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A Head Full of Coronavirus Research, Part 56

By November 11, 2020Commentary

Apparently I missed the question taking part of the Governor’s press conference yesterday.  I saw it this morning.  Thanks, I think, to Scott Johnson for pointing out that Q & A session, I really appreciated having to listen to even more of this.  That was the Incompetent Blowhard side of the Jekyll and Hyde personality, in full-bloom mode.  He keeps doubling down on the surge in cases being due to failure to adopt recommended or required behaviors.  Nothing could be further from the “data” or the “science”.  Let me put this in very simple terms.  If you see a change in an outcome, in this example, number of cases, you can look at a number of factors to see what may have caused that change.  You are looking for underlying factors that may have changed with the outcome you are looking at, you have to identify the change and match it with the change in the outcome.  If you are blaming behavior change for the change in cases, there is simply no evidence at all that supports a change in behavior having occurred in this state in regard to mitigation measures.  NONE.  On the other hand, guess what has clearly changed–the season, and with it, a large number of meteorological factors, some of which may affect human biochemistry, like vitamin D levels.  So what makes more sense, that the surge in cases is due to a seasonal change or that it is due to a change in behaviors?

I want to point out again that he is just lying when he compares country performance on the virus.  The US actually has done as well or better as a nation than most similar countries.   He can stop using Asian examples, because they simply have chosen to ignore asymptomatic spread by and large.  They don’t test asymptomatic people.  Mask wearing is as high in the US as it is in most Asian countries.  You can go on the internet and see pictures of packed clubs in China, Korea, Japan and people without masks.  Populations there have lower levels of risk factors for serious disease, like obesity.  And there may be genetic factors related to greater resistance to infection.  And our economy is in much better shape than most other countries and the states with less restrictions are doing better than those with more restrictions.  Really, my advice is to take anything the IB says with a huge tub of salt.  He lies, he misleads, he omits information which doesn’t support his actions.

And quite humorously, once again we are told that within a couple of weeks we will have some new modeling scenarios and simulations.  And we learned that they now think it takes four weeks to see the full impact of changes in mitigation measures, so we won’t be able to tell if these new measures were effective until the middle of December.  But that also makes the mask mandate look even better, not.  Now when I update that analysis I will use the four week lag, which I can assure you won’t be favorable to proponents of the mandates effectiveness.

Now to some research, first with a prominent financial institution, JP Morgan issuing research finding that lockdowns make no difference in cases and may make overall mortality higher.  The researchers compared countries with strict lockdowns to those without.  (JP Morgan Research)   Meanwhile, our emeritus epidemiologist from my  state is making the circuit demanding the most restrictive lockdown ever of the entire country for 4 to 6 weeks no matter what the cost.  He has lost his mind.

The authors of the Danish mask study have had to respond to “questions” raised about the research even before it has been peer reviewed and published.  People are clearly desperate to suppress publication, which tells you what the results are.  So much for following the science.  (Danish Response)

Dr. John Ioannidis from Stanford has been a pain in the rear for CV-19 doomsters and has argued that the best way to lower overall mortality is to allow spread in healthy, younger groups while shielding the older, vulnerable cohorts.  (Medrxiv Paper)  Far too sensible an approach to be adopted.

This paper suggests that the epidemic has been very muted in Africa due to high prevalence of antibodies from seasonal coronavirus infections.  (JID Article)  The authors used blood samples from two African countries from before the epidemic and found that a high percent displayed cross-reactive antibodies against CV-19.  The prevalence of these antibodies was much higher than in samples from the US.  It was 19% in one African country, 14% in another and only 2.4% in the US samples.

This research looked at the interaction between seasonal coronavirus antibodies and CV-19 infection.  It found that while infection generally boosted the level of the seasonal CV antibodies, they were not protective against CV-19.  (Medrxiv Paper)   23% had antibodies from prior infections that cross-reacted with CV-19 nucleocapsid or other proteins, but were not neutralizing.

Join the discussion 4 Comments

  • Doug Young says:

    Again, our governor & mayor here in San Francisco are following the exact same, mostly Democratic, playbook as your IB. Do they all get the same memo sent from Fauci HQ? Blame any case increases on the behavior of the citizenry, so that more life & small business destroying measures can be enacted. Now, how does this even make sense at this time of year, when the seasonal changes steer us away from larger events, especially since no one’s allowed to even go to a concert or indoor basketball or hockey game, and toward smaller, more family-oriented gatherings? I know, blame conservatives (not too many of them out here) & students for trying to lead just a semblance of normal life. Add to that the way these metrics are now being calculated – in the spring most cases were associated w/positive tests + symptoms. Now, they’re just reporting positive tests, and who knows how many are asymptomatic or what the cycle thresholds are being used on those tests.

    Good to see that Ioannidis is not giving up.

  • dell says:

    You can say all the facts you want, but if WCCO, KSTP, KARE-11, Fox-9, CW, et al TV & radio media won’t include it in reporting, it’s just blowing in the wind.

    I think we all expect political types to run around the truth.

    But what is sooo disturbing is the extent of media censorship. This Covid thing tells us we are razor’s edge from perpetual tyranny in what we thought was a free society.

    Also, when discussing the IB’s programs, I would like to know how involved are our SS Troop National Guard, local sheriffs, and any possible “enforcement” fines or asset takings, jailing included.

    It appears street rioting and looting is acceptable, but having your family for dinner is worthy of $1,000s of fines or jail time.

  • Darin Kragenbring says:

    Some people want to be told what to do; others want to see the options and decide for themselves. True liberty includes the right to make bad decisions. After eight months there are a significant number of people who have looked at the data and decided they are willing to live with the risks of the virus. Why do some elected officials think they can deny people the essence of their humanity—social interaction? We cannot adequately protect our citizens in long term care, so we will make people sit down and close bars at ten p.m.? I agree with Kevin that measures such as restricting personal gatherings is unconscionable—and a blatant copy of California. Imagine a government that showed people data and let them decide instead of trying to shame people into certain behavior.

  • Adam Lehto says:

    I’m no fan of masks, and have thought for some time now that evidence of their effectiveness has been slim to non-existent (if not contrary), but, in that response, aren’t the authors of the Danish mask study saying that, in fact, they *did* find that masks reduced infection for the wearers?

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