Bit of a slow night, a few news items and research summaries.
Most interesting research piece is from a Cell study on cancer patients. (Cell Paper) The most useful finding is that viral load was highly correlated with in-hospital mortality in both cancer and non-cancer patients. In the general population, those with a high viral load had a 39% mortality rate versus 15% for those with a low viral load. The difference was even starker for cancer patients, 45% versus 12%. And how did they estimate viral load? The used cycle threshold values from two separate PCR assays. High was a cycle number less than 25. Medium was between 25 and 30. Low was above 30. Patients with cancer were more likely than non-cancer ones to have a high viral load on admission, which makes sense given that they likely have weaker immune systems. The authors stress the need to give treating physicians this information, which is rarely done now.
Dr. Scott Atlas, from Stanford University, now on the federal coronavirus task force, has been pilloried for refusing to join the panic brigade. YouTube has even tried to take down some of his videos. Here is a link to one so you can see his far-out views. (Atlas Video)
Nic Lewis has given his perspective on the research regarding children being in school. (Lewis Paper) He summarizes recent work from Europe indicating how low the risk is not just to children but of them transmitting to others.
This article from Virginia, on how that state reports deaths, reminded me that it is unclear what Minnesota does in this regard. (Va. Article) Apparently a number of states do a process where they have someone go through death certificates that do not have CV-19 on them and attempt to match the dead person to a CV-19 positive test. Obviously this is another attempt to boost CV-19 death numbers to the highest possible and is completely unprecedented. If the certifier didn’t think CV-19 was involved why should a state bureaucrat get to say it is? The more things you learn, the more insane our treatment of a pretty mild epidemic seems. In any event, I am trying to find out if Minnesota does something similar. It would account for the constant stream of reported deaths that go back weeks or even months.
Bill Gates is up to his billionaire antics again, Mr. Lockdown forever, doesn’t matter to me in my palace with servants. He is complaining about the US’ virus response. Unfortunately Bill is another one who hasn’t been right about anything in this epidemic. But he gets lots of money from drug companies, who in turn make lots of money off of vaccines, so he wants to be sure we do lots of testing, find lots of marginal cases, and get everyone in a frenzy til a vaccine is available so his drug company pals can pick up a few billion dollars. And now Bill has the unbelievable gall to whine about how the shutdown of the global economy is reversing all the wonderful progress his guilt-alleviating foundation made in fighting hunger and getting people vaccinated. Take a look in the mirror.
A study looks at the CV-19 experience among homeless shelters. (Annals Article) You may recall a number of studies early on looking at prevalence in these facilities and finding very high infection rates, but almost all asymptomatic or mild. This study found only 29 cases in over 1400 tests in 5 homeless shelters in the Seattle area.