Covid-19 News

  • As its the only deceitful way they can continue to deceive,

    hollywood.nasa,navy, news groups ect.

    like you don't know already jed. they have control of the mod gods internet tools

    the rainbow groups.

    I guess if the etc covers enough groups, and if you feel this global conspiracy has power over all communications, nothing anyone says would change your views about deception?


    Myself, I don't start off assuming people are deceitful until they show it through the details of what they say - like most of the anti-vax stuff here which is, when you look at it carefully, clearly distorted or just false.


    Governments and companies do have secrets. What distinguishes robust democracies from those that are not is that democracies have a free press willing to go after anyone with secrets and expose them, if they are deceitful.


    In the US the press are free, and the Courts support them pretty well. The worry I have is that independent investigative journalism seems to be partly replaced by biased people on talk shows who traffic opinion and conspiracy theories not facts. And any free Press is being replaced by stuff in people's social media feed which is the worst of the worst - even when it is not being deliberately manipulated by anti-democratic foreign actors. If 80% of the population don't care about the independent journalism and juts look to their social media and talk shows for news we are all lost.


    That is the way it seems to me from the UK.

  • So why is social media news so rubbish?


    (1) the algorithm - people are shown things they like which is (for all of us) other people with the same ideas. It means everyone tends to get a filtered view of events according to their political or other slant. For example, conspiracy theorists will be hooked up to content from other conspiracy theorists, and be immensely validated. They will not see the many people who have different views. This tends to amplify any coherent, attractive, minority opinion regardless of whetehr it is objectively true or not.


    (2) social media info is from ones own tribe, so can seem more friendly than any independent news appealing to a broader group of people. Going from that to the idea that the news services are all (except a few minority channels catering for ones own tribe) deceitful is not such a large step. Once you have taken that step whatever viewpoint your own tribe has will become stronger and stronger - anyone contradicting it is deceitful, or influenced by those who are deceitful. There is no way to get out of narrow tribal thinking.


    The social media companies need your attention to make money, they get your attention by giving you individualised content that fits you - and alas is very bad for your ability to see both sides of any issue or contextualise events.

  • Thailand Now Bets its Life on Antivirals as COVID-19 Rages


    Thailand Now Bets its Life on Antivirals as COVID-19 Rages
    Thailand has seen better days. Now in the midst of the worst surge of the pandemic—driven by the Delta variant—the vaccination program has been
    trialsitenews.com


    Thailand has seen better days. Now in the midst of the worst surge of the pandemic—driven by the Delta variant—the vaccination program has been compromised by what appears to be mismanagement and cronyism. As noted in TrialSite’s “Royal Crony Capitalism or a Regal Choice for a Vaccine Production Partner,” we asked whether it’s wise for a nation to lock up all of, or a good portion of, its regional manufacturing capacity to one vendor that has no experience with vaccine production? That certainly doesn’t sound wise, but that’s what happened as the nation awarded the contract to produce the AstraZeneca (Oxford) vaccine to a company called Siam Bioscience, a firm that, according to some critics and some media, never made a vaccine product before. Note that the company is solely owned by King Maha Vajiralongkorn, Thailand’s monarch. And TrialSite cautions one should be careful with their criticism (ourselves included) as insulting the king can lead to a 15-year prison sentence. When TrialSite published this in June, Thailand was already in trouble, in delay with vaccine production with a growing COVID-19 surge. Now the problems compound, and the country must bank on the antiviral early treatment Favipiravir (Avigan) as a Plan B. But they presently have limited production capacity. TrialSite suggests early treatment should be in Plan A along with vaccines and sound public health policy. Thailand hasn’t fared well with any of it.


    Current Situation

    The Delta-driven SARS-CoV-2 surge is on a tear in Thailand, with daily cases totaling nearly 20,000 and a new daily high death toll of 235, triggering immense fear in this nation of almost 70 million.


    Thailand is behind in its COVID-19 vaccination as only about 6.6% of the population has been fully vaccinated, with about 23.5% having received one jab. The botched vaccine rollout as declared in Asia Nikkei occurred during this worst Delta-driven wave of SARS-CoV-2 infections. Now the country is in a mad dash to secure the supply of Favipiravir, a Japanese antiviral under investigation worldwide for COVID-19 use. In fact, many countries, such as Russia and even China, use Favipiravir as one early treatment tool targeting the novel coronavirus. There is some evidence that if used early on, it can help reduce the illness duration, but there are some limitations, including some higher-risk groups that shouldn’t use the product.


    But as the crisis grows in Thailand and vaccines remain in short supply, health authorities must secure more Favipiravir supplies to treat the growing numbers of people ill with COVID-19. As it turns out, antivirals of some kind or another are important. Every nation should consider repurposed drugs that show some benefit, from ivermectin and Favipiravir to Fluvoxamine and several others.


    The Drug

    TrialSite has written extensively about Favipiravir (trade name Avigan). It showed considerable potential as an antiviral targeting COVID-19 early on, but health authorities in the USA had little interest in it. Nor did the media. It was developed by FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical in the late 1990s and authorized by Japanese regulatory authorities in 2014 as a treatment for new or re-emerging flu infections, reports Asia Nikkei.


    The drug isn’t approved for the standard treatment of seasonal flu. There have been some concerns about some side effects, including some congenital disabilities in animal testing.


    Interestingly, via the Department of Defense (DoD), the U.S government spent over $200 million testing the drug back in 2015. TrialSite reported that the results seemed to go well, but they were never published for national security reasons.


    The drug’s used extensively to target COVID-19 in many counties, especially in Russia and influenced countries, Turkey, some of the Middle East, Asia, and some South American countries.


    Favipiravir is under investigation in America and in Canada; a partnership involving Appili Therapeutics and Dr. Reddy’s, an Indian generic drug company, submitted a market authorization application to Health Canada at the end of 2020. No word on that regulatory response. The Japanese drug authority pushed back on an application to market the drug for COVID-19—they informed FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical they needed to generate more data.


    The Chinese—an Agenda?

    TrialSite reported recently that the Chinese military secured a patent in the world’s second-largest economy as measured by GDP as a domestic and potentially export play to sell the product.


    The Chinese military (People’s Liberation Army) via an affiliated laboratory sought out and secured a patent for Favipiravir as a drug for early treatment targeting SARS-CoV-2. While the company’s maker, FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical, continues to market and distribute the product, this move by the Chinese military can be considered a commercially and potentially politically hostile move. Undoubtedly, they seek to exploit that patent, cut out the Japanese, and market and sell the product to as many low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) as possible. Especially given the dysfunctional nature of the global pandemic response, mainly the affluent counties are securing the best vaccines. At the same time, developing countries are stuck with subpar vaccines at best—or no vaccines. Decent antiviral options become a quest literally involving life or death.


    Favipiravir (Avigan) in Thailand

    Thailand secured the ability to produce a generic version of Favipiravir called “Favir” (200 mg per tablet), registered by the Thailand Food and Drug Administration since last August. Again, the original product called Avigan made by FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical is now generic.


    Favipiravir has been an essential medication in the Thailand COVID-19 medical toolkit, with most of the product secured from the Japanese. It is prescribed here and not sold over the counter.


    As previously mentioned, India has several companies producing generic versions of Favipiravir, as do Russia and China.


    In May, TrialSite reported that the Thailand government rejected a bid by Japan’s FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical to extend a patent for the drug in this country.


    Shortages

    But the country is now facing shortages. Asia Nikkei reports that the Pharmacy Council of Thailand recently issued a warning letter to the Thai Public Health Ministry that there could be Favipiravir shortages. According to forecasts, the drug’s demand has grown to 30 million pills per month and could reach 50 million if the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections continues to rise.


    Capacity Challenges

    Apparently, the Thais have figured out how to produce Favipiravir independently; however, they have limited production capacity. Jiraporn Limpananon serves as president of the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) and recently shared that while they can produce their own generic version of the drug known as Avigan, they only have the capacity and wherewithal to produce 2 million pills per month.


    All will be OK?

    The Director of the GPO, in the meantime, declared that all would be OK. As reported in Asia Nikkei, Dr. Vitoon Danwiboon sought to reassure the public by declaring that the GPO secured 43.1 million pills or so for August alone, right when they predict could be the apex of SARS-CoV-2 infections. How will they secure these pills? Imports from Japan via the products’ developer, FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical. But that’s a pretty dangerous way to navigate this pandemic.


    Dr. Danwiboon suggests that the capacity of GPO will rise, hopefully up to 40 million tablets per month by October. But the public isn’t happy, and counterfeit Favipiravir is sold now online as predatorial business ventures prey on the situation.


    Vaccination Challenges

    In the meantime, the use of Chinese vaccines in this part is falling far short. As reported recently by the Washington Post, Thailand was among numerous countries in Southeast Asia that bet on Sinovac’s product CoronaVac.


    As described in the Washington Post, TrialSite can verify that China used vaccines in some sort of diplomacy scheme. TrialSite observed jingoistic language out of China’s press early on during the start of the pandemic—the country later softened its tone. Of course, the actual origins of SARS-CoV-2 are still up for debate and could trigger more intense discussions depending on what unfolds.


    But the vaccine diplomacy of China hasn’t turned out so well here as the vaccine quality is limited, and now countries like Thailand turn to the West, and specifically products from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna as potential answers.


    As mentioned earlier, Thailand appears to have granted a license to produce the “Oxford” vaccine to the King’s biotech venture, which has struggled to get out of the production gate. The costs of these decisions are now becoming apparent.

  • No, I have no idea what you are talking about. Let me again ask: Who are you talking about? Who deletes data? What data -- about COVID, or cold fusion, or upcoming Hollywood movies?


    I suppose they might delete data in Hollywood. I wouldn't know about that. But they are in the business of creating and maintaining illusion, after all. The information they have is inconsequential in any case, and much of it is bunk, so who cares if they delete it?

    good to know you don't care if I delete everything I see as inconsequential.

    fun times.

  • The Letter from Missouri article I linked to above ends with a classic expression of the Dunning Kruger effect:


    “The irony is it’s not the dumb rubes in Missouri who don’t understand the nature of this disease,” Gregg Keller, a longtime Republican consultant in Missouri. “Missourians understand this far better than these supposed medical experts we’ve been giving tens of millions of dollars every year.”


    Thousands of people in Missouri will suffer and die because of such attitudes. It is tragic. Decades ago such attitudes were less common, because ordinary people understood that doctors knew more about disease than they did. Just as airplane pilots know more about airplanes. Nowadays, distrust in authority has been spread and exploited by extremists, and uneducated people have the notion that they are competent to judge complex scientific questions. People who have no idea what DNA and RNA is, and people such as Mark U. who believe in topsy-turvy batshit nonsense. Their ignorance has filled the hospitals in Missouri with sick and dying people. It threatens to prolong the pandemic indefinitely.


    If you are not familiar with the Dunning Kruger effect, see the 1-minute video by Cleese. If you are Mark U. and you are certain you do not suffer from that effect, you are deluded, and the very cause of the delusion is the Dunning Kruger effect itself! It makes incompetent nitwits blind to their own incompetence. That is ironic.


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  • So why is social media news so rubbish?


    (1) the algorithm - people are shown things they like which is (for all of us) other people with the same ideas. It means everyone tends to get a filtered view of events according to their political or other slant.

    That is what I have read. It sounds bad. It explains the recent increase in the Dunning Kruger effect. Fortunately for me, I have never looked at Facebook or these other sites. I use YouTube to watch obscure lectures, old movies, and videos of foolish people crashing expensive automobiles, and launching ships that immediately sink, like Buster Keaton.


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    For news I go to newspapers, left wing and right wing. For science news Scientific American is okay, but you have to bear in mind they have some blind spots and extreme bias against some subjects, such as cold fusion and the Wright brothers. Plus they are conceited asses. Many leading academics have that fault. I would say they are know-it-alls, but they actually do know it all, or all that is known, anyway, so the expression does not fit.


    You can always tell a Harvard man, but you can't tell him much.

  • good to know you don't care if I delete everything I see as inconsequential.

    fun times.

    Well, if you are authorized to delete something that you consider inconsequential, I have no objection. Go ahead and delete. You cannot delete COVID data, or cold fusion data, Hollywood information, or whatever the hell it is you are talking about. I still have no idea what that might be. The mysterious blue document with the design in the wall does not advance my understanding.


    From time to time I encounter people like you, who seem to believe that other people can read your mind. You say, "you know very well what I mean!" I say: "No, honestly, I have no clue what you are talking about. Do tell!" But you insist that I know and I am pretending I don't. That is a Peculiar Notion. Why would I do that?

  • Government researchers never get one dime from their discoveries, even when they develop profitable technology such as the internet. They know those are the rules, and they don't mind. As my mother said, these people are not in it for the money; they want to do the science. To put it unkindly, they are nerds. Most of them could get paid a lot more in private industry.


    Come now Jed, this has been discussed before. Individual NIH scientists can patent their government funded work and collect up to $150,000 in royalties each year. Patents on the Moderna vaccine are an example.

  • Jed appears to be upset by one of my latest posts. Let me elaborate.


    Consider that a respiratory virus which encounters one's mucosa ends up generating significantly more robust IgA antibody response than an injected vaccine (which bypasses that mucosa). IgA antibodies do their work in the mucosal lining. (IgG antibodies, the ones usually measured, are abundant in the blood.) Thus, the immune system of vaccinated people will permit much more mucosal growth of virus than those with immunity through previous natural infection. Takeaway : Previously infected people who encounter the virus again will combat the virus more robustly at an earlier stage - in the mucosa - than will people who were merely vaccinated. Thus vaccinated people will grow and shed more virus from their mucosa than will people with previous natural infection.


    Also:


    Consider that, like one's first date, the immune system's first encounter with an antigen is the most memorable. Subsequent exposures to slightly different antigens are less and less memorable to the immune system, and the novel antibodies shorter lived.


    The immune system is trained by each exposure to an antigen, especially the earliest exposures. With a Covid vaccine, a specific part of the spike protein imprints on the immune system, and the immune system is trained to produce a narrow band of antibody. When infected with a slightly different antigen than the vaccine presented, the 'old training' kicks in, but at the expense of new, lasting training specific for the variant. (This is why flu shots become less and less effective for new variants. Look up antibody imprinting or antibody interfering. )


    So the Covid vaccinated are at a disadvantage with subsequent variants. Meanwhile, those whose first exposure was through natural infection will have a nice wide, lasting antibody response to various proteins on the virus, a response from which variants will have much more trouble escaping.

  • Interesting variation on the usual video launch.


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  • Come now Jed, this has been discussed before. Individual NIH scientists can patent their government funded work and collect up to $150,000 in royalties each year. Patents on the Moderna vaccine are an example.

    Indeed it has been discussed before. And it is false.


    It is one of the anti-vax anti-elite tropes that falls down.


    Trouble us, those poor guys working for governments (or other institutions, or companies) do have their names on patents. But they do not own the IP because their contract specifies that IP generated from their work belongs to the organisation that pays them. Anyone who has been in that position knows this is the way it always works.


    What a shame for scientists who could otherwise get a salary perhaps even half as good as that of rabble-rousing and division-sowing TV hosts!


    I find it really difficult to understand how this persists as an anti-vax meme (those FDA/CDC/Fauci-esque criminals are profiting personally from the vaccines and lying about it)


    All the more weird because the motives for NIH patenting stuff are for the public good - no idea of profit even for the government.


    That Moderna patent:


    The NIH claims joint ownership of Moderna's coronavirus vaccine
    Taxpayers have a sizable stake in the vaccine Moderna is developing.
    www.axios.com


    NIH added that "federal employees listed as inventors on these patent applications assigned their rights to the U.S. government. Accordingly, should the [United States Patent and Trademark Office] and other national patent authorities grant the patents, the U.S. government will hold ownership interest in the patents."

  • 135 years of consistency in anti-vax arguments


    I especially love (from the pamphlet image below) the proportion of vaccinated persons who have small-pox has steadily increased as vaccination has been extended. The argument our very own W has used with respect to hospitalisation from COVID in Israel, which derives from the same statistical fallacy!


    COVID-19 anti-vaxxers use the same arguments from 135 years ago
    The history of anti-vaccination theories can help us understand how such claims capture a popular following. The same misinformation used against 19th century…
    theconversation.com


    Ross seized on the opportunity of increased health measures to gain authority, notoriety and personal fame. He painted himself the hero of his own story, the “only doctor; who had dared to doubt the fetish” of vaccination. Despite this, it was discovered that he had been recently vaccinated during the epidemic, a fact that was gleefully reported by the major newspapers at the time.

    His pamphlet serves as a prime illustration of the strategies used by anti-vaccinationists — both then and now. These arguments are not new and have changed little over time. Learning to recognize their repackaging in modern form can help with effectively combating their power.



    Minimize the threat of a disease

    Text reading 'CAUTION. Do not be alarmed by the small-pox'

    Claim vaccine causes illness, is ineffective or both

    A list itemizing the supposed ineffectiveness and dangers of smallpox vaccine.


    Declare vaccination is part of a larger conspiracy

    Cartoon depicting a working-class man being forcibly vaccinated by a health official, while held by a policeman.


    Use alternative authorities that legitimize your argument

    Under the heading 'PROOF,' testimonials from 19th century doctors denouncing vaccination.


  • As a rule, EPA managers and other government researchers are not influenced by money. They cannot be.

    What a nonsense day you face again. All top shots of state managers get their job as true follower of teh money= FM/R/XXX/B mafia. Further people eligible to such jobs must have worked in a FM/R/XXX/B controlled company. Same here in Switzerland.

    ... and those of the pro-vax (mainstream) messaging and rationale


    Provax = fear mongering = liars about protection that now is below 50% liars about profit from vax, liars about deaths/cripples from RNA gen therapy. We already have some 10'000 kids with severe nervous system disorder alone in Europe - from RNA gen therapy . Look up the database.

  • Since that repeated anti-vax trope (that greedy NIH scientists profit from research through patents) made me realise that most of this stuff is not new I've been looking at nice potted web answers to the standard anti-vax tropes. many of them are trite and boring, but here is a nice page from Adelaida Sarukhan (the details are in the link, headlines below):


    How to Scientifically Dismantle the 4 main Anti-Vaccine Arguments - Blog
    The anti-vaccine movement gained momentum more than a decade ago with the publication of a study (with 12 children) showing an association...
    www.isglobal.org


    I've not before seen such short but complete demolitions of these 4 popular arguments:

    1. “Vaccines contain toxic sustances such as aluminium and mercury”

    In a normal day, we breathe, eat or drink 30-50 mg of aluminum, more than 20 times the maximum allowed dose in a vaccine

    2. “Too many vaccines can overload the child’s immune system”

    Children are exposed to a greater amount of environmental antigens in one single day than those contained in all the vaccines they receive

    3. “Natural immunity is better”

    Indeed, for certain pathogens, naturally acquired immunity may last longer than that acquired through vaccination. However, the risk associated to a natural infection is not comparable to the risks associated to any vaccine. For example, measles causes 2 deaths out of 1000 infected individuals in developed countries (in low-resource countries the number can be up to 20 times higher), whereas the MMR vaccine causes one severe adverse reaction in one out of 1 million vaccinated individuals. The benefits of vaccinating largely outweigh the risks. (OK - this is the one I've been stating here - and I've done it as well as this myself!)

    4. “Vaccines cause autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies”

    Not one single large-scale study has showed that vaccines increase the risk of autoimmune disroders or allergies

  • I'm not sure I believe this paper. For me vaccine hesitancy would be related to my perceived risk of the disease and the vaccine (both rare events) but it is still interesting:


    Vaccine skeptics actually think differently than other people

    Date:April 10, 2020Source:Texas Tech UniversitySummary:As vaccine skepticism has become increasingly widespread, researchers have suggested a possible explanation. In a new article reserarchers suggest some people find vaccines risky because they overestimate the likelihood of negative events, particularly those that are rare.


    Vaccine skeptics actually think differently than other people
    As vaccine skepticism has become increasingly widespread, researchers have suggested a possible explanation. In a new article reserarchers suggest some people…
    www.sciencedaily.com


    In their first experiment, LaCour and Davis surveyed 158 participants to determine the level of vaccine skepticism underlying their perceived dangers, feelings of powerlessness, disillusionment and trust in authorities regarding vaccines. Participants then estimated the frequency of death associated with 40 different causes, ranging from cancers, animal bites and childbirth to fireworks, flooding and car accidents. LaCour and Davis found that people higher in vaccine skepticism were less accurate in their estimations of how frequently these causes of death occur. Specifically, they found that higher vaccine skepticism was associated with an overestimation of rare events.

    The second experiment followed the same procedures as the first, but participants additionally estimated the frequency of neutral or positive events -- such as papal visits to the United States, triplet births or Willie Nelson concerts -- to test whether the negative tone of mortality statistics may play a role. LaCour and Davis found that people higher in vaccine skepticism were less accurate in their estimations of mortality-related events and overestimated the negative events more than the neutral/positive events.


    Personally, I reckon i'm a pessimist so that should make me a prime candidate for vaccine skepticism.

  • Trouble us, those poor guys working for governments (or other institutions, or companies) do have their names on patents. But they do not own the IP because their contract specifies that IP generated from their work belongs to the organisation that pays them. Anyone who has been in that position knows this is the way it always works.

    This does/can vary by Country, employment contract and any Company invention incentment program. For the US I wouldn't expect this to be more than a couple of thousand $ per patent application. For government grants to Corporations, the grant does not necessarily mean that the IP isn't owned by the Corporation receiving the grant; sometimes that's within the grant rules.


    However, I doubt that the $150,000 p/a royalty mentioned above is true or at the very least it would not be common and if it was true such conflicts of interests would of course have to be declared and I assume individuals recused from decision making. Or, to put it another way, the claim sure sounds like BS.

  • Finally - just to show that I'm not a pro-vax PR shill, paid by nefarious interests to advance the cause of Bill Gates vaccine-control world dominance:

    How to talk to vaccine skeptics so they might actually hear you
    Those opposing vaccinations often mistrust government, science and the news media. There may be better ways to persuade them than by offering facts only.
    theconversation.com


    Basically, most of my posts here are the wrong way to talk to vaccine skeptics.


    But then that is OK, because we don't have any of those here, do we?



    Facts don’t convince people


    People who support vaccination sometimes believe their own set of myths, which actually may stand in the way of getting people vaccinated. One such myth is that people respond to facts and that vaccine hesitancy can be overcome by facts.

    That is not necessarily true. Actually, knowledge alone rarely convinces people to change behavior. Most decisions are informed – or misinformed – by emotions: confidence, threat, empathy and worry are four of them.


    Another myth is that people can easily separate accurate information from the inaccurate. This is not always true, either. With so much misinformation and disinformation out there, people are often overconfident about their ability to discern good from bad. Our research during the H1N1 epidemic showed that overconfidence can lead to faulty conclusions that increase risk.


    Also, it’s not always true that people are motivated to get accurate information to protect themselves and their loved ones. People are often too busy to parse information, especially on complicated subjects. They instead rely on shortcuts, often looking for consistency with their own attitudes, social media endorsements and accessibility.


    And, to complicate matters, people will sometimes disregard additional fact checking that contradicts their political beliefs.