CORONA Main Coronavirus thread


Veteran Member
I just had the incredibly painful experience of having to listen to Ohio's head Doctor, Dr. Amy Acton.

She bumbled, cried and choked up about somehow tying the coronavirus to racism and the death of George Floyd, it was absolutely pathetic, chock full of teary-eyed emotion and an embarrassment for a State level televised broadcast.

Gotta wonder why she never shows that kind of emotions for the millions of babies that get aborted because of her radical and staunch support of abortions, both early and late-term? She might be hot but she's a radical, over-emotional basket case. She's so horrible that there's a damn decent chance she could ruin Dewine's election chances, nobody can stand that blubbering.

Because, she's a 'true believer'.


Has No Life - Lives on TB

All Our Lockdowns Based on Buggy 1960s Code Written in Fortran

Date: May 25, 2020

Covid 19 model left, Cancer Virus from Project 21 Right

"In yet another shocking revelation, it turns out that all our lockdowns were based on software written in the completely obsolete language FORTRAN, for which one can barely obtain a compiler today. Moreover, the government did NOT SEEK THE ADVICE OF A SINGLE SOFTWARE EXPERT or COMPUTER SCIENTIST to review the model for quality.
If they did, it would have been obvious it was a pile of junk, a relic from long dead software engineers.

What a huge blunder for the government, but it was backed by FAUCI. IT was ANNOUNCED and DELIVERED by FAUCI. One MORE REASON not to trust FAUCI.

In the history of expensive software mistakes, Mariner 1 was probably the most notorious. The unmanned spacecraft was destroyed seconds after launch from Cape Canaveral in 1962 when it veered dangerously off-course due to a line of dodgy code.

But nobody died and the only hits were to Nasa’s budget and pride. Imperial College’s modelling of non-pharmaceutical interventions for Covid-19 which helped persuade the UK and other countries to bring in draconian lockdowns will supersede the failed Venus space probe and could go down in history as the most devastating software mistake of all time, in terms of economic costs and lives lost.

Since publication of Imperial’s microsimulation model, those of us with a professional and personal interest in software development have studied the code on which policymakers based their fateful decision to mothball our multi-trillion pound economy and plunge millions of people into poverty and hardship. And we were profoundly disturbed at what we discovered. The model appears to be totally unreliable and full of software bugs."


TB Fanatic
It seems MY OBSERVATIONS WERE CORRECT. The AMOUNT of the COVID19 VIRUS you are exposed to seems to control both the likelihood of becoming infected and how serious your case becomes.
My post #44,891 of Apr 19, 2020
I think there is an entirely undiscussed component of this outbreak, and that is HOW MUCH OF A "DOSE" OF VIRUS did the "exposed" person actually come away with? It may be that if the person only got a VERY SLIGHT EXPOSURE to the virus, his immune system may have successfully fought it off with only slight or no symptoms, BUT EVEN THE SLIGHT EXPOSURE STARTED THE ANTIBODY PRODUCTION PROCESS, and now even with just some of HIS OWN existing antibodies, while that person may not be FULLY protected from contracting the disease again, but with now some antibodies present, I believe that even if he is later exposed to a greater "dose" of the virus, he has a much greater chance of surviving his second, more "serious" bout with the disease.

So, I have decided that trying to AVOID ALL EXPOSURE to ANY virus MAY BE A BIG MISTAKE.
What I hope to do is avoid exposure to a LARGE or successive, REPEATED MODERATE DOSES of infection. I will wear an N95 respirator and gloves when I go out, to try to avoid that, and keep the 6 foot distancing, but will not worry about what virus may be on the mail or the wrapper for the Whopper I buy.

Acquiring "herd immunity" by surviving a TINY dose of COVID-19 Is something (absent an effective vaccine,) is something we older people need to try to get without overwhelming our apparently weaker immune system, I believe.

I wish the doctors were trying that, kinda like the old method of using WEAKENED VIRUS to create antibodies in a "scratch immunization" like they did against smallpox.
It’s Not Whether You Were Exposed to the Virus. It’s How Much

It’s Not Whether You Were Exposed to the Virus. It’s How Much.
The pathogen is proving a familiar adage: The dose makes the poison.

Harry Henri, a research assistant, working with blood samples from coronavirus patients at SUNY Downstate’s BioBank in Brooklyn.

Harry Henri, a research assistant, working with blood samples from coronavirus patients at SUNY Downstate’s BioBank in Brooklyn.Credit...Misha Friedman for The New York Times
By Apoorva Mandavilli
  • May 29, 2020

    When experts recommend wearing masks, staying at least six feet away from others, washing your hands frequently and avoiding crowded spaces, what they’re really saying is: Try to minimize the amount of virus you encounter.
    A few viral particles cannot make you sick — the immune system would vanquish the intruders before they could. But how much virus is needed for an infection to take root? What is the minimum effective dose?
    A precise answer is impossible, because it’s difficult to capture the moment of infection. Scientists are studying ferrets, hamsters and mice for clues but, of course, it wouldn’t be ethical for scientists to expose people to different doses of the coronavirus, as they do with milder cold viruses.
    “The truth is, we really just don’t know,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Columbia University in New York. “I don’t think we can make anything better than an educated guess.”
Common respiratory viruses, like influenza and other coronaviruses, should offer some insight. But researchers have found little consistency.
For SARS, also a coronavirus, the estimated infective dose is just a few hundred particles. For MERS, the infective dose is much higher, on the order of thousands of particles.

The new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is more similar to the SARS virus and, therefore, the infectious dose may be hundreds of particles, Dr. Rasmussen said.

But the virus has a habit of defying predictions.
Generally, people who harbor high levels of pathogens — whether from influenza, H.I.V. or SARS — tend to have more severe symptoms and are more likely to pass on the pathogens to others.
But in the case of the new coronavirus, people who have no symptoms seem to have viral loads — that is, the amount of virus in their bodies — just as high as those who are seriously ill, according to some studies.

And coronavirus patients are most infectious two to three days before symptoms begin, less so after the illness really hits.
Some people are generous transmitters of the coronavirus; others are stingy. So-called super-spreaders seem to be particularly gifted in transmitting it, although it’s unclear whether that’s because of their biology or their behavior.
On the receiving end, the shape of a person’s nostrils and the amount of nose hair and mucus present — as well as the distribution of certain cellular receptors in the airway that the virus needs to latch on to — can all influence how much virus it takes to become infected.
A higher dose is clearly worse, though, and that may explain why some young health care workers have fallen victim even though the virus usually targets older people.
The crucial dose may also vary depending on whether it’s ingested or inhaled.
People may take in virus by touching a contaminated surface and then putting their hands on their nose or mouth. But “this isn’t thought to be the main way the virus spreads,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That form of transmission may require millions more copies of the virus to cause an infection, compared to inhalation.
Coughing, sneezing, singing, talking and even heavy breathing can result in the expulsion of thousands of large and small respiratory droplets carrying the virus.

“It’s clear that one doesn’t have to be sick and coughing and sneezing for transmission to occur,” said Dr. Dan Barouch, a viral immunologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Larger droplets are heavy and float down quickly — unless there’s a breeze or an air-conditioning blast — and can’t penetrate surgical masks. But droplets less than 5 microns in diameter, called aerosols, can linger in the air for hours.
“They travel further, last longer and have the potential of more spread than the large droplets,” Dr. Barouch said.

Three factors seem to be particularly important for aerosol transmission: proximity to the infected person, air flow and timing.

A windowless public bathroom with high foot traffic is riskier than a bathroom with a window, or a bathroom that’s rarely used. A short outdoor conversation with a masked neighbor is much safer than either of those scenarios.
Recently, Dutch researchers used a special spray nozzle to simulate the expulsion of saliva droplets and then tracked their movement. The scientists found that just cracking open a door or a window can banish aerosols.
“Even the smallest breeze will do something,” said Daniel Bonn, a physicist at the University of Amsterdam who led the study.

Observations from two hospitals in Wuhan, China, published in April in the journal Nature, determined much the same thing: more aerosolized particles were found in unventilated toilet areas than in airier patient rooms or crowded public areas.
This makes intuitive sense, experts said. But they noted that aerosols, because they are smaller than 5 microns, would also contain much less, perhaps millions-fold less, virus than droplets of 500 microns.
“It really takes a lot of these single-digit size droplets to change the risk for you,” said Dr. Joshua Rabinowitz, a quantitative biologist at Princeton University.
Apart from avoiding crowded indoor spaces, the most effective thing people can do is wear masks, all of the experts said. Even if masks don’t fully shield you from droplets loaded with virus, they can cut down the amount you receive, and perhaps bring it below the infectious dose.
“This is not a virus for which hand washing seems like it will be enough,” Dr. Rabinowitz said. “We have to limit crowds, we have to wear masks.”
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Has No Life - Lives on TB
9:59 min
Distance, masks and eye protection
•Jun 2, 2020

Dr. John Campbell
Lancet, Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis 1st June, COVID-19 Systematic Urgent Review Group Effort (SURGE)

Methods Meta-analysis Physical distance, face masks, eye protection 172 observational studies, 16 countries, 6 continents N = 25, 697, patients with Covid-19, SARS, MERS No randomised controlled trials Physical distance Less than 1 metre = 13% risk More than 1 metre, 3% risk 2 metres = 1.5% risk 3 metres = 0.75% risk Face masks N = 2,647 Wearing a mask risk = 3% risk of infection Not wearing a mask 17% risk of infection stronger associations with N95 or similar respirators Eye protection Associated with less infection (n=3713) aOR = 0·22 Interpretation Quantitative estimates for models and contact tracing policy Robust randomised trials needed Systematic appraisal of currently best available evidence WHO, 1 metre https://www.coronavirus-statistiques....


Has No Life - Lives on TB
40:04 min
Is Covid-19 Over?
•Premiered 5 hours ago

Peak Prosperity

Global deaths from covid-19 are on the wane. Most countries and states are starting to remove lockdown restrictions. And now we're starting to see medical claims that the SARS2 virus is losing potency. Is the covid-19 pandemic finally over? Not quite, cautions Chris.

Yes, there are encouraging signs that fatalities are slowing, but there are still a lot of unknowns to address before we breathe a sigh of relief. The fact that lockdowns are ending at the same time thousands are coming into close quarters at protests will tell us in just a few weeks how worried we'll need to be about a resurgence in infections.

Meanwhile, lots of uncertainty continues to swirl around chronic questions like 'Is HCQ helpful or harmful?" and 'Does covid-19 have lab origins?'. With each day it seems there's a new wrinkle released that keeps the skeptics and the believers at odds with each other. Last, the societal trauma and the resulting inequality the official "rescue" efforts are creating are manifesting in the growing social unrest underlying the recent outbreak of protests and riots across the country. We need to keep our eyes on the true villains in this story -- primary among them the Federal Reserve -- rather than fighting each other.

_____ LINKS FROM THIS VIDEO: Lab Made Case for Lab Creation Builds https://www.independentsciencenews.or... Iran Second Wave Dallas – Not Over Iraq Surge Turkey Gets it Under Control Italy – Coronavirus losing potency Coronavirus chart


Has No Life - Lives on TB
28:05 min
China's secret police agency; Wuhan testing result released; Whistleblower doctor's widow speaks out
•Premiered 3 hours ago

China in Focus - NTD

Hong Kong will not have an outdoor vigil for the Tiananmen massacre victims this year, the first time in the past three decades. But residents are determined to honor the dead in their own ways.

The final results are in after Wuhan's initiative to test all of its residents. The results may surprise you.

Despite ongoing western condemnation for two decades, the CCP’s persecution of a spiritual group continues in secret, although the regime claims the secret police agency has been disbanded. The latest effort to stop Beijing from influencing Hollywood, cutting federal help to studios if they bow to the pressure of censorship.

The widow of China’s whistleblower doctor Li Wenliang wrote on social media that she opposes US lawmakers' plan to name a street outside the Chinese embassy in Washington after Dr. Li. But locals in Wuhan told media that the widow might have been pressured by Chinese authorities to make the statement.


passin' thru
Novel Coronavirus - Covid19


Loss of taste and smell is best indicator of COVID-19, study shows

Article presented in it's entirety below:
Loss of taste and smell is best indicator of COVID-19, study shows

Person smelling a tasting a cup of tea.

Researchers deploying a smartphone app to 2.6 million users have determined that the loss of smell and taste are most predictive symptoms of COVID-19.


MGH, King’s College London researchers use crowdsourced data from app to monitor symptoms in 2.6 million, study how the disease spreads

By Alvin Powell Harvard Staff Writer

Date June 1, 2020

This is part of our Coronavirus Update series in which Harvard specialists in epidemiology, infectious disease, economics, politics, and other disciplines offer insights into what the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak may bring.
Though fever, cough, and shortness of breath are the symptoms most commonly associated with COVID-19 infection, a recent study in which 2.6 million people used a smartphone app to log their symptoms daily showed that the most oddball pair of indicators — loss of smell and taste — was also the best predictor, and one that scientists said should be included in screening guidelines.
Researchers, led by scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and King’s College London, began the study as a way to fill the numerous gaps in knowledge about COVID-19, several of which are the result of the lack of broad-based clinical testing. Using crowdsourcing, they were able to rapidly gather data on the disease’s spread through a large swath of the population.

“It’s clear we understand very little about COVID, and we need to try to fill in a lot of gaps with respect to understanding the disease: who is susceptible to getting infected, the symptoms people develop related to COVID, and ultimately where around the country people were getting sick,” said Andrew Chan, chief of clinical and translational epidemiology at MGH and a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The scientists adapted a smartphone app that had been created by corporate partner ZOE, a health science company, for research on how to personalize diet to address chronic disease. The new program, a free download from the Apple or Google app stores, collects demographic and health background information and then asks how the participant is feeling. If they’re feeling well, that’s the end of the daily entry. If they’re not it asks further questions about symptoms.
The app went viral after its late March release. Some 2.6 million participants in the U.K. and U.S. were involved in the recent study but numbers have continued to climb, touching 3.7 million before the end of May.

Data from the smartphone app can identify the onset of symptoms in an area about five days before requests for COVID tests spike.

Testing for the virus has increased dramatically as the pandemic has worn on, but experts say the current rate in the U.S. — at least 1.1 million in the week of May 10, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — represents a fraction of what is needed.
The app is among several strategies being employed worldwide to illuminate the overall COVID picture. The recent rush to develop and distribute antibody or serologic tests, which can tell whether someone has had COVID-19 in the past, is one, as is the examination of sewage for COVID-19 DNA, which can be traced to particular neighborhoods undergoing an outbreak. Understanding the disease’s path through a population is essential to design effective responses and — in the absence of a vaccine — to gauge progress toward so-called “herd immunity,” where enough people have been infected that it interferes with the virus’ spread.

How We Feel app uses big data analysis to help fill information gaps created by a testing shortage

Chan said his collaborators in London have worked with the public health service there and shown that data from the smartphone app can identify the onset of symptoms in an area about five days before requests for COVID tests spike.
“It gives people really critical planning time they otherwise wouldn’t have had,” Chan said.
In the work, published recently in the journal Nature Medicine, researchers used data from about 18,000 participants who had been tested for SARS-CoV-2 to understand which symptoms were most common in those who had tested positive. They found that loss of taste and smell were reported by most of those tested, about 65 percent, and that the most predictive group of symptoms was loss of smell and taste, fatigue, persistent cough, and loss of appetite.
They then applied their model to more than 800,000 study participants who had not been tested and determined that about 40,000 of them were likely infected with the virus, just over 5 percent of the entire study population. Researchers said the study is limited by the fact that the app volunteers are self-selected and likely don’t represent the general population. They also said the results don’t indicate when loss of smell and taste occur in the illness’ course, though that may become apparent as more results are collected over time.

Chan said the crowdsourced data includes numerous mild cases — thought to be about a quarter of those infected overall — and one of the ways the app may do the most good is by increasing understanding of them.
“They are a group most at risk of spreading it because they don’t know they have it,” Chan said.
Another such group would be those who are completely asymptomatic, and the app data wouldn’t capture them since the information is self-reported. Those numbers would only be discovered through actual testing.
Future work is focusing on other unanswered questions, such as the impact of COVID on cancer patients and the effect of past infections on developing immunity. Discussions are also ongoing as to how the app can help governments direct limited resources, such as a county deploying testing or contact tracing to places where need is highest. It can also be used by managers of smaller groups — students at a particular college or workers at a large factory — to guide decisions about how best to guard students’ and workers’ health as society reopens more fully.

“I think we’re all very nervous about that [reopening], and this will be an opportunity to see if this kind of crowdsourcing information can help,” Chan said. “Ultimately it can be a tool people use at the level of public health to predict whether we can loosen restrictions. The more planning we can do the better.”

Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

Shocking New AP Report Shows WHO Actively Covered Up For China's Lies

by Tyler Durden
Tue, 06/02/2020 - 17:45

Millions around the world have pondered how the WHO could have possibly been so completely duped by Beijing during the early days of the outbreak in January, when the organization parroted lies about the virus and praised Beijing as a "model" of pandemic response. Prior reports by the Associated Press and other Western media organizations have exposed how Beijing withheld critical information about the virus (including evidence of human-to-human spread) for days while China gobbled up all the PPE and other critical medical supplies.

On Tuesday, as the US heals from a long weekend of violence and unrest, the AP has published a new report based on the details of a never-before-reported internal call where WHO higher-ups discussed what to do about China's obstinance, fearing a re-run of SARS. The recording reveals that Beijing didn't immediately cooperate with the WHO, as the WHO had previously claimed, but instead dragged its feet, much to the consternation of several top officials at the UN-linked NGO.

Not only did the CCP deliberately suppress critical info about the outbreak in Wuhan (identities and other patient-related data), but Beijing also withheld a map of the virus's genome for roughly a week after researchers finished mapping it, among other transgressions (Remember when the WHO praised China's decision to swiftly map and share the virus genome as unassailable evidence that Beijing cares about accountability?)

When China finally released the information to the WHO, they apparently only did so because a team of Chinese researchers had shared the information with another third party.

Throughout January, the World Health Organization publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus. It repeatedly thanked the Chinese government for sharing the genetic map of the virus “immediately,” and said its work and commitment to transparency were “very impressive, and beyond words.”
But behind the scenes, it was a much different story, one of significant delays by China and considerable frustration among WHO officials over not getting the information they needed to fight the spread of the deadly virus, The Associated Press has found.
Despite the plaudits, China in fact sat on releasing the genetic map, or genome, of the virus for more than a week after three different government labs had fully decoded the information. Tight controls on information and competition within the Chinese public health system were to blame, according to dozens of interviews and internal documents.
Chinese government labs only released the genome after another lab published it ahead of authorities on a virologist website on Jan. 11. Even then, China stalled for at least two weeks more on providing WHO with detailed data on patients and cases, according to recordings of internal meetings held by the U.N. health agency through January — all at a time when the outbreak arguably might have been dramatically slowed.

In fact, the WHO's congratulatory approach during the early days of the outbreak was part of a strategy to coax more information out of the government in Beijing. During transcripts of the call, American staffers at the WHO (the likely source of these leaks) complained that Beijing was giving them information "15 minutes before it appears on CCTV."
WHO officials were lauding China in public because they wanted to coax more information out of the government, the recordings obtained by the AP suggest. Privately, they complained in meetings the week of Jan. 6 that China was not sharing enough data to assess how effectively the virus spread between people or what risk it posed to the rest of the world, costing valuable time.
"We’re going on very minimal information,” said American epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove, now WHO’s technical lead for COVID-19, in one internal meeting. “It’s clearly not enough for you to do proper planning."
"We’re currently at the stage where yes, they’re giving it to us 15 minutes before it appears on CCTV,” said WHO’s top official in China, Dr. Gauden Galea, referring to the state-owned China Central Television, in another meeting.
The story behind the early response to the virus comes at a time when the U.N. health agency is under siege, and has agreed to an independent probe of how the pandemic was handled globally. After repeatedly praising the Chinese response early on, U.S. President Donald Trump has blasted WHO in recent weeks for allegedly colluding with China to hide the extent of the coronavirus crisis. He cut ties with the organization on Friday, jeopardizing the approximately $450 million the U.S. gives every year as WHO’s biggest single donor.

Perhaps the most interesting segment of the AP's reporting came two seconds before the agency appeared to dismiss the fact that China's prevarications during the early days of the virus violated international law (it's okay since the WHO has no enforcement powers).

At one point, the AP insisted, apropos of nothing, that the leaked transcript doesn't support "either the US or China", but merely offers a picture of an organization in turmoil. Somehow, we doubt this disclaimer will dissuade Trump and the China hawks in his administration from citing the report as just the latest evidence justifying their suspicions of Beijing.

The new information does not support the narrative of either the U.S. or China, but instead portrays an agency now stuck in the middle that was urgently trying to solicit more data despite limits to its own authority. Although international law obliges countries to report information to WHO that could have an impact on public health, the U.N. agency has no enforcement powers and cannot independently investigate epidemics within countries. Instead, it must rely on the cooperation of member states.
WHO staffers debated how to press China for gene sequences and detailed patient data without angering authorities, worried about losing access and getting Chinese scientists into trouble. Under international law, WHO is required to quickly share information and alerts with member countries about an evolving crisis. Galea noted WHO could not indulge China’s wish to sign off on information before telling other countries because “that is not respectful of our responsibilities.”

After all, while we might not possess any direct evidence that the novel coronavirus leaked from a biolab in Wuhan, it's now become abundantly cleared that Beijing lied, and people died, and the WHO failed in its mission to safeguard the public health of the most vulnerable nations.

Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

Mass protests could lead to a another wave of coronavirus infections
Did you protest this weekend? Get a COVID-19 test.

By Erin Schumaker
June 2, 2020, 10:24 AM ET

As thousands of demonstrators continue to protest the killing of George Floyd, health experts are worried that a second wave of COVID-19 infections could be sparked by the mass gatherings.

"What we have here is a very unfortunate experiment going on with COVID virus transmission," said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

While there's lower risk for the virus to be spread outdoors, especially in a moving crowd, many of the weekend's protests culminated in police officers shooting tear gas and using pepper spray and protesters lighting fire to cars and buildings. Smoke, tear gas and pepper spray cause coughing, Osterholm explained, and coughing aerosolizes the virus, increasing the risk that it will spread.

"If people say 'well, these are healthy folks,' we know that at least a third of COVID patients are asymptomatic according to the CDC," added Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

The risk is even more pronounced when factoring in the more than 5,600 demonstrators who have been arrested, according to The Associated Press.

Not only are jails crowded indoor spaces, but protesters sat in vehicles at close range for an extended period of time, which increases the risk for onward transmission of the virus, Osterholm explained.

A 1918 a military parade sparked the second wave of flu infections

If history is any indication of how this might play out, we need look no further than the 1918 flu pandemic. In September of that year, after the first wave of spring flu infections subsided, Philadelphia decided to proceed with a military parade, which drew a crowd of 200,000. Within a day, every hospital bed in the city was filled and within six weeks more than 12,000 Philadelphians were dead, according to The Washington Post.

On Monday, mayors and governors urged demonstrators to stay home, and if they do go out, to wear a face mask and maintain social distancing.

"We don't want people out there where they might catch this disease or spread this disease," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a Monday press conference.

"There's no question there's a danger [that] this could intensify the spread of the coronavirus just at a point when we were starting to beat it back profoundly," he said.

How mayors and public health departments are responding

Although government officials have warned demonstrators about the health risks posed by protesting during a pandemic, only a few have offered actionable guidance about the role COVID-19 testing can play in preventing the virus from spreading.

"If you were out protesting last night, you probably need to go get a COVID test this week," Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said during a Sunday news briefing, "because there's still a pandemic in America that's killing black and brown people at higher numbers."

Since most people who are infected with coronavirus develop symptoms within 14 days of being infected and can spread the disease days before they feel sick, the window to get tested and avoid infecting others is small.

Getting tested within the next seven days might not be realistic depending on where you live, explained Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, division director of infectious diseases at University of Alabama Medicine.

"Testing sites are still not set up in our most vulnerable community settings," Marrazzo said, pointing to poor and rural areas, particularly in the Deep South.

"If you are out protesting and return home, you may want to quarantine for a while," said Dr. Simone Wildes, an infectious disease specialist at South Shore Health. "You don’t know what you are going to bring home to your parents, grandparents, other members of the family who might have underlying conditions that place them at higher risk."

New York City's health department stopped short of telling protesters to get tested within a certain timeline, although the department did post to Twitter recommendations for how demonstrators could reduce their risk of spreading COVID-19.

"Health is our top priority, and with more testing capacity now available, we're inviting anyone who has participated in a demonstration over the past few days to come get tested at one of the more than 150 locations across the city," said Patrick Gallahue, a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The next two weeks are going to give us a better sense about whether case counts will rise, according to Osterholm.

"Hospitalizations could be 20 days away before you really start seeing that picking up," he noted.

Of course, those timelines assume that people who get sick will get tested. They also assume that protests will start to diminish.

Continuing protests "could take transmission into a whole other week," Osterholm said.

Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

Minnesota To Test All 7,000 National Guardsmen Deployed To Quell Riots As First Tests Positive
by Tyler Durden
Tue, 06/02/2020 - 15:45

Offering a preview of what's likely coming down the pipe over the next few weeks, a local TV station just reported that a member of the Minnesota National Guard who was deployed to clash with rioters and looters over the weekend has tested positive for COVID-19 - likely the first of many.

NEWS: Fewer than 10 Minnesota National Guard members are quarantined after having upper respiratory symptoms, deputy state surgeon Dean Stulz says.
One coronavirus test has come back positive.
All 7,000+ activated
Guard members will be tested after activation orders end.
— Theo Keith (@TheoKeith) June 2, 2020

Several others are reportedly exhibiting symptoms (remember, Floyd was killed 8 days ago and in Minneapolis, demonstrations have been ongoing since the day after his death).

Given that protests and marches, like the demonstration in Madrid commemorating International Women's Day, have already been blamed for helping to spread the virus earlier during the pandemic, health experts are worried that a second wave of COVID-19 infections could be sparked by the mass gatherings, ABC News reports.

"What we have here is a very unfortunate experiment going on with COVID virus transmission," said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

Risks are even higher when factoring in the more than 5,500 who have been arrested, according to the latest AP tally. Jails are typically crowded, poorly ventilated, indoor spaces, and what's more, some protesters sat in vehicles at close range for an extended period of time, which increases the risk for onward transmission of the virus, Osterholm explained.

Although there's lower risk for the virus to be spread outdoors, especially in a moving crowd, the use of tear gas and pepper spray, along with the protesters who lit cars and buildings on fire, could cause coughing, which can help aerosolize the virus, Osterholm added, increasing the risk that it will spread.

Even the ostensibly healthy can be carriers of COVID-19.
"If people say 'well, these are healthy folks,' we know that at least a third of COVID patients are asymptomatic according to the CDC," added Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.

During a press briefing on Monday, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio insisted that "we don't want people out there where they might catch this disease or spread this disease...[t]here's no question there's a danger [that] this could intensify the spread of the coronavirus just at a point when we were starting to beat it back profoundly."

We imagine more governors will approve plans to start testing all national guard members mobilized to combat the looting and riots.

Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
An opinion piece out of the UK; I am feeling the same way and I imagine others are too so am posting it here:

(fair use applies)

SARAH VINE: I am cured of the urge to join the shopping zombies... The convenient, flat-packed existence that once seemed so important suddenly looks very shallow

By Sarah Vine
Published: 19:41 EDT, 2 June 2020 | Updated: 19:41 EDT, 2 June 2020

There is a scene in George A. Romero’s 1978 cult zombie classic Dawn Of The Dead, where survivors arrive at a post-apocalyptic shopping mall to discover it teeming with the infected, stumbling around closed shops, blindly riding the escalators in a grimly comedic ballet of gore.

‘But what are they all doing?’ asks the heroine.

‘Some kind of instinct,’ replies the gruff hero. ‘What they used to do. This was an important place in their lives.’

I’m afraid this was the first thing that sprang to mind when I saw the scenes at Ikea on Monday.

The Swedish furniture giant re-opened 19 of its UK stores this week and was, to put it mildly, mobbed.

In Warrington, cars started arriving at 5.30am, ahead of a 9am start; by lunchtime, in the broiling heat, the socially distanced queue was more than 1,000 strong.

The same was true in Birmingham, London, Nottingham and beyond.

In their hordes they came, lines and lines of shoppers sweltering for hours in the hot sunshine.

And for what? The privilege of carrying home some fiendishly complicated item of flat-packed furniture guaranteed to drive them to within an inch of insanity?

Perhaps they really were responding to a subconscious need to return to something normal (if a trip to Ikea can ever be described as ‘normal’).

Or perhaps Britain is more of a nation of masochists than one realises.

I could never envisage a furnishings shortage so urgent as to necessitate such madness. Especially since you can get most of it online.

But it got worse. Yesterday, there were similar scenes as McDonald’s opened more restaurants.

Thousands of junk food fans were finally released from purdah to gorge on greasy, mass-produced food that the science warns is so bad for a nation confronting coronavirus.

But all that pales into insignificance compared with what is going to happen on June 15, when the likes of Primark, Marks & Spencer and others fully re-open.

Such is the feeding frenzy predicted, the former is so confident that it will succeed in offloading £1.9billion worth of unsold stock it’s not even slashing prices.

Other stores are planning hefty discounts.

Ordinarily, I’d be gearing up for a spot of bargain-hunting.

But something about this crisis has forced me to shift my priorities, think more carefully about my choices in life. It has, in many ways, been a period of much-needed reflection.

The truth is that the convenient, flat-packed existence that once seemed so important suddenly looks very shallow.

Unplugged from the never-ending conveyor-belt of conspicuous consumption, I have been reminded of the things that really matter.

The simple pleasure of a long phone call with my mother, spending time helping a teenager write an essay, walking the dogs that extra half-mile.

These are all small things that make life immeasurably richer, and yet somehow I never seemed to have the time.

I was always too distracted, too busy with other stuff. Stuff I now realise I can happily live without.

For if the past few months have taught me anything, it’s that I don’t need — or want — half of what I thought I needed and wanted so badly before coronavirus came along.

Now we are easing out of lockdown, I, for one, am not getting back in that endless, mind-numbing queue any time soon.


TB Fanatic

The United States and Russia have the two highest numbers of cumulative, confirmed coronavirus cases in the world.

As of May 20, the United States also has the highest official death toll.

Russia, however, is ranked 19th for its reported number of coronavirus fatalities, and its statistics are increasingly under scrutiny from experts who suspect something's not quite right with Moscow's methodology.

Is the United States overcounting its coronavirus deaths? Is Russia undercounting?

Most countries around the world try to adhere to the guidelines set out by the World Health Organization (WHO) for classifying coronavirus deaths: "a death due to COVID-19 may not be attributed to another disease (e.g. cancer) and should be counted independently of preexisting conditions that are suspected of triggering a severe course of COVID-19."

In other words, if a person has a heart condition, then acquires the coronavirus, and later dies, it should be classified as a coronavirus death. The same for diabetes or respiratory illnesses like pneumonia.

"When studying the pandemic, you should count as much as possible, then you can classify the cases otherwise later on," said Steven Van Gucht, a virologist at Belgium's main public health institution, Sciensano.

Experts say there is a mix of explanations why coronavirus fatality statistics vary, some a function of long-standing, institutional practices and traditions within countries, some potentially a function of politics.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. institution whose database on infections is considered one of the most authoritative, differences in mortality numbers can be caused by things like the number of tests performed in a population: The more testing there is, the more people with milder cases are identified, and this then lowers the ratio of cases to fatalities.
Also, the older or sicker a population is, the higher mortality rates are likely to be. And each country's health-care system is a factor. The number and quality of hospitals and doctors, for example, affects how infected patients are treated and whether they recover.
A gravedigger wearing a protective suit stands by a grave during the burial of a COVID-19 victim on the outskirts of Moscow on May 15.

A gravedigger wearing a protective suit stands by a grave during the burial of a COVID-19 victim on the outskirts of Moscow on May 15.
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- the lead government agency for health and disease responses -- says its statistics are based on numbers entered into the National Vital Statistics System, from all 50 U.S. states.

Among the statistics' shortcomings are the lag time: Several weeks can elapse before a COVID-19 death will be processed, coded, and tabulated, and then be reflected innational figures.

Call It COVID-19

In Russia, there's a more fundamental issue, with mounting evidence that the deaths of many people infected with the coronavirus have been attributed to other diseases or conditions.
Yelena Malinnikova, the Health Ministry's chief of infectious diseases, argued on May 4that the low mortality was due to testing and quick detection.
While Anna Lopatina, a nurse from Astrakhan, was recorded as dying from pneumonia, she was buried like a carrier of the coronavirus.
SEE ALSO:Why Is Russia's Coronavirus Death Toll So Low?

Russia has been praised for its wide national testing program, with more than 7.5 million tests conducted.

But Russia's official figures, already under scrutiny, drew more attention earlier this month when news media including The Moscow Times, The New York Times, and the Financial Times, examined preliminary fatality rates for Moscow for April, and discovered they were markedly above average. That has prompted angry denunciations from the Foreign Ministry.

Russia's WHO representative has also downplayed doubts about the country's tallies.
Gravediggers wearing personal protective equipment carry a coffin while burying a COVID-19 victim near St. Petersburg on May 6.

Gravediggers wearing personal protective equipment carry a coffin while burying a COVID-19 victim near St. Petersburg on May 6.
Mikhail Tamm, an associate professor of Moscow State University and Moscow's Higher School of Economics,told RFE/RL's Russian Servicethat there was a twofold discrepancy in such deaths in some Russian regions, as local agencies tally and report statistics.

In Moscow, Tamm noted, the city Department of Health said that more than 60 percent of patients infected with the coronavirus were not included in the death statistics. The coronavirus was considered only a "catalyst" for the development of other diseases.

Whether that is a deliberate political decision -- perhaps to minimize the perception that Russia is suffering disproportionately -- is an open question.

"We can say that there are several factors" in Russia's unusually low fatalities, Tamm said, "but only one of them, which the Moscow authorities openly wrote about, allows us to assess how great an understatement [it] is."

Death Rates, Death Counts

Other countries whose overall coronavirus numbers have come into question include Iran, which as recently as early April was one of the leading countries for confirmed cases. Last month, the country stopped publishing provincial figures, even as authorities noted "a rising trend or the beginning of a peak" in eight regions.

As of May 20, the country had reported 7,119 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University database, which relies on reports from countries' governments for its figures.
A Georgian policeman stands guard at a checkpoint in Tbilisi on April 1. They say numbers never lie. But as governments tabulate figures for COVID-19 infections and deaths, experts say the data is likely incomplete.
SEE ALSO:Here's Why The Numbers Don't Tell The Real Story Of The Coronavirus Pandemic

On the flip side are countries like Belgium, which is only seventh in the ranking of deaths, with 9,108, but instead has the world's highest fatality rate: 79.50 per 100,000 people.

By comparison, the U.S. rate is about one-third that: 27.61. Russia's is 1.88 per 100,000 people.

A Belgian government spokesman, Yves Van Laethem, earlier this month tried to dispel perceptions that the country was exceptionally ravaged by the disease. The reason is that authorities track "excess deaths" for the period that the coronavirus has been in the country.
A mortuary worker wears protective gear during the coronavirus pandemic in Brussels in April.

A mortuary worker wears protective gear during the coronavirus pandemic in Brussels in April.
That figure is the number of deaths in excess of what would otherwise be expected for the same period, based on past statistics – similar to what reporters found for Moscow in April.

"Our way of counting things is the most scientifically correct and honest," Van Laethem was quoted as saying on May 15.

The Belgian virologist, Van Gucht, said that, because the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 was so new when it emerged, many countries did not know how best to respond or how to classify and tally deaths. That's changed as more information and data have been generated.

"It's a bit silly that countries are worried about their image, because a virus. It's nobody's fault. It's a force of nature. You try to deal with it," Van Gucht told RFE/RL. "It's become too much of a competition between countries, about their image.

"It's a bit of a political issue, because we, as scientists in public health, we don't care if one country looks better or worse than other countries," he said. "We just much want as much data as possible, as soon as possible."

Virus Politics?

And then there are countries whose statistics are beyond implausible: Turkmenistan to this day has not reported any coronavirus cases at all, despite being surrounded by countries that have.

The World Health Organization itself has come under severe criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump's administration and from other governments. Much of the criticism has focused on the organization's interactions with China, where the disease first emerged in November and December, and on the perception that it has provided political cover for authoritarian governments.

Its local representatives have also come under fire -- for example, in Tajikistan, where authorities insisted there were no cases for weeks, a position endorsed by the WHO's representative there, and its president flouted warnings from international experts to order social-distancing restrictions or other measures aimed at curtailing any spread of the disease.

On April 30, however, Tajik authorities announced the country's first cases; as of May 19, there were nearly 2,000 confirmed cases and 41 deaths.

James Aldworth, a spokeswoman at WHO's global headquarters in Geneva, told RFE/RL that the variation in data is partly explained by differences in reporting methods and testing strategies from one country to another.

"It is therefore not unusual to see the data on severity vary from one area to another as the local context plays a role in the spread and scale of infection of the disease," he told RFE/RL in an e-mail.

"Many countries are in fact struggling to capture the deaths that are occurring due to COVID-19," he said.

Aldworth did not respond to questions about whether WHO has in some cases provided political cover for authoritarian governments concerned about negative media coverage on the coronavirus.
  • 16x9 Image
    Mike Eckel
    Mike Eckel is a senior correspondent for RFE/RL based in Prague.

Plain Jane

Veteran Member

COVID-19 Data for Pennsylvania*
* Map, tables, case counts and deaths last updated at 12:00 p.m. on 6/2/2020
Source: Pennsylvania National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (PA-NEDSS) as of 12:00 a.m. on 6/3/2020
Page last updated: 12:00 p.m. on 6/3/2020

View the beta version of the Pennsylvania COVID-19 Dashboard.

Case Counts, Deaths, and Negatives
Total Cases*DeathsNegative**Recovered***

* Total case counts include confirmed and probable cases.
** Negative case data only includes negative PCR tests. Negative case data does not include negative antibody tests.
*** Individuals who have recovered is determined using a calculation, similar to what is being done by several other states. If a case has not been reported as a death, and it is more than 30 days past the date of their first positive test (or onset of symptoms) then an individual is considered recovered.

Confirmed CasesProbable Case by Definition and High-Risk ExposureProbable Case by Serology Test and Either Symptoms or High-Risk Exposure

Hospital Data
Trajectory Animations

Positive Cases by Age Range to Date
Age RangePercent of Cases*
0-4< 1%
5-12< 1%
* Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding

Hospitalization Rates by Age Range to Date

Age RangePercent of Cases*
0-4< 1%
5-12< 1%
13-18< 1%

* Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding

Death Data

County Case Counts to Date
CountyTotal CasesNegatives
Bedford 41831

Incidence by County

Incidence is calculated by dividing the current number of confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases reported to the Department by the 2018 county population data available from the Bureau of Health Statistics. The counties are divided into 6 relatively equally-sized groups based on their incidence rate (i.e. sestiles). Cases are determined using a national COVID-19 case definition. There currently is no way to estimate the true number of infected persons. Incidence rates are based on the number of known cases, not the number of true infected persons.

Case Counts by Sex to Date

SexPositive Cases Percent of Cases*
Not reported7311%
* Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding

Case Counts by Race to Date*

RacePositive CasesPercent of Cases**
African American/Black907112%
Not reported42,22658%
* 58% of race is not reported. Little data is available on ethnicity.
** Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding

Case Counts by Region to Date

Northcentral 10811594917

EpiCurve by Region

Case counts are displayed by the date that the cases were first reported to the PA-NEDSS surveillance system. Case counts by date of report can vary significantly from day to day for a variety of reasons. In addition to changes due to actual changes in disease incidence, trends are strongly influenced by testing patterns (who gets tested and why), testing availability, lab analysis backlogs, lab reporting delays, new labs joining our electronic laboratory reporting system, mass screenings, etc. Trends need to be sustained for at least 2-3 weeks before any conclusions can be made regarding the progress of the pandemic.

COVID-19 Cases Associated with Nursing Homes and Personal Care Homes to Date
This data represents long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania, including Department of Health and Department of Human Services regulated facilities.


Has No Life - Lives on TB
BREAKING NEWS Massachusetts coronavirus cases: 7,085 deaths, 101,163 positive tests Massachusetts coronavirus cases: 7,085 deaths, 101,163 positive tests 50 new deaths same as yesterday * positive cases continue to drop as of today the lowest level in months at 385 new cases
BREAKING NEWS Massachusetts coronavirus cases: 7,152 deaths, 101,592 positive tests
Massachusetts coronavirus cases: 7,152 deaths, 101,592 positive tests 68 new deaths up from 50 yesterday


Has No Life - Lives on TB
13:06 min
085 - COVID-19 and the Future of Long Term Care Facilities
•Jun 3, 2020

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Long term care facilities that house vulnerable populations in a communal living setting have been hotbeds for COVID-19 outbreaks. Infectious disease physician Dr. Morgan Katz has been working with some facilities to provide guidance on COVID-19 response. She talks with Stephanie Desmon about infection control procedures, how testing is a double edged sword, the biggest lessons we’ve learned so far, and what the future of long term care facilities may look like.


Has No Life - Lives on TB
41:12 min
Overseas Report from Craig
•Jun 3, 2020

Dr. John Campbell
Thank you very much Craig, Craig's business e mail,


25:26 min
Update for Wednesday
•Jun 3, 2020

Dr. John Campbell
COVID -19, Update, Wednesday 3rd June

Taiwan Cases, 443 Deaths, 7 Vietnam Cases, 328 Deaths, no data Aggressive testing Mass, centralised quarantine programme Japan Cases, 16, 861 Deaths, 903 New Zealand Cases, 1,504 Deaths, 22 Recorded 12th day with no new cases All remaining restrictions within the country may be lifted next week One person is still recovering at home US Cases, + 14,790 = 1,831,821 Deaths, + 761 = 106,181 Contact tracing trust When someone from the government calls

UK Deaths, 39,452 173,879 people are currently predicted to have symptomatic COVID 11,300 new cases per day England overall: 7,223 - 9,301 17% down on the week Cheddar, Somerset Staff have not left work for 50 days Sleeping in the stock room Many more weeks Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19 (PHE 2nd June)

France Cases, 188,450 Deaths, + 107 = 28,943 Highest daily death toll for 13 days Lockdown easing continues Germany Cases, 184,097 Deaths, 8, 587 Berlin, cases + 35 = 217 active cases R = 1.2 - 1.95 R = 1.2 R number was more likely to fluctuate while the total number of infections was low Corona traffic lights R Number of free intensive care beds Number of weekly new infections Berlin, new cases per week = 5.1 per 100,000 people Covid-19 patients only take up 3.3% of intensive care beds R = 0.89. Bangladesh Cases, 55,140 Deaths, 746 First death of Rohingya refugee, 71-year-old man Infections rise in camps 29 tested positive 1 million Rohingya

Brazil Cases, 555,383 Deaths + 1,262 = 31,199 President continues to downplay the pandemic. Scientists and medical experts believe the situation is dire and likely to get worse São Paulo and Rio Iran Cases, + 3,117 + 3,134 = 160,696 2nd highest daily increase Deaths, + 70 = 8,012 Critical in hospital = 2,557 critical condition South Africa Cases, + 1,455 = 35,812 Easing lockdown restrictions Alcohol sales allowed again Rate of new cases is expected to quicken. China Air pollution levels return to pre-pandemic levels


Has No Life - Lives on TB
58:32 min
War Room Pandemic Ep 210 - United States of Anarchy
•Streamed live 13 hours ago

Bannon WarRoom - Citizens of the American Republic

Raheem Kassam, Jack Maxey, and Greg Manz are joined in studio by Jack Posobiec to discuss the latest on the coronavirus pandemic as civil unrest and insurrection grips the nation on top of the economic carnage left behind by the global outbreak. Calling in is Matt Palumbo to discuss his latest about the media. Also calling in is Ryan Girdusky to provide insights about Trump's response to the unrest.


1:00:20 min
War Room Pandemic Ep 211 - Law and Order (w/ Jason Miller and Bill McGinley)
•Streamed live 12 hours ago

Bannon WarRoom - Citizens of the American Republic

Raheem Kassam, Jack Maxey, and Greg Manz discuss the latest on the coronavirus pandemic as The President's address in the Rose Garden emphasizing law and order starts to show immediate results. Calling in is Jason Miller to discuss the address. Also calling in is Bill McGinley to provide insights on the situation with the RNC Presidential Nomination Convention.


Has No Life - Lives on TB
11:46 min
WHAT HAPPENED TO COVID-19?! Democrat Lockdowns Destroyed Small Business...but Looting is Excused?
•Jun 3, 2020

Glenn Beck

Apparently COVID-19 has disappeared from the bluest states that enforced the strictest lockdowns when the pandemic first began. Politicians in states like New York and Michigan mandated the arrest of small business owners for re-opening, citizens for visiting parks, and protesters taking their frustration to the streets. The pandemic isn't over, so then, why the double standard? Because looting and rioting continues, but the arrests of those responsible seem to be few and far between...


Has No Life - Lives on TB
21:52 min
Trump admin bans China flights to US; Wuhan virus nurse denied injury insurance; Canada drops Huawei
•Premiered 2 hours ago

China in Focus - NTD

The White House is barring Chinese airline companies from flying to the US. Beijing already isn’t letting US carriers come to China. A nurse in China has been denied work-related injury compensation. She fell into a coma after working over 40-days straight—battling the virus on the frontlines in Wuhan. Another city in China wants to follow Wuhan's mass testing initiative. The city of nearly 3 million has not reported many cases, making many wonder if the situation is worse than it seems. And China’s controversial telecom giant Huawei is taking another blow. Two of Canada’s largest telecom companies have made a decision to effectively lock Huawei out of the country’s 5G networks.


Has No Life - Lives on TB
5;58 min
While you watch the riots - greedy Gavin signs an executive order that violates his emergency powers

•Streamed live 16 minutes ago

Mark Meuser (CA Attorney - Constitution, Political, Election Law)
1.43K subscribers

While the nation watches the riots and sees that the politicians are refusing to do anything because of the First Amendment (while at the same time violating the First Amendment rights of churches in the name of safety), greedy Gavin signed an executive order fundamentally re-writing California Election law. The Emergency Powers Act gives Gavin power to suspend regulations, it does not give him the power to re-write the laws. Laws are written by the legislature, not the governor. With each day that this fake emergency is allowed to go on, Gavin is making the legislature less powerful and exapanding his authority to make himself king of California.


Has No Life - Lives on TB
8:14 min
The Promise and Peril of Fast-Tracking the Coronavirus Vaccine | WSJ
•Jun 3, 2020

Wall Street Journal

As the coronavirus continues to spread around the globe, companies and academic labs are racing to develop a vaccine that would help society get back to normal. But there could also be costs to moving too quickly. WSJ’s Daniela Hernandez explains. Photo illustration: Laura Kammermann


Has No Life - Lives on TB
3:27 min
Coronavirus: The fears of India's tea workers in lockdown - BBC News
•Jun 2, 2020

BBC News
India has the fifth largest economy in the world but its size hasn’t protected it from the impact of coronavirus and the lockdown that followed. Unemployment has gone up by 120 million since March. One of the country’s biggest employers, the tea industry, has been hugely impacted.

Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

What Happened to Social Distancing?
It’s still mandatory — unless you’re looting, rioting, and starting fires.

By John Hirschauer
June 3, 2020 6:00 PM

Cardenas Ortiz-Sandoval’s mother, Guadalupe, died last month. Cardenas, 22, helped to plan her funeral. She was told by mortuary officials that the state of California would not allow more than ten people to attend her mother’s graveside service. Some family members were forced to stay home. Lifelong friends could not bury a woman they had known for decades. “So many public spaces are open,” Ortiz-Sandoval told CNN, “but a cemetery, which is open-air, is limited to ten per funeral.”

The family of Guadalupe Ortiz-Sandoval did not burn Los Angeles to the ground. They did not start riots. They, and millions like them, did not attend their loved one’s funeral service because the public-health authorities told them not to.

As I write this piece, a policeman is scouring the streets in my ruralish Connecticut suburb, patrolling the neighborhood for congregants and other insubordinates of the social-distancing regime. It is nice outside. Many are sick of sitting indoors, or pacing the streets in solitude. Most have dutifully followed the orders of the public-health officials, epidemiologists, and chart-makers whom the media have coronated as our de facto shepherds through this pandemic.

You remember what they told us. People on the beach? Fools. Three people riding together on a boat in Michigan? Lethal. Tepidly reopening the economy? An experiment in human sacrifice. The virus doesn’t go away because you’re bored. It doesn’t care that you’re grieving, your livelihood is ruined, your business has collapsed, or your spouse is abusive. You can’t pray it away at your church. So stay home, stay safe, and flatten the curve.

And that’s an order.

Unless, of course, you’re protesting racial injustice. Those protesting George Floyd’s death in crowds large enough to fill a small stadium have evaded scrutiny from the same people who told us that Floridians lying distanced on a beach were Literally Killing People. Some elected officials say that these protests are different — that the demonstrators have a good reason to be congregating on the streets. As Bill de Blasio said, the protests are much different from the matter of the “aggrieved store owner or the devout religious person.” They don’t have good reasons to break quarantine. The looters do.

Everyone you know has a “good reason” to break quarantine. Some wish to bury a relative, while others want to visit a lonely elder in a nursing home. Parents want to baptize their children to save their souls, and first-generation college students want to attend graduation. All of them were told to abstain from these things in the name of public health. Following those orders had human costs — rates of domestic violence increased during the lockdowns. Calls to suicide hotlines skyrocketed. Millions were thrown out of work. Businesses built over generations filed for bankruptcy, Some will never recover.

Those who protested the lockdown regime were ridiculed. Governor Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan said that anti-lockdown protests came “at a cost to people’s health.” Michigan nurses stood in front of protesters’ cars with folded arms, leering on in contempt. As hordes of looters and rioters turned to the streets, however, NPR informed us that “dozens of public health and disease experts have signed an open letter in support of the nationwide anti-racism protests.” Nurses in New York stood outside a hospital and cheered as protesters, some of whom were unmasked, packed together like sardines and marched through the streets to protest police brutality. The chair of the New York City Council’s health committee, Mark Levine, says that “if there is a spike in coronavirus cases in the next two weeks,” we ought not to “blame the protesters. Blame racism.”

If we shouldn’t “blame” them, then we ought not “blame” the regular people who break quarantine to mourn their dead. If it’s true, as the experts told us, that the virus does not discriminate, and does not care how trying your personal circumstances are, then the virus certainly does not care about how unjust the Minneapolis police department may be. If no “open letter” of apology from the “medical community” is forthcoming to the bereaved who stared at their casketed relative on an iPad, the least that those officials can do is admit that they never really cared about the lockdowns at all.

Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Liberal twist, posting for posterity:

(fair use applies)

Public Health Experts Say the Pandemic Is Exactly Why Protests Must Continue
By Shannon Palus
June 02, 20207:18 PM

There has been a lot of concern on how the protests over the past several days may produce a wave of coronavirus cases. This discussion is often framed as though the pandemic and protests in support of black lives are wholly separate issues, and tackling one requires neglecting the other. But some public health experts are pushing people to understand the deep connection between the two.

Facing a slew of media requests asking about how protests might be a risk for COVID-19 transmission, a group of infectious disease experts at the University of Washington, with input from other colleagues, drafted a collective response. In an open letter published Sunday, they write that “protests against systemic racism, which fosters the disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on Black communities and also perpetuates police violence, must be supported.”

The letter and the experts who signed it make a case for viewing the protests not primarily as something that could add to cases of coronavirus (though they might) but as a tool to promote public health in and of themselves. Protests address “the paramount public health problem of pervasive racism,” the letter notes. “We express solidarity and gratitude toward demonstrators who have already taken on enormous personal risk to advocate for their own health, the health of their communities, and the public health of the United States.”

By Tuesday afternoon, more than 1,000 epidemiologists, doctors, social workers, medical students, and other health experts had signed the letter. The creators had to close a Google Sheet with signatures to the public after alt-right messages popped up, but they plan to publish a final list soon, says Rachel Bender Ignacio, an infectious disease specialist and one of the letter’s creators. The hopes for the letter are twofold. The first goal is to help public health workers formulate anti-racist responses to media questions about the health implications. The second is to generate press to address a general public that may be concerned about protests spreading the virus.

“We live in an age where you are privy to seeing veritable lynching on your smartphone,” says Jade Pagkas-Bather, an infectious diseases physician at the University of Chicago. The response now “has been a long time coming.” My colleague Julia Craven described the sensation of watching black people die at the hands of law enforcement, and feeling caught in a loop of trauma:

As protesters pour into the streets of Minneapolis, Louisville, Denver, and other cities, Black folks are jerked back to 2012, when Rekia Boyd was shot by an off-duty police officer and when Trayvon Martin was gunned down by an overzealous rent-a-cop. Or to 2013, when Renisha McBride was killed while seeking help after a car accident. Or to 2015, when Gray’s spine was severed in the back of a police van, when Sandra Bland died in a Texas jail.

It’s not a coincidence that we’re seeing protests against racism during a pandemic. Racism is dangerous to public health because black people experience disproportionate effects of the coronavirus, as Craven has documented extensively. Race can affect how difficult it is to get a test, whether drugs and vaccines are designed to work for you, whether health professionals believe and listen to you. Incarceration rates are higher for black people—the virus thrives in prison—as are rates for diseases that in turn exacerbate COVID-19. “The reason why we have such high levels of diabetes, hypertension, and asthma is directly linked to structural racism,” physician Uché Blackstock told Craven in March. “We’re already very vulnerable.”

That link between racism and disease is why Ayesha Appa, an infectious disease fellow at the University of California–San Francisco, signed the letter when she saw it circulating on Twitter. “It is part of our job as infectious disease doctors to add our words of support.” She calls racism “one of the more dangerous infectious diseases.” The explicit link between white supremacy and public health is why Dashawna Fussell-Ware, a social worker and doctoral candidate at the University of Pittsburgh, put her name on the letter. She felt frustrated with a lack of responses from formal organizations. “I need very public denouncements of racism and white supremacy,” Fussell-Ware said. “We’re not going to condemn the protests—that was really, really important to me.”

In the long term, breaking down structural racism is an unequivocal public health good. In the short term, we are in danger of overemphasizing the viral spread that might come from the protests, these experts argue. “We should have a realistic awareness that we may be tasked with more cases,” says Pagkas-Bather. But she adds that the protests are “not happening in a vacuum.” They’re happening as states are relaxing stay at home orders, as largely white crowds head to pool parties and brunch. “We’re not going to be able to pin this on the protests,” says Pagkas-Bather.

The letter outlines a number of ways that protesters can reduce the risk of spreading or catching the coronavirus, such as wearing masks, distancing, and, if they’re sick, staying home and donating supplies to others instead. But many of the risks of viral spread could be mitigated by law enforcement themselves. “I imagine this wouldn’t happen, but what a wonderful place this would be if law enforcement passed out masks to those that didn’t have them,” says Appa. Instead law enforcement is instigating violence that—beyond the direct harm of rubber bullets and tear gas itself—pushes people into close contact and induces coughing. Putting protesters on buses and in jail also increases the risk of spread, notes Appa. That is: Many instances of increased transmission at protests are stemming from racism itself.

Heliobas Disciple

Has No Life - Lives on TB
(fair use applies)

Protesting Racism Versus Risking COVID-19: 'I Wouldn't Weigh These Crises Separately'
Bill Chappell
June 1, 2020 4:46 PM ET

Mass protests that have erupted over police brutality toward black people in America are raising concerns about the risk of spreading the coronavirus. But some health experts, even as they urge caution, said they support the demonstrations — because racism also poses a dire health threat.

Tens of thousands of people, masked and unmasked, have thronged the streets of Minneapolis, Atlanta, Louisville, Ky., and other cities in the week since George Floyd died after a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck. They are the largest public gatherings in the U.S. since the pandemic forced widespread shutdowns, and many local officials warned of a possible spike in new cases in one or two weeks.

"Risk of transmission is lower in open spaces, but wherever there is a gathering there is still the risk of transmitting the virus," said Dr. Elaine Nsoesie, an assistant professor of global health at Boston University.

Health experts urged protesters not to sing and shout to reduce the threat of person-to-person transmission. And they cautioned that police tactics such as tear gas and pepper spray could exacerbate the situation by prompting people to cough and gasp for air.

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issued a list of tips for demonstrators to lower their risk of contracting COVID-19, such as covering their faces and staying in small groups.

"Don't yell; use signs & noise makers instead," the department advised.

Nsoesie said that while she agrees with the sentiment, "I can see how some of these tips can be difficult to follow. For example, if you are angry or frustrated about an issue, you want to express that feeling, and speaking is one way of doing that."

She added, "It's also hard to keep 6 feet of distance at a protest."

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser said she's worried about how consecutive days of protests could trigger an influx of COVID-19 cases. Huge demonstrations began in the nation's capital on Friday — the same day Bowser lifted stay-at-home orders and eased shutdown rules.

The city is still limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people. But in the streets around the White House, that cap is regularly exceeded by orders of magnitude.

"I'm so concerned about it that I'm urging everybody to consider their exposure if they need to isolate from their family members when they go home and if they need to be tested, because we have worked very hard to blunt the curve," Bowser said on NBC's Meet the Press.

But the risks of congregating during a global pandemic shouldn't keep people from protesting racism, according to dozens of public health and disease experts who signed an open letter in support of the protests.

"White supremacy is a lethal public health issue that predates and contributes to COVID-19," the letter said.

Initially written by infectious disease experts at the University of Washington, the letter cited a number of systemic problems, from the disproportionately high rate at which black people have been killed by police in the U.S. to disparities in life expectancy and other vital categories — including black Americans' higher death rate from the coronavirus.

"Data is showing that blacks and Latinos have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 in many states," said Nsoesie, who was not among the letter's signatories when NPR contacted her. "Racism is one of the reasons this disparity exists."

She continued, "Racism is a social determinant of health. It affects the physical and mental health of blacks in the U.S. So I wouldn't weigh these crises separately."

Local governments should not break up crowded demonstrations "under the guise of maintaining public health," the experts said in their open letter. They urged law enforcement agencies not to use tear gas, smoke and other irritants, saying they could make people more susceptible to infection and worsen existing health conditions.

The medical professionals also acknowledged the potential for COVID-19 cases to rise in the days to come, and they called for public health agencies to boost access to care and testing in affected communities.

Heliobas Disciple

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Coronavirus cases in Austin, Texas have significantly increased since reopening, hospitalizations remain low
Madeline Farber
Published 20 hours ago

Health officials in one Texas city are concerned by a surge in newly confirmed coronavirus cases since beginning to reopen additional businesses there.

Coronavirus cases in Austin have trended “steadily upward” since the city began reopening retail stores, restaurants, malls, and movie theaters at the beginning of May, the Austin American-Statesman reported. What’s more, the true number of coronavirus cases in the state's capital could be seven to eight times higher than current statistics represent, according to the newspaper.

In recent weeks, Austin and Travis County have reported some 60 new COVID-19 cases each day, with Austin on Monday reporting 88 newly confirmed coronavirus cases — the city's highest single-day increase since the pandemic began.

The record daily increase comes after the city saw some 425 new cases during the last week of May, representing the most COVID-19 cases reported in Austin in a single week to date, according to local news station CBS Austin.

“As expected, as the community started to open up, we are seeing new cases, which has trailed that policy change by about two and a half weeks,” Interim Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said while speaking to the Austin City Council on Tuesday, according to the newspaper.

That said, the number of new hospitalizations from the virus has remained low, with the seven-day average keeping at 10. If the average increases to 20, however, the city could possibly see a return of stricter social distancing measures in a bid to prevent local hospitals from being overwhelmed.

"It's up to our community to make sure that we keep a lid on disease transmission," Escott added, according to CBS Austin. "We can tolerate some uptick in hospitalizations, but we are very careful to watch the risk of [an] exponential increase in our community, which may indicate a trend towards overwhelming our healthcare system."

Heliobas Disciple

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Governments and WHO changed Covid-19 policy based on suspect data from tiny US company
Surgisphere, whose employees appear to include a sci-fi writer and adult content model, provided database behind Lancet and New England Journal of Medicine hydroxychloroquine studies
Melissa Davey in Melbourne and Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Washington and Sarah Boseley in London
Wed 3 Jun 2020 14.47 EDT

The World Health Organization and a number of national governments have changed their Covid-19 policies and treatments on the basis of flawed data from a little-known US healthcare analytics company, also calling into question the integrity of key studies published in some of the world’s most prestigious medical journals.

A Guardian investigation can reveal the US-based company Surgisphere, whose handful of employees appear to include a science fiction writer and an adult-content model, has provided data for multiple studies on Covid-19 co-authored by its chief executive, but has so far failed to adequately explain its data or methodology.

Data it claims to have legitimately obtained from more than a thousand hospitals worldwide formed the basis of scientific articles that have led to changes in Covid-19 treatment policies in Latin American countries. It was also behind a decision by the WHO and research institutes around the world to halt trials of the controversial drug hydroxychloroquine. On Wednesday, the WHO announced those trials would now resume.

Two of the world’s leading medical journals – the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine – published studies based on Surgisphere data. The studies were co-authored by the firm’s chief executive, Sapan Desai.

Late on Tuesday, after being approached by the Guardian, the Lancet released an “expression of concern” about its published study. The New England Journal of Medicine has also issued a similar notice.

An independent audit of the provenance and validity of the data has now been commissioned by the authors not affiliated with Surgisphere because of “concerns that have been raised about the reliability of the database”.

The Guardian’s investigation has found:
  • A search of publicly available material suggests several of Surgisphere’s employees have little or no data or scientific background. An employee listed as a science editor appears to be a science fiction author and fantasy artist. Another employee listed as a marketing executive is an adult model and events hostess.
  • The company’s LinkedIn page has fewer than 100 followers and last week listed just six employees. This was changed to three employees as of Wednesday.
  • While Surgisphere claims to run one of the largest and fastest hospital databases in the world, it has almost no online presence. Its Twitter handle has fewer than 170 followers, with no posts between October 2017 and March 2020.
  • Until Monday, the “get in touch” link on Surgisphere’s homepage redirected to a WordPress template for a cryptocurrency website, raising questions about how hospitals could easily contact the company to join its database.
  • Desai has been named in three medical malpractice suits, unrelated to the Surgisphere database. In an interview with the Scientist, Desai previously described the allegations as “unfounded”.
  • In 2008, Desai launched a crowdfunding campaign on the website Indiegogo promoting a wearable “next generation human augmentation device that can help you achieve what you never thought was possible”. The device never came to fruition.
  • Desai’s Wikipedia page has been deleted following questions about Surgisphere and his history, first raised in 2010.
At a press conference on Wednesday, the WHO announced it would resume its global trial of hydroxychloroquine, after its data safety monitoring committee found there was no increased risk of death for Covid patients taking it.

The WHO director general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that all parts of the Solidarity trial, which is investigating a number of potential drug treatments, would go ahead. So far, more than 3,500 patients have been recruited to the trial in 35 countries.

“On the basis of the available mortality data, the members of the committee recommended that there are no reasons to modify the trial protocol,” said Tedros. “The executive group received this recommendation and endorsed continuation of all arms of the Solidarity trial, including hydroxychloroquine.”

Doubts over Lancet study

Questions surrounding Surgisphere have been growing in the medical community for the past few weeks.

On 22 May the Lancet published a blockbuster peer-reviewed study which found the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which has been promoted by Donald Trump, was associated with a higher mortality rate in Covid-19 patients and increased heart problems.

Trump, much to the dismay of the scientific community, had publicly touted hydroxychloroquine as a “wonder drug” despite no evidence of its efficacy for treating Covid-19.

The Lancet study, which listed Desai as one of the co-authors, claimed to have analysed Surgisphere data collected from nearly 96,000 patients with Covid-19, admitted to 671 hospitals from their database of 1,200 hospitals around the world, who received hydroxychloroquine alone or in combination with antibiotics.

The negative findings made global news and prompted the WHO to halt the hydroxychloroquine arm of its global trials.

But only days later Guardian Australia revealed glaring errors in the Australian data included in the study. The study said researchers gained access to data through Surgisphere from five hospitals, recording 600 Australian Covid-19 patients and 73 Australian deaths as of 21 April.

But data from Johns Hopkins University shows only 67 deaths from Covid-19 had been recorded in Australia by 21 April. The number did not rise to 73 until 23 April. Desai said one Asian hospital had accidentally been included in the Australian data, leading to an overestimate of cases there. The Lancet published a small retraction related to the Australian findings after the Guardian’s story, its only amendment to the study so far.

The Guardian has since contacted five hospitals in Melbourne and two in Sydney, whose cooperation would have been essential for the Australian patient numbers in the database to be reached. All denied any role in such a database, and said they had never heard of Surgisphere. Desai did not respond to requests to comment on their statements.

Another study using the Surgisphere database, again co-authored by Desai, found the anti-parasite drug ivermectin reduced death rates in severely ill Covid-19 patients. It was published online in the Social Science Research Network e-library, before peer-review or publication in a medical journal, and prompted the Peruvian government to add ivermectin to its national Covid-19 therapeutic guidelines.

The New England Journal of Medicine also published a peer-reviewed Desai study based on Surgisphere data, which included data from Covid-19 patients from 169 hospitals in 11 countries in Asia, Europe and North America. It found common heart medications known as angiotensin-converting–enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin-receptor blockers were not associated with a higher risk of harm in Covid-19 patients.

On Wednesday, the NEJM and the Lancet published an expression of concern about the hydroxychloroquine study, which listed respected vascular surgeon Mandeep Mehra as the lead author and Desai as co-author.

Lancet editor Richard Horton told the Guardian: “Given the questions raised about the reliability of the data gathered by Surgisphere, we have today issued an Expression of Concern, pending further investigation.

“An independent data audit is currently underway and we trust that this review, which should be completed within the next week, will tell us more about the status of the findings reported in the paper by Mandeep Mehra and colleagues.”

Surgisphere ‘came out of nowhere’

One of the questions that has most baffled the scientific community is how Surgisphere, established by Desai in 2008 as a medical education company that published textbooks, became the owner of a powerful international database. That database, despite only being announced by Surgisphere recently, boasts access to data from 96,000 patients in 1,200 hospitals around the world.

When contacted by the Guardian, Desai said his company employed just 11 people. The employees listed on LinkedIn were recorded on the site as having joined Surgisphere only two months ago. Several did not appear to have a scientific or statistical background, but mention expertise in strategy, copywriting, leadership and acquisition.

Dr James Todaro, who runs MedicineUncensored, a website that publishes the results of hydroxychloroquine studies, said: “Surgisphere came out of nowhere to conduct perhaps the most influential global study in this pandemic in the matter of a few weeks.

“It doesn’t make sense,” he said. “It would require many more researchers than it claims to have for this expedient and [size] of multinational study to be possible.”

Desai told the Guardian: “Surgisphere has been in business since 2008. Our healthcare data analytics services started about the same time and have continued to grow since that time. We use a great deal of artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate this process as much as possible, which is the only way a task like this is even possible.”

It is not clear from the methodology in the studies that used Surgisphere data, or from the Surgisphere website itself, how the company was able to put in place data-sharing agreements from so many hospitals worldwide, including those with limited technology, and to reconcile different languages and coding systems, all while staying within the regulatory, data-protection and ethical rules of each country.

Desai said Surgisphere and its QuartzClinical content management system was part of a research collaboration initiated “several years ago”, though he did not specify when.

“Surgisphere serves as a data aggregator and performs data analysis on this data,” he said. “We are not responsible for the source data, thus the labor intensive task required for exporting the data from an Electronic Health Records, converting it into the format required by our data dictionary, and fully deidentifying the data is done by the healthcare partner.”

This appears to contradict the claim on the QuartzClinical website that it does all the work, and “successfully integrates your electronic health record, financial system, supply chain, and quality programs into one platform”. Desai did not explain this apparent contradiction when the Guardian put it to him.

Desai said the way Surgisphere obtained data was “always done in compliance with local laws and regulations. We never receive any protected health information or individually identifiable information.”

Peter Ellis, the chief data scientist of Nous Group, an international management consultancy that does data integration projects for government departments, expressed concern that Surgisphere database was “almost certainly a scam”.

“It is not something that any hospital could realistically do,” he said. “De-identifying is not just a matter of knocking off the patients’ names, it is a big and difficult process. I doubt hospitals even have capability to do it appropriately. It is the sort of thing national statistics agencies have whole teams working on, for years.”

“There’s no evidence online of [Surgisphere] having any analytical software earlier than a year ago. It takes months to get people to even look into joining these databases, it involves network review boards, security people, and management. It just doesn’t happen with a sign-up form and a conversation.”

None of the information from Desai’s database has yet been made public, including the names of any of the hospitals, despite the Lancet being among the many signatories to a statement on data-sharing for Covid-19 studies. The Lancet study is now disputed by 120 doctors.

When the Guardian put a detailed list of concerns to Desai about the database, the study findings and his background, he responded: “There continues to be a fundamental misunderstanding about what our system is and how it works”.

“There are also a number of inaccuracies and unrelated connections that you are trying to make with a clear bias toward attempting to discredit who we are and what we do,” he said. “We do not agree with your premise or the nature of what you have put together, and I am sad to see that what should have been a scientific discussion has been denigrated into this sort of discussion.”

‘The peak of human evolution’

An examination of Desai’s background found that the vascular surgeon has been named in three medical malpractice suits in the US, two of them filed in November 2019. In one case, a lawsuit filed by a patient, Joseph Vitagliano, accused Desai and Northwest Community Hospital in Illinois, where he worked until recently, of being “careless and negligent”, leading to permanent damage following surgery.

Northwest Community Hospital confirmed that Desai had been employed there since June 2016 but had voluntarily resigned on 10 February 2020 “for personal reasons”.

“Dr Desai’s clinical privileges with NCH were not suspended, revoked or otherwise limited by NCH,” a spokeswoman said. The hospital declined to comment on the malpractice suits. Desai said in the interview with the Scientist that he deemed any lawsuit against him to be “unfounded”.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the institution affiliated with the hydroxychloroquine study and its lead author, Mandeep Mehra, said in a statement: “Independent of Surgisphere, the remaining co-authors of the recent studies published in The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine have initiated independent reviews of the data used in both papers after learning of the concerns that have been raised about the reliability of the database”.

Mehra said he had routinely underscored the importance and value of randomised, clinical trials and that such trials were necessary before any conclusions could be reached. “I eagerly await word from the independent audits, the results of which will inform any further action,” he said.

Desai’s now-deleted Wikipedia page said he held a doctorate in law and a PhD in anatomy and cell biology, as well as his medical qualifications. A biography of Desai on a brochure for an international medical conference says he has held multiple physician leadership roles in clinical practice, and that he is “a certified lean six sigma master black belt”.

It is not the first time Desai has launched projects with ambitious claims. In 2008, he launched a crowdfunding campaign on the website indiegogo promoting a “next generation human augmentation device” called Neurodynamics Flow, which he said “can help you achieve what you never thought was possible”.

“With its sophisticated programming, optimal neural induction points, and tried and true results, Neurodynamics Flow allows you to rise to the peak of human evolution,” the description said. The device raised a few hundred dollars, and never eventuated.

Ellis, the chief data scientist of Nous Group, said it was unclear why Desai made such bold claims about his products given how likely it was that the global research community would scrutinise them.

“My first reaction is it was to draw attention to his firm, Ellis said. “But it seems really obvious that this would backfire.”

Today Prof Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, said: “I welcome the statement from the Lancet, which follows a similar statement by the NEJM regarding a study by the same group on cardiovascular drugs and COVID-19.

“The very serious concerns being raised about the validity of the papers by Mehra et al need to be recognised and actioned urgently, and ought to bring about serious reflection on whether the quality of editorial and peer review during the pandemic has been adequate. Scientific publication must above all be rigorous and honest. In an emergency, these values are needed more than ever.”

• This story was amended on 4 June 2020 to correct the number of patients in the Lancet study, originally reported as 15,000 rather than 96,000.

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George Floyd had coronavirus, autopsy says

Tim Stelloh,NBC News
June 3, 2020

George Floyd, whose in-custody death in Minneapolis last week triggered an avalanche of protests over the mistreatment of black people by police, tested positive for the coronavirus weeks before his death, an autopsy report released Wednesday shows.

The 20-page document released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office says a test of Floyd on April 3 was positive for the virus' genetic code, or RNA.

Because that RNA can remain in someone's body for weeks after the disease is gone, the autopsy says, a second positive test after his death likely meant that Floyd, 46, was asymptomatic from an earlier infection when he died May 25.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said a positive RNA test doesn't necessarily mean the person is infectious. It wasn't immediately clear whether Floyd developed symptoms earlier in the year or was an asymptomatic carrier.


The medical examiner listed other "significant" conditions underlying his death, including hypertensive heart disease, fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use.

Those conclusions were in contrast with an independent autopsy conducted by pathologists for Floyd's family.

That autopsy concluded that Floyd had no underlying medical problems that contributed to his death. The pathologists also said he died after blood and air flow were cut off to his brain, causing him to die by mechanical asphyxia.

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George Floyd tested positive for coronavirus but showed no symptoms, autopsy reveals
Peter Aitken
Published 8 hours ago

George Floyd tested positive for coronavirus but showed no symptoms or lung damage, a new autopsy report says.

The report, released on Wednesday by the Herrepin County Medical Examiner's Office, details the injuries and other possible causes of death for George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody on May 25. The medical examiner administered a nasal swab, which tested positive for COVID-19.

However, the report states that Floyd was asymptomatic, and his lungs showed no damage, free of malignancy, pneumonia, granulomatous inflammation or polarizable intravascular foreign material. The autopsy noted the most likely cause for the positive result would be “persistent PCR positivity from previous infection.”

Floyd's death sparked global protests, with movements across the nation as well as in Canada, London and Berlin, among others. Video evidence showed Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes, during which time Floyd complained that he couldn't breathe.

Before its release, the report was a point of controversy, indicating that Floyd died from a combination of underlying health conditions, being restrained by police, and any potential intoxicants in his system. There was reportedly no physical evidence that he died of asphyxia of strangulation.

The report also noted several instances of drug use, including fentanyl and methamphetamine, which were cited as intoxicants in the original complaint that could have caused his death. Certain drugs, though, can remain in the blood stream for a period of time after use, and the report stated a need for a second test to confirm the presence of amphetamines and other such drugs.

The report cited several abrasions on the brow, nose, cheeks and shoulders, among other injuries, though it measured no damage to underlying tissues.

A second, independent autopsy at the request of Floyd's family and lawyer, indicated otherwise: that Floyd's death was caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain. Following the second report, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison upgraded the charges against Chauvin to second-degree murder and brought charges against three other officers who were present at the time of the incident.