really have the virus. In other words, if I am one — of the one-in-a-thousand people — who is asymptomatic but carrying the virus, I’d want to know the accuracy of the test. There weren’t any reliable studies about the reliability of the PCR test, but the public was assured these tests were very accurate. Let’s suppose there was only a one-in-a-hundred chance that someone who doesn’t have the virus will test positive — a 1% false positive rate. Then conversely, if I don’t have the virus, there’s a 99% chance of a negative test. With this information most people assumed if you tested positive you almost certainly had COVID. But that is not the case. 

    Think about a group of 10,000 asymptomatic people getting tested. Because we are assuming one-in-a-thousand asymptomatic people have the virus, that means about 10 of the 10,000 really have the virus. Let’s also assume these genuinely infected people test positive. Then we are left with just under 10,000 people — 9990, who do not have the virus. But a PCR test with only a 1%false positive rate still means that about 100 of these people would falsely test positive. So in total there are 110 people testing positive of whom we know only 10 will actually become ill from the virus.

    So, the actual probability that you’ve got the virus if you test positive is closer to 10%. This means that with reasonable assumptions about the underlying infection rate and test accuracy, the PCR test used as a standard for life-impacting decisions and mandates, had a 99% inaccuracy rate for asymptomatic people testing positive.

    The confusion lies with the incorrect assumption that even if you don’t have symptoms of the virus, that the possibility of a false positive in the PCR test is only 1%. As more accurate calculations based on reliable data show, that is clearly not the case. To assume these probabilities are equal is known as the fallacy of the transposed conditional. In the courtroom, when DNA evidence is misinterpreted, it’s called the prosecutor’s policy. Those contradictory figures should have raised important questions — it’s not that complicated — it can be presented in a confusing way, but scientists who knew better ignored this data.

    Forum: Have the results of that comparative data been confirmed by other studies?

    Fenton: We looked at the numbers from a study at Cambridge University where they tested several thousand asymptomatic students for the virus over weeks using pooled PCR testing. And during that period what they found was that very few students tested positive. In fact, over the period, only 43 of the 10,394 tests were positive.

    However, unlike what happens in PCR testing in the general population, they did a second confirmatory test on each of the same samples that tested positive. They applied this more reliable, approved standard, where two positives were needed for confirmation; if either one was negative, it meant nobody in the pooled sample was infected. They found 36 out of the 43 samples that had tested positive, when re-tested afterwards, showed negative. So, what they saw was 84% of asymptomatic students showing a positive result on the initial test didn’t have the virus, confirming a very high inaccuracy rate.

    Forum: What was the response to your analysis of the Cambridge study? It should have had some impact on policy.

    Fenton: We modeled the data properly and were able to get better predictions about the false positive rate and the true underlying infection rate across the asymptomatic population. We wrote a report, vigorously reviewed by our colleagues in data analysis, and then sent it out to various medical publications. We were shocked that it didn’t get to the review stage in any journal. It was the first of our reports rejected with claims that there was insufficient interest or because it was not in their scope. Our analysis of the Cambridge study was even rejected by preprint servers, who have the most tolerant standards, normally publishing anything that isn’t plagiarized.

    Forum: This must have been extremely frustrating. How did you account for this unreasonable response?

    Fenton: No one wanted to admit or expose that a very significant proportion of asymptomatic testing yielded false positives. Some people simply claimed they knew that what we saw couldn’t be true because they were absolutely sure that the false positive rate of the PCR test is less than 1%. They didn’t want to look at that in the context of what we demonstrated because it contradicted the original driving narrative of the COVID pandemic. Their beliefs were based on a fallacy that drove all pandemic policies.

    We can see there was an effort to show an exponential increase in case numbers. The simple extrapolation from what we had shown was that if you test more people — especially a lot of more asymptomatic people — you’ll seem to show more cases, many that actually were false positives. This wouldn’t have helped the arguments for lockdowns, mandates, and later for vaccines. When lockdowns were easing and people were going back to work who were perfectly healthy and didn’t have any symptoms — they still had to get PCR tests. Then again, you have all of the subsequent limiting policies and insistence on vaccination based on what was another huge percentage of false positives.

    Forum: There seemed at the beginning of the pandemic a rationale for testing and consideration of how to best protect the public. The media showed body bags on the streets of China, with the implication that if something wasn’t done, this would happen everywhere.

    Fenton: We did some appropriate analysis and looked at the infection fatality rate; what the probability of dying was if you contracted the COVID-19 virus. The infection rate and fatality data were gathered from all of the public studies that were available.

    We then did a meta analysis, putting all available data together, taking into account that in the early weeks of the pandemic it was mostly the seriously ill, hospitalized patients who were getting the PCR test; and so they were the largest group confirmed as COVID cases. It was obvious how the numbers were being reported incorrectly. If the majority of people with confirmed COVID cases are in hospitals, then the probability of dying with COVID will seem much higher than it actually is, because you’re focusing on a restricted group. This finding uses common sense, not sophisticated data analysis.

    Our work concluded that the infection rate — the proportion of people infected — was higher than being presented. But crucially, the infection fatality rate, the possibility that you would die if you were infected with the virus, was much lower than was being reported. Over time, accurate fatality rates only confirmed our work and the conclusions of other studies. The mortality rate was never that high and mostly among those with other pre-conditions. But again, this work was virtually ignored.

    Forum: Governments and health authorities admitted that having preexisting conditions put those patients in the highest risk group for hospitalization and death. How did you take that into account?

    Fenton: We gathered very good data on this. Through requests based on freedom of information we have indisputable numbers for the UK from over the first two years. And out of 136,000 deaths formally classified as from COVID on their death certificates, about 5000, only 5%, didn’t have at least one other comorbidity. In this group, there were only three children under the age of 20.

    There’s another study which looked in detail at the hospital records of all children who entered an ICU with COVID in the first year of the pandemic — about 250 — it was a lower number than a typical flu year. And when they started to examine the numbers, it turned out, there were 38 of those children who ended up dying. Eight of those had their death attributed to COVID — the others were children who had a positive PCR test, but were admitted to the ICU with symptoms of a very serious condition like cancer. And of the eight whose death was attributed to COVID, at least seven had preexisting life-threatening conditions. So essentially, they showed that children under the age of 20 in the UK who died with COVID, actually died from something else. At least in this analysis from the first year, the risk for young people dying from COVID approaches zero.

    Forum: Has there been analysis of the figures comparing the percentage of those dying in previous years with the flu and a comorbidity, compared to similar COVID-19 statistics?

    Fenton: It is interesting that once COVID-19 started, a lot of the flu data, which had been previously easy to find, suddenly became hard to locate or unavailable. We attempted to get that information without much success, as it would’ve been a very good comparison. There’s certainly anecdotal knowledge. It has always been that the elderly often die with complications of the flu or pneumonia, and it is one of the reasons that they have been considered a high-risk group with COVID.

    There was a genuine excess death peak in February and March of 2020, when COVID first arrived. We’re now finding out that was actually due to very poor medical decisions made in respect to the elderly. And I’m not just talking about giving the wrong treatments, such as inappropriately putting patients on ventilators. My clinical colleagues now realize that moving hospitalized elderly patients into care homes where COVID spread like wildfire was catastrophic. The subsequent increase in deaths from the novel COVID virus were likely connected to mismanagement and lack of appropriate treatment.

    Forum: Does the data reveal whether the COVID-19 virus actually was more dangerous or deadly, or that as the pandemic went on, it became increasingly so?

    Fenton: It appeared dangerous at the beginning, and we still don’t know how much of that was manufactured or due to the catastrophic mismanagement of the elderly. I can’t be certain about early on, but there are very strong indicators that the so-called, subsequent massive waves were greatly exaggerated. For example, in the UK, the second wave, which began in the winter of 2020, was supposed to be much worse in terms of COVID case numbers and fatalities than the first wave.

    Again, here it’s important to not just look at numbers, but understand the source of those figures. If you only consider the UK government COVID dashboard, which only issues details of COVID case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths, and recognize they are still dependent on the PCR test, you see a much bigger peak than the first wave. This data was used repeatedly to warn us of the return of deadly conditions.

    We looked at other important, independent indicators in the UK. The National Health Service COVID triage dashboard monitored the emergency calls and responses specifically for patients with COVID symptoms. These are people who are forced to call emergency services and get an ambulance because they’ve got worsening COVID symptoms. The numbers reflect genuine healthcare emergencies rather than questionable test results.

    That graph clearly shows earlier in 2020 when the virus first hit, there were genuine peaks. But in the winter of 2020 through 2021, there are only ripples of increased emergency calls very similar to a normal flu season.

    So there was an initial increase, which can be accounted for by a new powerful variant of the flu that was mismanaged. But the increasing scale claimed by governments can’t be substantiated, and the additional data from the COVID triage dashboard contradicts those inflated figures.

    Inadequate and flawed trials

    Forum: Can you help us understand what you see as the central flaws of the vaccine trials?

    Fenton: I have never run a clinical trial. I’ve only looked at data on clinical trials, so I’m not a clinical trials expert. My experience and expertise is mostly in judging results of observational trials. But there were many obvious problems with the main Pfizer vaccine trial that are just being revealed.

    The Pfizer trial was the basis for the 95% effectiveness claim that enabled emergency use authorization for the vaccine. As with all randomized controlled trials it was supposed to be a double blind, placebo-controlled trial. In one of the largest in Argentina, they had an equal number of uninfected patients getting a vaccine or the placebo; 22,000 received the COVID vaccine and 22,000 got a saline injection. Now we know there were all kinds of protocol violations, including people in the placebo group finding out they hadn’t been vaccinated.

    A significant number of them dropped out or were given the vaccine. The 95% effectiveness claim was based on the fact that post injection, there were 162 COVID cases among placebo participants compared to just eight among the vaccinated participants. But a much larger number of suspected but unconfirmed cases were fairly evenly spread among those in the vaccine and placebo groups. And a disproportionately small number of vaccinated participants with symptoms received PCR tests compared to placebo participants with symptoms.

    Pfizer also excluded participants who developed COVID before their second dose. There were 143 such patients withdrawn. Many of the irregularities occurred at one site in Argentina that had the largest number of participants, almost all of whom were recruited close to the deadline. It is also important to note that no safety outcome was tested in the trial, and to date, more deaths have been recorded overall in the vaccine arm than in the placebo arm.

    Not just in Argentina, but in many of the big observational trials conducted after the vaccine rollout, anyone who was vaccinated and who got COVID within two weeks, was classified as an unvaccinated person. The biased rationale behind this decision was that it takes at least two weeks for the vaccine to take effect. This misclassification became accepted as a worldwide practice that distorted the data everywhere.

    So, in these observational trials, you’ve got this unbelievable bias in the data, right from the start. Added to that, we know that as in the Pfizer trial, in observational trials a disproportionately small number of vaccinated people did not get routinely tested compared to those who were unvaccinated. Everything done was to justify vaccine rollouts and give subsequent doses.

    Forum: Did the pharmaceutical trials combine the results from a number of different countries, adding them all together? And if the Argentinian figures had been removed, would the results have been less conclusive?

    Fenton: The Pfizer trial wouldn’t have reached the target without the Argentine site, where there had been mass recruitment just before the deadline. There’s circumstantial evidence that it was set up to obtain the 95% effectiveness figure.

    Forum: Fairly soon after these inflated claims of effectiveness, we heard about so-called breakthrough cases. That term seems to have disappeared almost as quickly as it arrived, because it became apparent that all cases are breakthrough cases.

    Fenton: They sold us a lie. They told us that if you took the vaccine, you wouldn’t get COVID and you couldn’t transmit it. Now we are finding out that it’s the people who received the vaccine multiple times who are getting COVID more than once, rather than the unvaccinated. We’ve got the numbers showing that in each age group; the vaccinated are disproportionately more likely to get COVID than the unvaccinated.

    Forum: The definition of vaccinated has changed over the pandemic. How has that affected data assessment?

    Fenton: Despite the shifting definition of the term, we do have data that divides the groups by the number of shots from none to five. The concerted effort to minimize the number of vaccinated people who get COVID was unstoppable. It’s now widely admitted that the vaccine doesn’t stop transmission, confirming actual statistics showing all other analysis was based on skewed results. But when vaccines were being promoted, those of us with expertise who contradicted the interpretation of data were marginalized or ignored. The narrative was framed around an illogical insanity that was widely accepted.

    Number of vaccinated people inflated to marginalize the unvaccinated

    Forum: There is still an effort to swell the numbers of people who are vaccinated. Is this overt attempt to marginalize the unvaccinated also based on incorrect data?

    Fenton: The true proportion of people who are unvaccinated matters in a major way. The Office of National Statistics [ONS] here in the UK made a bizarre claim that in May 2022 only 8% of the adult population is unvaccinated — those never having had one shot. We know that’s not true because the UK Health Security Agency has more reliable data that says it’s closer to 20% of adults in the UK who are unvaccinated; and that’s a conservative number. It may be closer to 30%. When you use this higher figure for unvaccinated, you have a more accurate sample of the population, and in every age group we see that there are more COVID cases among the vaccinated.

    Forum: How do you know that the UK Health Security Agency figures are more reliable?

    Fenton: Firstly, the ONS data is based on a very unrepresentative subset of the UK population. It only includes people who were both counted in the 2011 census and were also registered with a general practitioner in 2019. That categorizing reduces the adult population of England to from about 49 million to about 39 million. So you’re missing about 10 million adults. This also assumes the census is correct; better estimates would put that missing population at closer to 16 million, a massive number. And a substantial proportion of those in this missing group are certainly unvaccinated.

    Even ignoring the children who were born after 2011, you’ve got a huge influx of  immigrants coming in. And then those who aren’t registered with a general practitioner are not being pressured by their physician to get vaccinated. It’s overtly a biased sample and not representative.

    The UK Health Security Agency is basing their data entirely on the National Immunisation Management Service, which is supposed to have a record of every vaccination, including for COVID. This data can be problematic because it overcounts due to duplicate records — but it doesn’t have a bias that would find lower unvaccinated numbers. From their figures, in May 2022 just under 20% of the adult population was unvaccinated.

    Forum: Have these figures been compared publicly?

    Fenton: The BBC produced a documentary recently called “Unvaccinated.” They used the ONS figure of 8% of the adult population, presenting this small group as strange outliers who needed to be convinced of their ignorance. Interestingly, the producers contradicted themselves by revealing that to understand attitudes to the vaccines, they had used the ICM survey commissioned by the public broadcaster STV. This was the largest detailed survey about the COVID vaccination program that had been done in the UK. This sampling showed that of 2570 people, 664 were unvaccinated — nearly 26% — which exceeded all other estimates. But the program had a point of view that couldn’t tolerate doubt.

    Whether you are a classical statistician or want to do a Bayesian analysis, whichever way you crunch the numbers, the results show a higher population of unvaccinated people than the mainstream narrative suggests. Any analysis of cases or effectiveness changes dramatically when accurate numbers are used.

    COVID-19 vaccines don’t work

    Forum: The vaccines were promoted as effective in stopping cases. Data and studies that showed the opposite were ignored, although now it has been admitted that the COVID vaccine has never been shown to decrease transmission.

    Fenton: What is far worse, there is data that indicates higher vaccination is related to higher rates of infection. A Freedom of Information Act request to the Nova Scotia government in Canada released data that was charted by Jessica Rose. It made this very apparent connection.

    Forum: Another country where you compared vaccination and the number of COVID cases was Germany. What did you see there?

    Fenton: One argument defending COVID vaccines is that it’s difficult to compare numbers across countries that have very different cultures and healthcare systems. This is partially true, but looking at Germany and its individual states, where they’ve got the same regulations and everybody’s equally encouraged to take the vaccine, this is not a factor. 

    We compared data from Germany over seven days on COVID cases and COVID vaccine uptake rates. Regional differences in the proportion of people vaccinated could be analyzed. For example, in parts of former East Germany there is more skepticism of the government and we saw much lower vaccine uptake rates.

    For each region, when you plot the density of cases against vaccine uptake, you get this remarkable correlation whereby the dense case regions are also the dense vaccine uptake regions. And where there are very few COVID cases you have the least vaccine uptake. 

    Berlin in particular, shows this very clearly; there’s a much higher proportion of the population vaccinated than other areas, over 62%. And it’s the hotspot for COVID cases. Of course this data uses numbers based on confirmed cases with testing, and as I’ve said, I’m skeptical about testing. Nevertheless, it’s quite a phenomenal finding that’s virtually ignored.

    COVID-19 vaccines and mortality  

    Forum: The emphasis in public pronouncements shifted to how vaccines limit hospitalization and death. Was that ever looked at in studies?

    Fenton: Again this is not a complicated analysis. When you plot the vaccination rate for any given country against the COVID mortality rate there is an obvious trend. If the vaccines were working, what we should be seeing is that countries with higher vaccination rates should have lower COVID mortality rates.

    What you actually see is the countries with the lowest COVID mortality rates are essentially the African countries with very low vaccination rates. Now the average population age in African countries is lower than elsewhere, so this is a factor, but even among highly comparable countries, those which have high vaccination have higher mortality rates. Australia, for example, currently has the highest COVID mortality rate in the world and claims 96% are vaccinated. There are variables, but there is certainly no correlation showing that vaccinated populations have a lower chance of dying from COVID.

    Forum: Yet the number of cases, hospitalizations and death still drives the narrative, even as the pandemic recedes.

    Fenton: Despite obvious issues with how numbers are gathered and analyzed, the case rates are still driven by testing that either is unreliable or applied to a narrow group of patients. Either way, the more testing you do, the more cases and hospitalizations you find; and of course, the more deaths you’ll classify as COVID. As cases are massively inflated, subsequent data is useless. Hospitalizations and deaths are real, but many of the COVID cases aren’t. And as has been apparent to anyone who cares to look, most of those who actually have COVID and die are not dying of COVID, they are dying with COVID. 

    We recognized early on that there was so much manipulation of information that we had to start looking at figures that couldn’t be skewed.

    Forum: Your group was one of the first to look at all cause mortality and you recognized some interesting anomalies.

    Fenton: Yes, if you want to really understand the safety of the vaccines, you need to analyze all-cause mortality. When we first looked at the ONS data for the UK vaccine program we saw a very strange correlation.

    Incredibly, according to the ONS data, as the vaccines were released, there was a significant increase in deaths from other causes than COVID among the unvaccinated. These two statistics should be unrelated. The most likely explanation for this anomaly was that many of those who were dying shortly after vaccination were being classified as unvaccinated. Once the data are adjusted for this misclassification there is no evidence that the vaccines reduce all-cause mortality; rather, there is evidence it may cause an increase, especially in the younger age groups. This should have caused great concern and immediate intervention.

    Forum: There is also confirmation of both deaths and serious complications from the vaccines, but these numbers are also ignored. Have you reviewed the data bases like VAERS [Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System]?

    Fenton: As of June 2022, we saw over 1.3 million adverse events showing in the VAERS database, a system widely accepted as flawed for underreporting. Even with these low numbers we knew that there had been about 30,000 deaths and over 165,000 hospitalizations caused by the COVID vaccines. In all previous years since VAERS began recording data, the total number of deaths reported from all vaccinations before COVID was around 10,000. So there are three times as many deaths reported from the COVID vaccine in two years, compared to all deaths from all other vaccines in the reporting over the last 30 odd years. This should be taken as an obvious signal, stopping the COVID vaccine program for reevaluation, but again these numbers are dismissed.

    Cartwheel moments…

  6. Altruism for the common good may still just about exist but needs to be done by consent.Whatever There’s no way I would put private health info on an app By nature I am a private person ,fundamentally I own it as part of my selfhood and it’s not to be passed on without my consent .There’s nothing noble about betraying a trust which has been in some distant past part of the relationship with health workers and researchers. It is disingenuous to guarantee anonymity or confidentiality – who do they think does the anonymizing. It could be the next door neighbour. The Royal Free some years ago sold millions of records to google plus without peoples’ knowledge, the CEO an ‘ethicist’ claiming that they should have opted out if disagreeing. They had no idea there were opt out options. And it’s still the rub .All People are still not aware they can opt out of sharing medical records for any purpose and the APPs roll out is a mess of misinformation. It is still possible though to obtain paper records with a simple request from the surgery – at the same time as a separate request ie as a ‘right advising them of a decision to opt out of sharing personal medical information including for research. The clinic manager should provide whatever form they use .
    This is just one of the campaigns which have lasted of over 15 years of obstruction and resistance to sharing personal medical records and to protect individual privacy.. For people in England and Wales the Patients Association is helpful There’s also a wealth of info re Opting Out and Access to medical records online.
    One recent example
    The Guardian homeThe Guardian: news

    Controversial £360m NHS England data platform ‘lined up’ for Trump backer’s firm
    Patients will have no say over records going to Palantir, the software giant run by billionaire Republican backer

    Sun 13 Nov 2022 07.00 GMT
    An NHS project to incorporate tens of millions of personal digital medical records into one of the biggest health data platforms in the world is to be launched without seeking new patient consent.

    Health officials confirmed this weekend the proposed £360m new data platform for England will incorporate the NHS shared care records that track patients across the health and care system.

    The American software firm Palantir, which is chaired by the billionaire Donald Trump supporter Peter Thiel, is considered the favourite to win the contract. The firm has hired two senior officials from the NHS and has been advised by Global Counsel, the consultancy firm set up by the former Labour cabinet minister Lord Mandelson.

    Ministers have disclosed in parliamentary answers that the patient information project does not require a public consultation before the five-year contract is tendered or additional patient consent. They say the project, called a federated data platform, will help improve care and provide new insights into the nation’s health.

    Clive Lewis, the Labour MP, said: “This looks like the contract has been set up to hand it to Palantir. There should be a proper debate about the use of this data so people can make an informed choice.”

    Campaigners warn the government risks undermining public trust with plans to “shove hospital data” into a private contractor without proper consultation. They say patients have a “legal right to a say”.

    Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal as well as of Palantir.

    Palantir was co-founded in 2003 by Thiel, a tech entrepreneur and major donor to the Republican party. It has done extensive work for the intelligence sector and was originally funded by In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital arm.

    Winning the contract would be a coup for Palantir, which was initially contracted to work with the NHS during the Covid pandemic on a nominal fee of just £1. It went on to win a £23.5m contract in December 2020 to provide real-time information on disease prevalence and vaccinations during the outbreak.

    Cori Crider, director of the legal campaign group Foxglove, said: “[Palantir] is a company that has worked with border forces, spies and police. They’ve got no place in the NHS.”

    The contract notice for the project is waiting to be signed off by the health secretary, Steve Barclay, and “will be issued in the coming weeks”. One official said the new project will help “reduce waiting times, speed up diagnosis and get people home quicker”.

    Shared care records, which were launched in April 2021, are being rolled out by integrated care boards, the newly formed partnerships of NHS bodies, local authorities and other organisations.

    The records contain a wide range of information including name, address, date of birth, health conditions, medications, medical notes, social care and safeguarding information. The records will be “de-identified” for wider use on the proposed NHS platform for research and analysis to provide better targeted care.

    Peter Mandelson’s consultancy Global Counsel has advised Palantir. Photograph: Justin Tallis/Getty Images
    Under the proposed new project, the information is not consolidated into one central database, but can be analysed in hundreds of different systems across England. Ministers say information will be transferred from existing datasets that already have “a lawful basis for collection and processing”.

    One official said: “Only people with a need to access patient identifiable information in a shared care record will be able to access information pulled from the record for use in the platform.”

    Phil Booth, coordinator of medConfidential, which campaigns for confidentiality and consent in health and social care, has described the federated data platform project as “the veins through which patient data would flow”. He said there should have been a consultation and detailed information on the legal justification for the proposed use of patient records.

    The NHS has failed to win public trust in previous schemes to use sensitive patient data. A plan to share GP records for research stalled last year after being criticised by campaigners as a “data grab”.

    NHS England has already instructed NHS Digital, the national provider of health data and information, to use Palantir’s operating platform called Foundry to collect patient data from acute trusts, including a person’s NHS number, date of birth, postcode and data about admission and inpatient activity. The data is given a pseudonym before it is shared with NHS England. Palantir also has a project working with hospital trusts to reduce waiting lists.

    NHS England officials say they will now develop a public pact over safeguards of medical data, outlined in the government’s data saves lives policy paper published in June.

    An NHS spokesperson said the contract was an open tender and several companies had expressed an interest. They added that the firm that won the contract would not be permitted access to the data or allowed to share it for its own purposes. It is expected to be awarded by summer 2023.

    “Maintaining public confidence in how the NHS handles their personal information is paramount. We have some of the most robust safeguards in the world for data, and worked extensively on these proposals with privacy groups, clinicians and patients.”

    The spokesperson added that each trust and integrated care board would determine how they will use their own data platform, and that “no data will be extracted from local shared care records without there being a clear legal basis to do so”.

    A Palantir spokesperson said: “We’re incredibly proud of our support for the NHS. Our software helped the NHS to save thousands of lives by powering the Covid vaccination programme. It is now helping to reduce the elective backlog in hospitals.”

    The firm says it sells software products and does not monetise or collect personal data.

  7. “It’s not about the vaccine, it’s not about the virus, it’s about data.” 

    “What people have to understand is that any other functionality can be loaded onto that platform with no problem at all” stated Naomi Wolf, an author and Rhodes Scholar, predicted that the vaccine passport would eventually track every aspect of people’s lives…

    Edward DowdReposted

    rwmalonemd
    @rwmalonemd
    ·
    15h

    Global News: A Global Passport for Vaccines and Carbon Tracking

    They’re Coming…

    rwmalonemd @ substack

    Please share

    Global News: A Global Passport for Vaccines and Carbon Tracking

    https://rwmalonemd.substack.com/p/global-news-a-global-passport-for?sd=pf

    Whіlе ѕоmе ѕuggеѕt thеу аrе lауіng оut thе grоundwоrk fоr thе роtеntіаl реrmаnеnt bаnіѕhmеnt оf ‘undеѕіrаblеѕ’ frоm ѕосіеtу, lеаdеrѕ оf thе Grоuр оf 20 nаtіоnѕ hаvе саllеd fоr а glоbаl ѕtаndаrd оn рrооf оf vассіnаtіоn fоr іntеrnаtіоnаl trаvеl аnd thе еѕtаblіѕhmеnt оf “glоbаl dіgіtаl hеаlth nеtwоrkѕ” thаt buіld оn ехіѕtіng dіgіtаl СОVІD-19 vассіnе раѕѕроrt ѕсhеmеѕ, ассоrdіng tо thе Еросh Тіmеѕ.

    “Wе асknоwlеdgе thе іmроrtаnсе оf ѕhаrеd tесhnісаl ѕtаndаrdѕ аnd vеrіfісаtіоn mеthоdѕ, undеr thе frаmеwоrk оf thе ІНR (2005), tо fасіlіtаtе ѕеаmlеѕѕ іntеrnаtіоnаl trаvеl, іntеrореrаbіlіtу, аnd rесоgnіzіng dіgіtаl ѕоlutіоnѕ аnd nоn-dіgіtаl ѕоlutіоnѕ, іnсludіng рrооf оf vассіnаtіоnѕ,” thе G20 јоіnt dесlаrаtіоn rеаdѕ.

    This agreement actually was first codified in the spring of 2021. This was covered in a Forbes article, written in May 2021, entitled “Vaccine Passports: World’s 20 Biggest Economies Give Go-Ahead.” This 2021 article states that: “The G20 meeting–where the world’s biggest economies meet to make decisions–took place Tuesday, and members decided to throw their weight behind vaccination passports, as a means of boosting the global travel and tourism economy.”

    Somehow, this decision by the G20, made over 1.5 years ago, that vaccine passports would become mandatory within a short period of time managed to escape media attention. Now – of course, it is almost a fait accompli. Of note, many countries have now pledged hundreds of millions, if not billions to the development of such a passport.

    G20 Promotes WHO-Standardized Global Vaccine Passport and ‘Digital Health’ Identity Scheme

    Epoch Health, Nov 17, 2022

    ‘Digital Gulag’

    Journalist Nick Corbishley, who writes about economic and political trends in Europe and Latin America, has warned that vaccine passports can lead to the implementation of a global digital identity scheme that will threaten privacy and freedom across the world.

    “It’s like this checkpoint society. Wherever you want to go, you have to show your mobile phone, your identity … even if it’s just to go into a supermarket or go into a shop,” he told EpochTV’s “Crossroads” program.

    Corbishley described the negative aspects of a global digital identification scheme as a kind of “digital gulag” in which people could be “effectively banished from society.”

    “That is a terrifying vision,” he said.

    World Leaders Agree To Implement Vaccine Passports

    Liberty Counsel, Nov 17, 2022

    “I cannot say this forcefully enough: This is literally the end of human liberty in the West if this plan unfolds as planned… Vaccine passports sound like a fine thing if you don’t know what those platforms can do. I’m CEO of a tech company, I understand what this platform does. It’s not about the vaccine, it’s not about the virus, it’s about data. And once this rolls out you don’t have a choice about being part of the system. What people have to understand is that any other functionality can be loaded onto that platform with no problem at all” stated Naomi Wolf, an author and Rhodes Scholar, predicted that the vaccine passport would eventually track every aspect of people’s lives and would violate the U.S. Constitution, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and HIPAA.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Technology Review states, “This new social order will seem unthinkable to most people in so-called free countries. But any change can quickly become normal if people accept it. The new normal will be that we are used to the idea that in some cases being able to move around freely is dependent on us being able to show that we’re healthy. There will be a greater acceptance, I think, of that kind of public health monitoring.” 

    Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said,

    “Digital health or vaccine passports along with tracking and tracing apps present a serious threat to freedom. Vaccine passports and tracking apps are about collecting data and control. The vaccine passport is being promoted worldwide to limit a person’s ability to leave home, work, shop, dine, travel, attend a public event, or even worship. COVID is being used to advance this dangerous threat to freedom. We must never accept vaccine passports or tracking apps as the new normal. The implications for freedom are significant.” 

    From vaccine passports to personal carbon passports: Get ready for CLIMATE-21 fossil fuel virus lockdowns

    Does COVID-19 justify the global carbon plans?

    Financial Post, Sep 08, 2021  

    Somewhere deep in the cranium of the climate intelligentsia a seed was planted to produce the florid idea that the global COVID-19 virus could serve as inspiration for humankind to once and for all tackle the looming climate crisis. Mark Carney, the global master of modern corporatism’s climate crusade, dedicates a whole chapter of his book Value(s) to the COVID/climate nexus. “If we come together to meet the biggest challenges in medical biology, so too can we come together to meet the challenges of climate physics and the forces driving inequality.”

    That message came clearly this week when 220 medical journals around the world — including the Canadian Medical Association Journal — all of which published the same “editorial” under the headline: “Call for emergency action to limit global temperature increases, restore biodiversity, and protect health.”…

    Given the current state of the global pandemic, the assumption that the COVID control experience shows the way forward may strike many as a little premature. It is not obvious that we need to fight the climate with big government interventions, backed by corporations, to totally reshape the global economic and power system.

    So here we are. From vaccine passports to digital IDs to tracking “carbon footprints,” these goals are working at “warp speed.”

    What is it going to take to stop this globalized version of insanity?

    “I’ve never left anything on the field,” he said.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/fauci-final-briefing-after-50-years-government-gave/story?id=93754988

    The rocket-fuel runs out…

  8. Ironically, I discovered “The Prisoner” whilst quarantining with the covid.

    The obsession with treating numbers on a sheet of paper, as opposed to actual human beings, has reached its logical conclusion with the covid pandemic, with doctors now being smeared and in some cases fired from their jobs for providing safe and effective medicines proven t save lives and keep patients out of hospital.

  9. Today Attorney Jenin Younes tweeted:

    “One of my favorite quotes from Fauci’s deposition today: ‘I have a very busy day job running a six billion dollar institute. I don’t have time to worry about things like the Great Barrington Declaration.'”

    When I learned Dr. Fauci was being deposed, all I could think to myself was It’s about bloody time.

  10. A Very nasty piece of work(ers) Interesting that the Covid Enquiry is already seen as a ‘joke’ and this article coincides with a massive lockdown in China causing great suffering to citizens. Leaders are obviously all chatting to each other . What next?

    Understanding and neutralising covid-19 misinformation and disinformation
    BMJ 2022; 379 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj-2022-070331 (Published 22 November 2022)
    Cite this as: BMJ 2022;379:e070331

    Peer review
    Yuxi Wang, research fellow1, John Bye, independent researcher2, Karam Bales, independent researcher and freelance journalist3, Deepti Gurdasani, senior lecturer in machine learning4, Adityavarman Mehta, PhD candidate5, Mohammed Abba-Aji, research fellow6, David Stuckler, professor of social and political science1, Martin McKee,, professor of European public health7
    Author affiliations
    1Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy, Department of Social and Political Science, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy
    2Woking, UK
    3National Education Union, London, UK
    4The William Harvey Research Institute, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University, London
    5University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
    6Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    7Department of Health Services Research and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London
    Correspondence to: Y Wang yuxi.wang@unibocconi.it
    Yuxi Wang and colleagues say that the public inquiry on covid-19 must look at who was opposing public health measures and why and should call on public health authorities to engage more effectively with the threats of infodemics

    Key messages
    Research on the political and commercial determinants of health points to the importance of understanding how evidence is generated and promulgated
    During the covid-19 pandemic, several groups have been active in opposing evidence based public health measures
    A rapid rise in misinformation and disinformation in digital and physical environments over a short period is called an “infodemic”
    Active management of infodemics must form part of a comprehensive pandemic response
    Further investigations into the social and public health effects of misinformation groups are needed to inform policy
    Much rests on the public inquiry into the UK’s preparedness and response to the covid-19 pandemic (https://covid19.public-inquiry.uk/), with organisations and individuals scrutinised about the advice they gave and the decisions they made. The discussion will likely centre on the science, but it will also consider ideology, in particular the relation between individuals, society, and the state. When is it justifiable to impose restrictions on one group of people to protect others, for example? Some people take the view that it hardly ever is. Throughout the pandemic, some people have opposed almost all measures introduced by governments at Westminster and in the devolved administrations, from the initial lockdown to mask mandates and vaccination certificates. Their messages are similar to those promulgated by adherents to an extreme libertarian philosophy that is now prominent in some sections of society in the United States. Some benefit from generous funding from those opposed to what they term “big government,”12 and some of their messaging has been claimed to include evidence that is fabricated, distorted, or taken out of context.3 Inevitably, given the complex technical issues involved, differentiating fact from fiction can be difficult. One argument asserts that, because everyone has vested interests, including those promoting public health, all sources should be treated the same way. This was set out in the Brussels Declaration, which was drafted with substantial input from the tobacco and alcohol industries.4 But there is now a large body of evidence from researchers working on the commercial determinants of health that contradicts this,5 emphasising the importance of seeing the full picture, including who says what and that which is not said.6

    The covid-19 inquiry team has now reported on the consultation about its terms of reference. Those analysing the responses found that 15% of submissions were “campaigns and duplicates.”7 This raises the question of what a campaign is. When different groups submit versions of the same text, the connection is obvious. But other links are less obvious: for example, the BBC reports that UsForThem, which has attracted high level support from politicians in its campaign against restrictions in schools, has links with the Health Advisory and Recovery Team (HART), which in turn has worked on a campaign against children being vaccinated against covid-19.8910 HART, meanwhile, shares members with groups that have opposed vaccination, such as the UK Medical Freedom Alliance and the Children’s Health Defence.

    Lady Hallett, an experienced judge and chair of the covid-19 public inquiry, will be accustomed to assessing the veracity and quality of evidence presented. But it can be extremely difficult to get a complete picture of how evidence has been generated, framed, and presented.11 Understanding how the tobacco industry has distorted science, for example, has only been possible by having access to a trove of internal documents released under court order in the United States.12

    Leaked online chats among individuals affiliated with some of the groups cited above shed light on links among campaigners against interventions to tackle covid-19 and some politicians, journalists, and members the scientific community.9 If the inquiry is to obtain a full picture of events during the pandemic, then it would benefit from seeing these chats. Fortunately, they are now in the public domain.

    Infodemics—a key part of pandemic management
    There are two types of misleading information: misinformation and disinformation. They differ in terms of intent; the latter is created with the intention of deceiving. Without additional information, such as the tobacco industry documents mentioned above, it can be difficult to differentiate between them. Their spread—often referred to as an “infodemic”—is now widely acknowledged to be a threat to the global efforts towards ending the pandemic.13 In times of crisis, people are more susceptible to misinformation, disinformation, and conspiracy theories probably because their important psychological needs are unfulfilled, leading to frustration.14

    Covid-19 related misinformation and disinformation spread through society from the top down and the bottom up. One study identified politicians, celebrities, and other prominent public figures as sources of covid-19 misinformation and disinformation.15 Even though these sources produced only about 20% of the misleading information, they accounted for 69% of total social media engagement.15 Further evidence on the critical role of politicians in driving covid-19 misinformation and disinformation comes from a comprehensive survey of the traditional and online media landscape.16. The authors concluded that Donald Trump was “likely the largest driver of the covid-19 mis/disinformation ‘infodemic,’” accounting for 37.9% of mentions in the content of identified news articles.16 The Center for Countering Digital Hate, a non-profit organisation based in the UK and the US, analysed over 812 000 posts from Facebook and Twitter in the first quarter of 2021 and identified 12 people responsible for 65% of covid-19 anti-vaccine content, who they dubbed the “disinformation dozen.”17 These people include physicians who are alleged to have turned to pseudoscience, anti-vaccine entrepreneurs promoting alternative treatments, and organisations that have long opposed childhood vaccination.

    Misinformation and disinformation manufactured and spread by the public can also generate substantial engagement,1518 so strategies aimed at tackling infodemics should target both top-down and bottom-up spread. In doing so, it is essential to understand the nature of any misinformation and disinformation being promoted as it has the potential to spread fear and possibly cost lives.19 A substantial majority (88%) of the false or misleading claims identified by Simon and colleagues were on social media platforms; television, news outlets, and other websites accounted for 9%, 8%, and 7%, respectively.15 The misleading content that received the highest engagement (29%) typically contained a small degree of accurate information that was re-contextualised and twisted; misinformation and disinformation that included doctored images and videos received the next highest (24%).

    Evanega et al looked at 38 million traditional media news articles published in English worldwide. The top three most prevalent misinformation, disinformation, and conspiracy theories related to miracle cures for covid-19, conspiracies involving “deep state” actors paying prominent figures associated with the response to covid-19, and the US Democratic Party manufacturing covid-19 to coincide with Trump’s impeachment. The Wuhan laboratory being a secret bioweapons facility, Bill Gates having foreknowledge of the pandemic, and 5G technology having deleterious health effects were also mentioned.16

    A national survey of US adults further investigated the popularity of different types of misinformation. 20 It showed that conspiracy theories endorsed by visible partisan figures received higher levels of support, measured by participant’s beliefs in the misinformation, than non-partisan medical misinformation about the treatment and transmission of covid-19.20 This indicates that people are more likely to believe abstract theories about the nefarious motives of political figures than they are to believe potentially harmful but non-ideological health misinformation.20 Moreover, misinformation and disinformation with a higher degree of generalisability is more likely to get traction than specific information; 29% of Americans believe that the number of covid-19 deaths has been exaggerated, whereas only 13% of Americans support the claim that Bill Gates is responsible for the pandemic.20

    What can be done?
    The public inquiry must identify lessons that can be learnt before the next pandemic. One such lesson is likely to be the need to develop strategic approaches to tackle disinformation and conspiracy theories. Long before the existence of social media platforms, researchers investigated how to mitigate the effect of exposure to false information.2122 Traditional measures used in the past include exposure to corrective advertising through mass media, content labelling the accuracy of information on consumer products,23 and correcting misinformation and disinformation about certain public services.24

    The advent of social media and online platforms has provided a fertile medium for disinformation to flourish. Recent studies have looked at the effectiveness of several types of intervention, including redirection, content labelling, content distribution and sharing, disinformation disclosure, disinformation literacy, advertisement policy, content or account moderation, and security and verification. One literature search examined studies on the effectiveness of different types of countermeasures against disinformation campaigns.25 Looking at outcomes such as beliefs, intended behaviour, knowledge, and observed behaviour, the studies indicate that fact checking can reduce the influence of exposure to false information on people’s beliefs as well as their propensity to share misinformation and disinformation.25 In terms of fact checking interventions, most of the included studies evaluated the effects of disinformation disclosure, which is when the platform informs a user that they have come in contact, shared, or interacted with disinformation; many others studied content labelling using a fact checking tag, funding tag or outdated tag, and some examined interventions that educate users to identify disinformation.25 Although most of these countermeasures are proved effective, they don’t represent the major interventions used by social media platforms in the real world, such as content moderation (removal or suspension of account or content).25

    Using randomised experiments based on a hypothetical scenario that includes information that is later refuted, two studies in cognitive psychology identified a “continued influence effect” of misinformation.2627 Even after retraction or warning that certain information was incorrect, the retracted facts continued to stick to memory and shape how some people interpreted events.2627 Schmid and Betsch conducted six experiments to assess how to mitigate the influence of science deniers on an audience.28 The participants were randomly assigned to different levels of rebuttal conditions after being exposed to a public discussion with a science denier of vaccination or climate change.28 The internal meta-analysis across all six experiment shows that not responding to science deniers decreases attitudes to behaviours supported by science (such as vaccination) and reduces intentions to perform these behaviours.28 They also found that providing facts or uncovering rhetorical techniques, such as conspiracy theories, false experts, and impossible expectations, tend to be the most effective and universal tool for science advocates.29 But the risk of backfire effects—where correction of a falsehood can reinforce belief in it among those whose beliefs or political ideologies are threatened by the facts—must be considered.2430

    Another approach is psychological inoculation or “prebunking”—exposing people to a weakened dose of a persuasive but false argument to trigger the “immune system.”31 Studies have shown that inducing people to think about accuracy or inoculating against misinformation and disinformation can reduce susceptibility and sharing.30313233 When reading this literature, however, one must differentiate the effects on beliefs, intended behaviour, and knowledge.25 Moreover, the existing literature primarily reports on experimental designs in laboratory or survey settings, with relatively little research on real world behaviours.2634 Empirical studies on the nature of and countermeasures against groups promoting misinformation and disinformation that have gained political and social influence are still lacking.

    Finally, legal interventions are being experimented by governments in the real world. A bill in California will allow regulators to punish doctors for spreading false information about covid-19 vaccines and treatments by revoking the license to practise.35 A separate bill seeks to require online platforms such as Facebook to publicly disclose their algorithms on content moderation to determine how disinformation is amplified.36 Given the lack of transparency in allowing academic researchers to examine the potential harms of these platforms, more regulatory actions may be the appropriate course of action.

    What should the inquiry focus on?
    The public inquiry should do three things. Firstly, it should examine the extent to which groups promoting contrarian messages were able to influence policy. We think it unlikely that they were able to do so directly but, given their links to the media and influential politicians, they should be investigated. Secondly, it should inquire into how effective the government was in countering misinformation and disinformation and whether it drew on cognitive science to devise interventions. Data from the Association of School and College leaders, for example, indicate that eight in 10 schools were targeted by anti-vaccine protesters.37 Anti-vaccine protests also targeted parents and students at school gates. The inquiry should examine whether steps were taken to mitigate the impact of these protests, such as disclosing rhetorical techniques these groups employed to induce fear among parents. Thirdly, to what extent did weaknesses in the government and public health organisations’ (UK Health Security Agency, Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) messaging (around masks/childhood vaccines) leave space for online misinformation and disinformation to take hold?

    Discussion
    Historically, science denialism has caused people to refuse preventative measures like immunisation or life saving HIV/AIDS medications, which has distorted attitudes and resulted in years of severe illness and death 28.38 Recent false or misleading covid-19 narratives promoted by some groups to discredit legitimate public health measures, in particular non-pharmacological interventions, may have likewise contributed to preventable illness and death and those responsible must be held legally accountable. Children who could have been protected (as they were in many other European countries) have been unnecessarily exposed to a virus that can have long term effects on multiple organs in the body. Long covid has risen substantially in children and young people39 after consecutive waves of infection. The scientific community and government institutions are not immune to dangerous ideologies and influence operations.

    We hope that the information we have included here—on the nature and activities of groups that have opposed measures to reduce transmission of covid-19 and what can be done to tackle them— will be of use to the public inquiry. Fact checking and labelling sources of information clearly have a role. Maybe public health authorities should also do more to expose the methods used by groups promulgating misinformation and devise more effective ways to counter their messaging. The existing Online Safety Bill, recently introduced to the House of Commons, should also explicitly list those who have benefitted financially from the spread of covid-19 related misinformation and disinformation.40 Politicians and parliamentary committees seeking scientific advice must also be transparent about how advisers and experts are chosen, especially when partisan narratives are prominent.

    Questions for the public inquiry
    To what extent were groups promoting contrarian messages against scientific evidence able to influence policy?
    How effective was the government in countering misinformation and disinformation campaigns (and did they draw on cognitive psychology and media studies)?
    To what extent did weaknesses in public messaging leave space for online misinformation and disinformation to take hold?
    Footnotes
    Contributors and sources: The authors have all been involved in researching how denialism and misinformation groups influenced the debate of covid-19 mitigation policies. DS, MM, YW, JB, KB, and DG conceptualised and drafted this paper. AM, MA, and YW gathered academic literature to support the evidence. MM and YW revised the article in response to comments by reviewers. DS is the guarantor of the article.
    (https://www.bmj.com/covid-inquiry). The advisory group for the series was chaired by Kara Hanson, and included Martin McKee, although he was not involved in the decision making on the papers that he co-authored. Kamran Abbasi was the lead editor for The BMJ.

    References

  11. Dr. Fauci sits for deposition in COVID-19 social media censorship case

    https://nypost.com/2022/11/23/dr-fauci-sits-for-deposition-in-covid-19-social-media-censorship-case/

    “One thing is clear from the 7 hour deposition of Dr. Fauci today,” Missouri Attorney General and US Senator-elect Eric Schmitt proclaimed on Twitter. “When Fauci speaks — social media censors.”

    Fauci’s fall from grace: From orchestrating Covid lockdowns to playing down the lab leak theory and claiming vaccines stopped infections — how one of America’s most revered doctors lost the trust of the nation

    Dr Anthony Fauci, 81, stood down today after a mega 54-year stint at the NIH
    He has been criticized for U-turning on key policies throughout the pandemic
    The top doctor has flip-flopped on masks and over-egged effectiveness of shot 

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-11457313/Faucis-fall-grace-orchestrating-lockdowns-lying-lab-leak.html

    Edward Dowd Reposted

    WarRoom — Home of ultraMAGA
    @WarRoom
    ·
    Senator Ron Johnson’s December Hearings Will Be An “Active Q&A” That Dissects Every Aspect Of The Left’s Lies And Misdeeds Surrounding COVID-19

    https://gettr.com/post/p1zg86y2c5a

    “He wanted him on”

    The Man from U.N.C.L.E. …

  12. Sydney teen diagnosed with heart condition after first Covid jab

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11464097/Covid-Australia-2022-Teen-misses-HSC-pericarditis-jab-reaction-cardiologist-issues-warning.html

    Prof Norman Fenton Retweeted

    Jikky the mouse 
    @TheJikky

    I’ve seen some absolute crap touted in the last 3 years but this one takes the biscuit.

    “Strokes from the vaccine are caused by the stress of having the vaccine” Give me strength.

    Look at this joke of a journal

    https://twitter.com/TheJikky/status/1594588122159157248

    Edward Dowd
    @EdwardDowd
    ·
    8h

    “ALERT! The cause of all those heart attacks is those who claim that “vaccination” is the cause of all those heart attacks”

    References

    1. Polack FP

    Covid 19 vaccines and the misinterpretation of perceived side effects clarity on the safety of vaccines

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9629406/

    A mini review of published literature has been conducted and found that mental stress clearly causes vasoconstriction and arterial constriction of the blood vessels. Therefore, if subjects are panicked, concerned, stressed or scared of the vaccination, their arteries will constrict and become smaller in and around the time of receiving the vaccine. This biological mechanism (the constriction of veins, arteries and vessels under mental stress) is the most likely cause for where there has been blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, dizziness, fainting, blurred vision, loss of smell and taste that may have been experienced shortly after vaccine administration. The extreme mental stress of the patient could most likely be attributed to the fear mongering and scare tactics used by various anti-vaccination groups.

    The data presented herein, poses an interesting question, is the fear mongering around vaccines causing many of these perceived side effects by inducing unnecessary stress in vulnerable people? Is the movement and character of anti-vaccination information that may strike fear into the general population causing anxiety and vascular constriction resulting in pathologies such as dizziness, hypernea, fainting, blood clotting, stroke and heart attack? The science discussed here clearly establishes that anxiety and fear causes vasoconstriction disorders, and that a particular movement that is trying to save people with a profound lack of scientific and medical training (the anti-vaccination movement) from vaccine side effects may actually be the entity causing the majority of side effects.

    Note for Augusto –  ‘managing this alarmism’ …

  13. Surprising the psychotherapy industry as allies in the vaccine propaganda haven’t jumped on this. They have plenty of experience of telling people physical symptoms are ‘ all the in the mind ‘ They could , probably are, be making a load of cash out of referrals for vaxx anxiety. Another way of undermining the truth of harms being caused and covered up.

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