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.