Criticisms of Coronavirus narrative and policy

Sisyphus

Robin
I’ll begin by saying that I’ve learned a lot and taken a lot of solace from reading this thread. It’s helped me to share my feelings about this situation, feelings which are not acceptable in mainstream society so I’m thankful to everyone who’s participated thus far.

We’re learning a lot about our society, the people around us, and ourselves. That the purpose of corporate media is not to “inform the public” or present “objective” assessments of information should not have been surprising to anyone. The degree to which the media is able to shape people’s realities by shaping their thoughts is truly chilling. It should also not come as a revelation that the insidious purposes of social media include serving as a surveillance tool, facilitating citizens informing on other citizens, and creating and enforcing a strict moral code devoid of any nuance and impervious to any challenge, logical or otherwise.

This situation is testing us in a variety of ways, but perhaps the most important test is how we acquire, interpret, and react to information. We’ll never know the real numbers but I think it’s safe to say that most people are failing this test. It’s up to us to maintain rational and logical approaches to our processing of information in the face of constant misinformation, and the consequences for failing to do so may be very dire.

At best this will all blow over when the entities that have manufactured and perpetuated the hysteria decide it’s time to bombard the populous with the distraction provided by the political theater of the presidential election. Perhaps it was merely a test — to see what they can get away with, a test of compliance, a test of gullibility, a test of how social media can be used to manipulate the masses, or any combination of these. But at worst this is a fight for our very freedom and this fight can only be won if the arguments we put forward are unimpeachable. Therefore we must avoid any questionable arguments and evidence, and we must be extremely careful in choosing the talking points we use. Make no mistake, it’s not a fair fight. The might of the media apparatus has the paramount ability to not only declare what is right and wrong, but to also limit the terms of the discourse however it sees fit. The official narrative is innocent until proven guilty and supported by an overwhelming mountain of emotional and misleading evidence; the burden of proof lies on those who question its foundations.

For this reason we must be skeptical about our skepticism. Confirmation bias lurks around every corner and threatens to drag our viewpoint into the muck of conjecture, opinion unrelated to facts or verifiable evidence, unfounded allegations, and plain old falsehood.

To begin with, when I’m seeking an honest, fact-based assessment of a situation just about the last place I will turn is to an African strongman. Is there any confirmation of this story about goats and fruits or any way to confirm it? Unless there is any tangible evidence to support this individual’s claims, this is a prime example of a talking point we must reject swiftly and unequivocally. We should be aware of the enemy’s tactics of portraying all people who hold a different opinion as equivalent to the most foolish and absurd proponent of that opinion and we must not provide them with the means of employing these tactics.

The talking points provided here https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/ are an excellent resource; however, they are not without flaws. In a relatively benign example, item # 14 mentions South Korea and links to an article printed on March 5th. While the point made by the article may still be valid now, this article is over two months old and therefore does not represent the current state of knowledge. Item # 20 says that the virus test kits are prone to error – the provided link leads to an article published by the NIH which says that the problems with the test kits are actually false negatives which counters the point the website is trying to make. It took me about 3 hours to go through all of the links provided, I highly recommend everyone does the same to verify the information for themselves.

The editorial with Fauci as the lead author which was printed in the New England Journal of Medicine https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe2002387 has been touted as some sort of smoking gun, “proving” the infected fatality rate of the virus is .1%. The piece is not peer reviewed research — it is simply an editorial. It’s a veritable parade of equivocation and buzzwords – the word “may” is used 6 times in the short piece and close reading reveals that it says absolutely nothing of substance.

There was a link posted earlier in this thread to an essay supposedly written by one Dr. David Williams practicing medicine in Alabama. There are several problems with this resource, perhaps most notably the fact that it was printed on godaddy.com. It requires less than five minutes of research to find that there are dozens of doctors by this name in Alabama and (presumably by design) there’s no way to determine which one of them is the purported author of the article. The image of students in white coats looking adoringly towards the camera is in fact a stock image taken from Getty. The author claims to represent a group of physicians (none of whom are named), but as the article goes on it becomes clear that it’s the work of one individual. More subtly the writing style degenerates throughout the article which is clearly not written by a person with experience writing for scientific publications. The unverifiable claim that someone is an expert in some field is a common device used by any number of commenters on articles and YouTube videos and one which must not be believed. In the wake of the World Trade Center events of 2001, hundreds of anonymous internet users suddenly became experienced structural engineers with expert knowledge of the melting point and tensile strength of steel. I value the opinions of these mystery physicians as much as I value those of the mystery structural engineers.

I am very wary of opinions being presented as proof of any argument regarding the current situation, including opinions held by virologists and epidemiologists. I certainly value their opinions more than those of my local plumber, but ultimately their opinions are just that and don’t prove anything one way or the other. Being an epidemiologist does make you an authority on every epidemic, especially one caused by a supposedly novel virus that neither you nor anyone else has been able to study in depth. Of all of the logical fallacies, the appeal to authority is probably the most prevalent (aside from the ad hominem which is the opposite side of the same coin) and perhaps the easiest one to fall victim to. I view the acceptance of opinions as fact on this subject as skirting dangerously close to the appeal to authority. I will take these opinions under consideration, but I don’t feel comfortable equating them to factual determinations. Ideally I would like to see experts in the field participate in a rational debate in which opposing ideas may freely be exchanged, and I think we would all have a lot to gain by witnessing such a debate. However, I’m fully aware that the emotional and political environment related to this issue makes that impossible.

I have no doubts that the official story is false and that the relentless repetition of this story is not at all organic and is instead a campaign orchestrated by very powerful interests. I don’t know what the motives of these interests are, but I do know that the motive has nothing to do with benefiting us. The most reasonable assumption is that the purpose of the campaign is to increase the wealth and power of the wealthy and powerful. Sadly, they are achieving their aims by turning the people against each other and using people who will gain no benefit from their schemes to do their bidding. The only way to fight back is to provide factual information that counters the foundational assumptions of the official story, to make this information available, and to share it with any who are willing to listen. It is imperative to avoid using misleading and unsubstantiated information in an attempt to further our cause. We must verify our claims and investigate the sources of the information we receive. We must carefully weigh which sources of information can be trusted before we pass them on to others. We must also concede that we will be unable to engage in this fight using the platforms provided by the enemy (i.e. social media and YouTube). Would you participate in a boxing match if you knew beforehand that the referee and judges were paid to ensure the victory of your opponent? The only result of engaging in such a fight that cannot be won would be to convince the audience that you’re a loser. Not only must we not take this fight to social media, we must reject social media outright and avoid using it unless your livelihood depends on it. We don’t need social media to grovel to women or to “network.” We must find alternative ways to spread ideas. Subversive ideas were disseminated long before there was an internet, and we must be prepared to use whatever means are at our disposal to counter the official story without using the apparatus they’ve provided for us, an apparatus that by its nature opposes the spread of ideas not approved by those who control it.

Let’s hope that the hysteria is allowed to pass and the bread and circuses are brought back to appease and pacify the unthinking masses, but let’s also be prepared for other eventualities, for the strengthening of the assault on reason and logic. Preparation must begin in the mind and we must train ourselves to question, to consider the merits of every argument we receive, and to only retain and share arguments and ideas that withstand careful scrutiny.
 

ginsu

Pigeon
What's so bad about it? I read the bill. It's just providing grants to local governments and hospitals for testing and treatment. It's not delegating any authority or declaring anything a crime. It's just a funding bill.
Funding or Bribes ?. I didn't read the bill at all but I've noticed that the main strategy of these big organizations, lobbying, politics etc is to hand out money as incentive to steer things in the direction they want.

Just like funding climate science results in an incentive to keep proving climate change and inventing more reasons to keep the money rolling.

If you start funding testing and treatment for a certain disease its not a surprise you will end up with more cases of that disease being found and more people being treated for it. Whether they have it or not, its just good for business.

They're not handing out money for this problem to be solved. You will get NOTHING if you solve the problem, you only get paid to keep the problem (opportunity for the elite) going.
 

Hypno

Hummingbird
Here's why the U.S. Chinese Corona Virus numbers are phony:

Not only are the coronavirus models being used by WHO and the most national health agencies based on highly dubious methodologies, and not only are the tests being used of wildly different quality, that only indirectly confirm antibodies of a possible COVID-19 illness. Now the actual designations of deaths related to coronavirus are being revealed to be equally problematic for a variety of reasons. It gives alarming food for thought as to the wisdom of deliberately putting most of the world’s people–and with it the world economy–into Gulag-style lockdown on the argument it is necessary to contain deaths and prevent overloading of hospital emergency services.

When we take a closer look at the definitions used in various countries for “death related to COVID-19” we get a far different picture of what is claimed to be the deadliest plague to threaten mankind since the 1918 “Spanish Flu.”

The USA and CDC definitions
Right now the USA is said to be the nation with far the largest number of COVID-19 deaths, as of this writing, with media reporting some 68,000 “Covid-19” deaths. Here is where it gets very dodgy. The Government agency responsible for making the cause of death tally for the country, the CDC, is making huge changes in how they count so-called novel coronavirus deaths.

As of May 5, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, the central agency recording cause of death nationwide, reported 39,910 COVID-19 deaths. A footnote defines this as “Deaths with confirmed or presumed COVID-19.” How a doctor makes the “presumed” judgment leaves huge latitude to the hospital and health professionals. Although the coronavirus tests are known to be subject to false results, CDC states that even where no tests have been made a doctor can “presume” COVID-19. Useful to note for perspective is the number of USA deaths recorded from all causes in the same period of February 1 through May 2, that was 751,953.

Now it gets more murky. The CDC posted this notice: “As of April 14, 2020, CDC case counts and death counts include both confirmed and probable cases and deaths.” From that time the number of so-called COVID-19 deaths in USA has exploded in an alarming manner it would appear. On that day, April 14, New York City’s coronavirus death toll was revised with a major 3,700 fatalities added, with the provision that the count now included “people who had never tested positive for the virus but were presumed to have it.” The CDC now defines confirmed as “confirmatory laboratory evidence for COVID-19,” which as we noted elsewhere included tests of dubious precision, but at least tests. Then they define “probable” as “with no confirmatory laboratory testing performed for COVID-19.” Just a guess of the doctor in charge.

Now leaving aside the major discrepancy between the CDC headline COVID-19 deaths as of May 5 of 68,279 and their detailed total of 39,910 deaths for the same period, we find another problem. Hospitals and doctors are being told to list COVID-19 as cause of death even if, say, a patient age 83 with pre-existing diabetes or cardiac issues or pneumonia dies with or without COVID-19 tests. The CDC advises, “In cases where a definite diagnosis of COVID cannot be made but is suspected or likely (e.g. the circumstances are compelling with a reasonable degree of certainty) it is acceptable to report COVID-19 on a death certificate as ‘probable’ or ‘presumed.’” This opens the door ridiculously wide for abuse of coronavirus death numbers in the United States.

A Big Money Incentive

A provision in the March 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, known as the CARES Act, gives a major incentive for hospitals in the US, most all of them private for-profit concerns, to deem newly-admitted patients as “presumed COVID-19.” By this simple method the hospital then qualifies for a substantially larger payment from the government Medicare insurance, the national insurance for those over 65. The word “presumed” is not scientific, not at all precise but very tempting for hospitals concerned about their income in this crisis.

Dr Summer McGhee, Dean of the School of Health Sciences at the University of New Haven, notes that,
“The CARES Act authorized a temporary 20 percent increase in reimbursements from Medicare for COVID-19 patients…” He added that, as a result, “hospitals that get a lot of COVID-19 patients also get extra money from the government.”
Then, according to a Minnesota medical doctor, Scott Jensen, also a State Senator, if that COVID-19 designated patient is put on a ventilator, even if only presumed to have COVID-19, the hospital can get reimbursed three times the sum from the Medicare. Dr Jensen told a national TV interviewer,

“Right now Medicare is determining that if you have a COVID-19 admission to the hospital you get $13,000. If that COVID-19 patient goes on a ventilator you get $39,000, three times as much.”
Little wonder that states such as Massachusetts suddenly began backdating cause of death totals back to March 30, significantly inflating COVID death numbers, or that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo began demanding 30,000 ventilators and emergency equipment around the same early April time, equipment that was not needed.

In short, the COVID-19 death statistics in the USA are highly dubious for a variety of reasons, not least huge financial incentives to hospital administrators who had been told to cancel all other operations to make extra room for a predicted flood of coronavirus ill. That rising death toll said to be “COVID-19 or presumed” impacts the decisions to lock down the economy and in effect create an economic pandemic of unparalleled dimension.

Italy COVID deaths?

Not only are USA COVID-19 death numbers open to serious question. If we look closely most major countries have equally dubious data. Until recently one of the highest COVID-19 death rates in the EU was Italy where outbreaks have been concentrated in the Lombardy and adjacent regions of the industrial north. Here again the definition of cause of death has been fuzzy. A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association by a group of Italian doctors who analyzed the alarming high covid-19 figures pointed out that when state medical authorities made detailed case examination of a sample of 355 covid-19 “presumed” deaths, they found that the mean age was 79.5 years. “In this sample, 117 patients (30%) had ischemic heart disease, 126 (35.5%) had diabetes, 72 (20.3%) had active cancer, 87 (24.5%) had atrial fibrillation, 24 (6.8%) had dementia, and 34 (9.6%) had a history of stroke. The mean number of preexisting diseases was 2.7. Overall, only 3 patients (0.8%) had no diseases.” That means that of the sample 99.2% had other serious illnesses.

In Italy, the persons who tested positive for COVID-19, regardless of preexisting serious illness, were listed as COVID-19 fatalities. Italy has the EU’S oldest population on average and the worst air pollution in the EU, especially in the Lombardy region. From the first case in early February until 6 May Italy has declared 29,315 COVID-19 deaths. This is more than the total of deaths in 2017 attributed to influenza and/or pneumonia which was reported 25,000.

The reason for the apparent spike should be seriously investigated, but reports of panic among hospital workers over the shutdown declaration by the Conte government, with thousands reportedly fleeing Italy for their home countries in Poland or elsewhere, might have also played a role. On March 31 a report from northern Italy stated, “In recent weeks, most of the Eastern European nurses who worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week supporting people in need of care in Italy have left the country in a hurry. This is not least because of the panic-mongering and the curfews and border closures threatened by the ‘emergency governments.’“

In many countries the picture is one of a predominately mild influenza-like infection with comparable death rates. The lack of uniformly agreed tests and the inaccuracies of many tests used, as well as the extremely doubtful criteria for declaring a cause of death as being “from” COVID-19 suggest that it is well past time to reexamine the unprecedented lockdown measures, social distancing, possible mandatory vaccines of unproven effect, all of which are creating what is becoming the worst economic depression since the 1930’s.
 

Captainstabbin

Hummingbird
Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott said at Tuesday’s Senate hearing that while America has done a “pretty good job” of flattening the curve of the coronavirus outbreak, the “goalposts” for moving beyond lockdowns have kept moving.

Adverse effects of continued lockdowns are being ignored, Scott said.

The senator added that “when we set out to flatten the curve by taking aggressive, unprecedented measures like staying-at-home orders and mass small business closures, we didn’t set out with the goal of preventing 100% of fatalities. That would be unrealistic. It is impossible.”

And we didn’t set out to keep quarantines in place until we found a safe and effective vaccine. That would take too long,” he said.

The “whole point” of flattening the curve “was to make sure that we did not exceed hospital capacity. So, while I respect the need for caution, we are too often presented with a false dichotomy — either saving our economy or saving lives,” Scott continued.

“We’ve seen the goalposts around flattening the curve move, and I think that’s unfortunate, because at the same time we’re doing that, businesses have collapsed, mental and physical health have declined, depths of despair escalate, educational outcomes nosedive, as we wait in our living rooms praying for some good news around therapies and around vaccines,” Scott added.

“We set out to flatten the curve, and I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that.”


 
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Captainstabbin

Hummingbird
Stevens, Wahkiakum, Skamania, Ferry, Pend Oreille, Columbia, Garfield and Lincoln counties have all been cleared for Phase 2, which allows restaurants to reopen at 50% capacity, and caps table sizes at five.

Notably, the 13 criteria that restaurants will have to adhere to in order to reopen for dine-in service includes a stipulation that they “create a daily log of customers and maintain that daily log for 30 days, including telephone/email contact information, and time in.

This is to aid in any contact tracing, should that become necessary.
How much of that contact info will read 555-555-5555 or [email protected]. Or even, Bill Gates - [email protected].
 

Veloce

Crow
Gold Member
Many if not most restaurants already have names, numbers, and diner history in their reservation software like Opentable.
More casual restaurants are generally staffed by unintelligent or unskilled labor. The notion that they’ll reliably track all their guests for 30 days is laughable.
 

Papaya

Crow
Gold Member
Many if not most restaurants already have names, numbers, and diner history in their reservation software like Opentable.
More casual restaurants are generally staffed by unintelligent or unskilled labor. The notion that they’ll reliably track all their guests for 30 days is laughable.
Doesnt every restaurant that takes credit cards already record the number of guests in the party?

If so the data collection framework is already built. The data mining component(s) is relatively easy

All they have to do is declare cash illegal due to "national security" and that loophole is closed
 

paninaro

Woodpecker
Doesnt every restaurant that takes credit cards already record the number of guests in the party?

If so the data collection framework is already built. The data mining component(s) is relatively easy

All they have to do is declare cash illegal due to "national security" and that loophole is closed
Some restaurants have been cashless for years already. It's cheaper since you aren't going to get robbed if there's no cash register, and it costs money to have the armored car pick up your cash every day. The Sweetgreen salad chain is one of them -- card only.
 

paninaro

Woodpecker
Funding or Bribes ?. I didn't read the bill at all but I've noticed that the main strategy of these big organizations, lobbying, politics etc is to hand out money as incentive to steer things in the direction they want.

Just like funding climate science results in an incentive to keep proving climate change and inventing more reasons to keep the money rolling.

If you start funding testing and treatment for a certain disease its not a surprise you will end up with more cases of that disease being found and more people being treated for it. Whether they have it or not, its just good for business.

They're not handing out money for this problem to be solved. You will get NOTHING if you solve the problem, you only get paid to keep the problem (opportunity for the elite) going.
Ok so you're saying if you give funding for testing, you'll find more cases of it. I agree -- because currently not many people have been tested.

So would you say it's better not to do any testing? Will that make it better? How?
 

presidentcarter

Ostrich
Gold Member
Some restaurants have been cashless for years already. It's cheaper since you aren't going to get robbed if there's no cash register, and it costs money to have the armored car pick up your cash every day. The Sweetgreen salad chain is one of them -- card only.
Call me a boomer, but I avoid any place that is "cashless" if at all possible. If you don't accept a greenback I don't consider you a legitimate business.
 
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