Dr. Osterholm has reached out to me to express concern that he has been misquoted. (Seriously, not a joke.) He said he wasn’t talking about the US and that things are bad. In this era, saying you are misquoted when everything is on video is crazy. Here is the YouTube link to the January 31 interview. (YouTube Link) You decide if he did not in fact say that in the next 6 to 14 weeks we are going to see a surge “like we have not seen before in this country”. And this is the infamous clip with the “sitting on the beach with the category 5 hurricane offshore and coming in” analogy. He was dead wrong period. And he was encouraging that we only give one dose of vaccine to help protect more people. Fortunately that advice was not followed. He made similar statements in several interviews. Here is the link to the clip on January 26 where he said “The very worst of the pandemic is yet before us.” He quoted US numbers in doing that. (YouTube link) If you were wrong, admit it and try to figure out why. Dr. Osterholm has had a distinguished career. In this epidemic, he has been careless and at times uninformed and has assisted in the terror campaign while ignoring the broader public health implications of the effort to suppress the virus. You are not going to get a pass from me for screwing up, nothwithstanding whatever your past success was.
The State of Minnesota will stoop to any level to maintain the terror campaign. These morbid, ghoulish MFs couldn’t wait yesterday to send out a special release because a 10 year old child died of CV-19, as proof that people should be terrified about the risk to children. The risk to children is miniscule, and I am deeply suspicious of this attribution of death without a release of full medical records. And DOH once again reveals themselves to be a shameless disgrace.
Here is a fuller story on the testing in a California school district that was completely erroneous. Thanks to a reader for sending the link. (LA Story) Apparently the state of California had a whole lab built to do nothing but find false positives. Genius.
Remember how we were all scolded not to leave our basements and closets for Thanksgiving celebrations or any other holiday or family event? I and I hope many others had an appropriate digital response to those warnings. Turns out we had nothing to fear. This study, which I am sure the authors were hoping would have a different result, looked at whether gathering with family or non-family members during Thanksgiving caused a case surge. (Medrxiv Paper) People who gathered with other households were more likely to seek a CV-19 test afterwards, but did not have higher positivity rates or reporting of symptoms. In other words, there was no need to tell people not to enjoy each other’s company. The authors make it sound like we had a bunch of people engaging in high-risk behavior, but their own results show there was nothing high-risk about it. Just like all the other stupid advice given by our “experts”.
Another large-scale household transmission study, this one from the Netherlands and Belgium. (Medrxiv Paper) Among 117 households with an index case, there were 74 secondary cases. 13 of those were asymptomatic and another 20 were found only by an antibody test, so they were presumably asymptomatic as well. Transmission was over twice as likely from cases showing symptoms of acute respiratory infection compared to those with mild disease. Not one case of transmission from an asymptomatic index case. Transmission from children to parents was a third of transmission from parents to children. Somewhat bizarrely, a fifth of cases “confirmed” by PCR testing were not positive in antibody testing. Hmmm, can you say false positive.
This study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has received a fair amount of attention for supposedly suggesting that 6 feet of distance doesn’t make any sense. The study did say that, but the authors were basically trying to say that you need even more distancing, or alternatively, more air flow. They supposedly modeled the fate of virions in an enclosed space. (PNAS Study) What is potentially helpful about the study is understanding that it is possible that virus could spread more widely than is commonly believed. What isn’t helpful is that there is no study of the actual flow of viable virus. And of course we get the obligatory “face masks make a lot of difference” claim, with nothing to support it and no recognition that they essentially serve as interruptors of viral flow, collecting and concentrating the virus right at the gateway to the respiratory system. At bottom this is another worthless modeling study which doesn’t actually provide any guidance that would be useful in avoiding infection.
Kind of an interesting study from Brazil, looking at why among couples living together, infection isn’t always transmitted. (Medrxiv Paper) The researchers compared spouses or partners who did get infected from an index case with those who didn’t and found some genetic and other differences that led to variable immune cell responses, which might be related to resistance to infection.
Amazingly, we still have significant unanswered questions about transmission of CV-19. The outstanding researchers at the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine have proposed a framework for improving this research, that could also be applied to similar research on other respiratory viruses. (CEBM Study) An interesting history of how scientists over time have determined that a pathogen is responsible for disease.