I am a little concerned about the suspension of use of the J & J vaccine. There clearly are serious potential safety issues that need to be addressed. But in any product used in millions of people, just by coincidence there will be a confluence of use of the product and some serious outcome. So given what is at stake in terms of getting the dictators who run our lives to give up their powers, we need to be absolutely sure that it is causation and we understand the mechanism of causation.
The blog is going to partly return to what it used to be. For too long I have ignored serious research on health policy and items on health business, so you will start to see a mix of those posts. If you are only here for CV, that posting will continue, but it will be interspersed with the typical items I covered, so just ignore what isn’t of interest of you. In the near future I hope to return to being a sleepy backwater of esoteric health policy research, because the hysteria around the epidemic has ended.
I may have understated the significance of the post yesterday from the Canadian medical journal on infectiousness in children and adults. Just to be very clear about that study, what it most clearly showed was that the majority, and in the case of children, the vast majority, of “positive” PCR tests don’t relate to people with viable virus. These positive “cases” are not infectious and aren’t infected. I am going to do a post with the tables from the study showing this. Never in history has a diagnostic test been so misused.
Okay, does anyone really doubt that there are people out there determined to do pseudo-research in regard to CV-19 and continue to spread panic by making up data and science about whatever, and whatever often involves masks. Here is absolute joke of an example, that also shows how abused preprints can be. (Medrxiv Paper) This researcher is concerned about the effect of ending the mask mandate and reopening businesses in Texas and claims that vaccinations have to be stepped way up to prevent disaster. Anyone who looks at what has happened in Texas knows that cases have continued to go down. What a bunch of crap.
The research does not support variant terrorism. Here is a major study in Lancet, a very high-end medical journal, on the effect of the B117 variant in Britain. (Lancet Story) The major finding is that there may be a slight increase in infectiousness and transmissibility, but there is no greater incidence of severe disease and bad outcomes. None. So stop the variant terrorism.
An important study looking at deaths among Medicare beneficiaries. (Medrxiv Paper) Over 28 million beneficiaries were included. 677,000 had confirmed CV-19, and 2.9 million had probable CV-19. (Curious about how they were determined to be “probably” cases.) About a third of the confirmed cases were in long-term care. The rate of death among community dwelling confirmed cases rose from an expected 4% to 7.5%. And among confirmed LTC cases, deaths rose from 20.3% expected to 24.6%. But get this, among people who were not a probable or confirmed case in LTC, there were an estimated almost 39,000 excess deaths, or a 35% rise. The authors try the usual under-diagnosis of CV-19 explanation, but have to acknowledge that a lot is not due to that. I don’t think any of it is, these are lockdown deaths among frail people. Interestingly, however, there were over 31,000 fewer deaths than expected in community dwelling Medicare beneficiaries, or 6% less.