By OffGuardian Global Research, March 25, 2020 OffGuardian 24 March 2020

Below is our list of twelve medical experts whose opinions on the Coronavirus outbreak contradict the official narratives of the MSM, and the memes so prevalent on social media.

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Dr Sucharit Bhakdi is a specialist in microbiology. He was a professor at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and head of the Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hygiene and one of the most cited research scientists in German history.

What he says:

We are afraid that 1 million infections with the new virus will lead to 30 deaths per day over the next 100 days. But we do not realise that 20, 30, 40 or 100 patients positive for normal coronaviruses are already dying every day.

[The government’s anti-COVID19 measures] are grotesque, absurd and very dangerous […] The life expectancy of millions is being shortened. The horrifying impact on the world economy threatens the existence of countless people. The consequences on medical care are profound. Already services to patients in need are reduced, operations cancelled, practices empty, hospital personnel dwindling. All this will impact profoundly on our whole society.

All these measures are leading to self-destruction and collective suicide based on nothing but a spook.

Dr Wolfgang Wodarg is a German physician specialising in Pulmonology, politician and former chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. In 2009 he called for an inquiry into alleged conflicts of interest surrounding the EU response to the Swine Flu pandemic.

What he says:

Politicians are being courted by scientists…scientists who want to be important to get money for their institutions. Scientists who just swim along in the mainstream and want their part of it […] And what is missing right now is a rational way of looking at things.

We should be asking questions like “How did you find out this virus was dangerous?”, “How was it before?”, “Didn’t we have the same thing last year?”, “Is it even something new?”

That’s missing.

Dr Joel Kettner s professor of Community Health Sciences and Surgery at Manitoba University, former Chief Public Health Officer for Manitoba province and Medical Director of the International Centre for Infectious Diseases.

What he says:

I have never seen anything like this, anything anywhere near like this. I’m not talking about the pandemic, because I’ve seen 30 of them, one every year. It is called influenza. And other respiratory illness viruses, we don’t always know what they are. But I’ve never seen this reaction, and I’m trying to understand why.

[…]

I worry about the message to the public, about the fear of coming into contact with people, being in the same space as people, shaking their hands, having meetings with people. I worry about many, many consequences related to that.

[…]

In Hubei, in the province of Hubei, where there has been the most cases and deaths by far, the actual number of cases reported is 1 per 1000 people and the actual rate of deaths reported is 1 per 20,000. So maybe that would help to put things into perspective.

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Dr John Ioannidis Professor of Medicine, of Health Research and Policy and of Biomedical Data Science, at Stanford University School of Medicine and a Professor of Statistics at Stanford University School of Humanities and Sciences. He is director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center, and co-director of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS).

He is also the editor-in-chief of the European Journal of Clinical Investigation. He was chairman at the Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Ioannina School of Medicine as well as adjunct professor at Tufts University School of Medicine.

As a physician, scientist and author he has made contributions to evidence-based medicine, epidemiology, data science and clinical research. In addition, he pioneered the field of meta-research. He has shown that much of the published research does not meet good scientific standards of evidence.

What he says:

Patients who have been tested for SARS-CoV-2 are disproportionately those with severe symptoms and bad outcomes. As most health systems have limited testing capacity, selection bias may even worsen in the near future.

The one situation where an entire, closed population was tested was the Diamond Princess cruise ship and its quarantine passengers. The case fatality rate there was 1.0%, but this was a largely elderly population, in which the death rate from Covid-19 is much higher.

[…]

Could the Covid-19 case fatality rate be that low? No, some say, pointing to the high rate in elderly people. However, even some so-called mild or common-cold-type coronaviruses that have been known for decades can have case fatality rates as high as 8% when they infect elderly people in nursing homes.

[…]

If we had not known about a new virus out there, and had not checked individuals with PCR tests, the number of total deaths due to “influenza-like illness” would not seem unusual this year. At most, we might have casually noted that flu this season seems to be a bit worse than average.

– “A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data”, Stat News, 17th March 2020

*

Dr Yoram Lass is an Israeli physician, politician and former Director General of the Health Ministry. He also worked as Associate Dean of the Tel Aviv University Medical School and during the 1980s presented the science-based television show Tatzpit.

What he says:

Italy is known for its enormous morbidity in respiratory problems, more than three times any other European country. In the US about 40,000 people die in a regular flu season and so far 40-50 people have died of the coronavirus, most of them in a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington.

[…]

In every country, more people die from regular flu compared with those who die from the coronavirus.

[…]

…there is a very good example that we all forget: the swine flu in 2009. That was a virus that reached the world from Mexico and until today there is no vaccination against it. But what? At that time there was no Facebook or there maybe was but it was still in its infancy. The coronavirus, in contrast, is a virus with public relations.

Whoever thinks that governments end viruses is wrong.

– Interview in Globes, March 22nd 2020

*

Dr Pietro Vernazza is a Swiss physician specialising Infectious Diseases at the Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen and Professor of Health Policy.

What he says:

We have reliable figures from Italy and a work by epidemiologists, which has been published in the renowned science journal ‹Science›, which examined the spread in China. This makes it clear that around 85 percent of all infections have occurred without anyone noticing the infection. 90 percent of the deceased patients are verifiably over 70 years old, 50 percent over 80 years.

[…]

In Italy, one in ten people diagnosed die, according to the findings of the Science publication, that is statistically one of every 1,000 people infected. Each individual case is tragic, but often – similar to the flu season – it affects people who are at the end of their lives.

[…]

If we close the schools, we will prevent the children from quickly becoming immune.

[…]

We should better integrate the scientific facts into the political decisions.

– Interview in St. Galler Tagblatt, 22nd March 2020

*

Frank Ulrich Montgomery is German radiologist, former President of the German Medical Association and Deputy Chairman of the World Medical Association.

What he says:

I’m not a fan of lockdown. Anyone who imposes something like this must also say when and how to pick it up again. Since we have to assume that the virus will be with us for a long time, I wonder when we will return to normal? You can’t keep schools and daycare centers closed until the end of the year. Because it will take at least that long until we have a vaccine. Italy has imposed a lockdown and has the opposite effect. They quickly reached their capacity limits, but did not slow down the virus spread within the lockdown.

– Interview in General Anzeiger, 18th March 2020

Source: OffGuardian

*

Prof. Hendrik Streeck is a German HIV researcher, epidemiologist and clinical trialist. He is professor of virology, and the director of the Institute of Virology and HIV Research, at Bonn University.

What he says:

The new pathogen is not that dangerous, it is even less dangerous than Sars-1. The special thing is that Sars-CoV-2 replicates in the upper throat area and is therefore much more infectious because the virus jumps from throat to throat, so to speak. But that is also an advantage: Because Sars-1 replicates in the deep lungs, it is not so infectious, but it definitely gets on the lungs, which makes it more dangerous.

[…]

You also have to take into account that the Sars-CoV-2 deaths in Germany were exclusively old people. In Heinsberg, for example, a 78-year-old man with previous illnesses died of heart failure, and that without Sars-2 lung involvement. Since he was infected, he naturally appears in the Covid 19 statistics. But the question is whether he would not have died anyway, even without Sars-2.

– Interview in Frankfurter Allgemeine, 16th March 2020

*

Dr Yanis Roussel et. al. – A team of researchers from the Institut Hospitalo-universitaire Méditerranée Infection, Marseille and the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Marseille, conducting a peer-reviewed study on Coronavirus mortality for the government of France under the ‘Investments for the Future’ programme.

What they say:

The problem of SARS-CoV-2 is probably overestimated, as 2.6 million people die of respiratory infections each year compared with less than 4000 deaths for SARS-CoV-2 at the time of writing.

[…]

This study compared the mortality rate of SARS-CoV-2 in OECD countries (1.3%) with the mortality rate of common coronaviruses identified in AP-HM patients (0.8%) from 1 January 2013 to 2 March 2020. Chi-squared test was performed, and the P-value was 0.11 (not significant).

[…]

…it should be noted that systematic studies of other coronaviruses (but not yet for SARS-CoV-2) have found that the percentage of asymptomatic carriers is equal to or even higher than the percentage of symptomatic patients. The same data for SARS-CoV-2 may soon be available, which will further reduce the relative risk associated with this specific pathology.

– “SARS-CoV-2: fear versus data”, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, 19th March 2020

*

Dr. David Katz is an American physician and founding director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center

What he says:

I am deeply concerned that the social, economic and public health consequences of this near-total meltdown of normal life — schools and businesses closed, gatherings banned — will be long-lasting and calamitous, possibly graver than the direct toll of the virus itself. The stock market will bounce back in time, but many businesses never will. The unemployment, impoverishment and despair likely to result will be public health scourges of the first order.

– “Is Our Fight Against Coronavirus Worse Than the Disease?”, New York Times 20th March 2020

*

Michael T. Osterholm is regents professor and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

What he says:

Consider the effect of shutting down offices, schools, transportation systems, restaurants, hotels, stores, theaters, concert halls, sporting events and other venues indefinitely and leaving all of their workers unemployed and on the public dole. The likely result would be not just a depression but a complete economic breakdown, with countless permanently lost jobs, long before a vaccine is ready or natural immunity takes hold.

[…]

[T]he best alternative will probably entail letting those at low risk for serious disease continue to work, keep business and manufacturing operating, and “run” society, while at the same time advising higher-risk individuals to protect themselves through physical distancing and ramping up our health-care capacity as aggressively as possible. With this battle plan, we could gradually build up immunity without destroying the financial structure on which our lives are based.

– “Facing covid-19 reality: A national lockdown is no cure”, Washington Post 21st March 2020

*

Dr Peter Goetzsche is Professor of Clinical Research Design and Analysis at the University of Copenhagen and founder of the Cochrane Medical Collaboration. He has written several books on corruption in the field of medicine and the power of big pharmaceutical companies.

What he says:

Our main problem is that no one will ever get in trouble for measures that are too draconian. They will only get in trouble if they do too little. So, our politicians and those working with public health do much more than they should do.

No such draconian measures were applied during the 2009 influenza pandemic, and they obviously cannot be applied every winter, which is all year round, as it is always winter somewhere. We cannot close down the whole world permanently.

Should it turn out that the epidemic wanes before long, there will be a queue of people wanting to take credit for this. And we can be damned sure draconian measures will be applied again next time. But remember the joke about tigers. “Why do you blow the horn?” “To keep the tigers away.” “But there are no tigers here.” “There you see!”

– “Corona: an epidemic of mass panic”, blog post on Deadly Medicines 21st March 2020

Our thanks to OffGuardian for bringing this article to our attention

A Swiss Doctor on Covid-19

By Swiss Propaganda Research Global Research, March 26, 2020 Swiss Propaganda Research 14 March 2020 Theme: Intelligence, Media Disinformation, Science and Medicine

A Swiss medical doctor provided the following information on the current situation in order to enable our readers to make a realistic risk assessment. (Daily updates below)

***

According to the latest data of the Italian National Health Institute ISS, the average age of the positively-tested deceased in Italy is currently about 81 years. 10% of the deceased are over 90 years old. 90% of the deceased are over 70 years old.

80% of the deceased had suffered from two or more chronic diseases. 50% of the deceased had suffered from three or more chronic diseases. The chronic diseases include in particular cardiovascular problems, diabetes, respiratory problems and cancer.

Less than 1% of the deceased were healthy persons, i.e. persons without pre-existing chronic diseases. Only about 30% of the deceased are women.

The Italian Institute of Health moreover distinguishes between those who died from the coronavirus and those who died with the coronavirus. In many cases it is not yet clear whether the persons died from the virus or from their pre-existing chronic diseases or from a combination of both.

The two Italians deceased under 40 years of age (both 39 years old) were a cancer patient and a diabetes patient with additional complications. In these cases, too, the exact cause of death was not yet clear (i.e. if from the virus or from their pre-existing diseases).

The partial overloading of the hospitals is due to the general rush of patients and the increased number of patients requiring special or intensive care. In particular, the aim is to stabilize respiratory function and, in severe cases, to provide anti-viral therapies.

(Update: The Italian National Institute of Health published a statistical report on test-positive patients and deceased, confirming the above data.)

The doctor also points out the following aspects:

Northern Italy has one of the oldest populations and the worst air quality in Europe, which has already led to an increased number of respiratory diseases and deaths in the past and is likely an additional risk factor in the current epidemic.

South Korea, for instance, has experienced a much milder course than Italy and has already passed the peak of the epidemic. In South Korea, only about 70 deaths with a positive test result have been reported so far. As in Italy, those affected were mostly high-risk patients.

The few dozen test-positive Swiss deaths so far were also high-risk patients with chronic diseases, an average age of more than 80 years and a maximum age of 97 years, whose exact cause of death, i.e. from the virus or from their pre-existing diseases, is not yet known.

Furthermore, according to a first Chinese study, the internationally used virus test kits may give a false positive result in some cases. In these cases, the persons may not have contracted the new coronavirus, but presumably one of the many existing human coronaviruses that are part of the annual (and currently ongoing) common cold and flu epidemics. (1)

Thus the most important indicator for judging the danger of the disease is not the frequently reported number of positively-tested persons and deaths, but the number of persons actually and unexpectedly developing or dying from pneumonia (so-called excess mortality).

According to all current data, for the healthy general population of school and working age, a mild to moderate course of the Covid-19 disease can be expected. Senior citizens and persons with existing chronic diseases should be protected. The medical capacities should be optimally prepared.

Medical literature

(1) Zhuang et al., Potential false-positive rate among the ‚asymptomatic infected individuals‘ in close contacts of COVID-19 patients, Chinese Medical Association Publishing House, March 2020.

(2) Grasselli et al., Critical Care Utilization for the COVID-19 Outbreak in Lombardy, JAMA, March 2020.

(3) WHO, Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019, February 2020.

Reference values

Important reference values include the number of annual flu deaths, which is up to 8,000 in Italy and up to 60,000 in the US; normal overall mortality, which in Italy is up to 2,000 deaths per day; and the average number of pneumonia cases per year, which in Italy is over 120,000.

Current all-cause mortality in Europe and in Italy is still normal or even below-average. Any excess mortality due to Covid-19 should become visible in the European monitoring charts.

Winter smog (NO2) in Northern Italy in February 2020 (ESA)

Updates

March 17, 2020 (I)

  • The mortality profile remains puzzling from a virological point of view because, in contrast to influenza viruses, children are spared and men are affected about twice as often as women. On the other hand, this profile corresponds to natural mortality, which is close to zero for children and almost twice as high for 75-year-old men as for women of the same age.
  • The younger test-positive deceased almost always had severe pre-existing conditions. For example, a 21-year-old Spanish soccer coach had died test-positive, making international headlines. However, the doctors diagnosed an unrecognized leukemia, whose typical complications include severe pneumonia.
  • The decisive factor in assessing the danger of the disease is therefore not the number of test-positive persons and deceased, which is often mentioned in the media, but the number of people actually and unexpectedly developing or dying from pneumonia (so-called excess mortality). So far, this value remains very low in most countries.
  • In Switzerland, some emergency units are already overloaded simply because of the large number of people who want to be tested. This points to an additional psychological and logistical component of the current situation.

March 17, 2020 (II)

  • Italian immunology professor Sergio Romagnani from the University of Florence comes to the conclusion in a study on 3000 people that 50 to 75% of the test-positive people of all ages remain completely symptom-free – significantly more than previously assumed.
  • The occupancy rate of the North Italian ICUs in the winter months is typically already 85 to 90%. Some or many of these existing patients could also be test-positive by now. However, the number of additional unexpected pneumonia cases is not yet known.
  • A hospital doctor in the Spanish city of Malaga writes on Twitter that people are currently more likely to die from panic and systemic collapse than from the virus. The hospital is being overrun by people with colds, flu and possibly Covid19 and doctors have lost control.

March 18, 2020

  • A new epidemiological study (preprint) concludes that the fatality of Covid19 even in the Chinese city of Wuhan was only 0.04% to 0.12% and thus rather lower than that of seasonal flu, which has a mortality rate of about 0.1%. As a reason for the overestimated fatality of Covid19, the researchers suspect that initially only a small number of cases were recorded in Wuhan, as the disease was probably asymptomatic or mild in many people.
  • Chinese researchers argue that extreme winter smog in the city of Wuhan may have played a causal role in the outbreak of pneumonia. In the summer of 2019, public protests were already taking place in Wuhan because of the poor air quality.
  • New satellite images show how Northern Italy has the highest levels of air pollution in Europe, and how this air pollution has been greatly reduced by the quarantine.
  • A manufacturer of the Covid19 test kit states that it should only be used for research purposes and not for diagnostic applications, as it has not yet been clinically validated.

Datasheet of Covid19 virus test kit

March 19, 2020 (I)

The Italian National Health Institute ISS has published a new report on test-positive deaths:

  • The median age is 80.5 years (79.5 for men, 83.7 for women).
  • 10% of the deceased was over 90 years old; 90% of the deceased was over 70 years old.
  • At most 0.8% of the deceased had no pre-existing chronic illnesses.
  • Approximately 75% of the deceased had two or more pre-existing conditions, 50% had three more pre-existing conditions, in particular heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
  • Five of the deceased were between 31 and 39 years old, all of them with serious pre-existing health conditions (e.g. cancer or heart disease).
  • The National Health Institute hasn’t yet determined what the patients examined ultimately died of and refers to them in general terms as Covid19-positive deaths.

March 19, 2020 (II)

  • A report in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera points out that Italian intensive care units already collapsed under the marked flu wave in 2017/2018. They had to postpone operations, call nurses back from holiday and ran out of blood donations.
  • German virologist Hendrik Streeck argues that Covid19 is unlikely to increase total mortality in Germany, which normally is around 2500 people per day. Streeck mentions the case of a 78-year-old man with preconditions who died of heart failure, subsequently tested positive for Covid19 and thus was included in the statistics of Covid19 deaths.
  • According to Stanford Professor John Ioannidis, the new coronavirus may be no more dangerous than some of the common coronaviruses, even in older people. Ioannidis argues that there is no reliable medical data backing the measures currently decided upon.

March 20, 2020

  • According to the latest European monitoring report, overall mortality in all countries (including Italy) and in all age groups remains within or even below the normal range so far.
  • According to the latest German statistics, the median age of test-positive deaths is about 83 years, most with pre-existing health conditions that might be a possible cause of death.
  • A 2006 Canadian study referred to by Stanford Professor John Ioannidis found that common cold coronaviruses may also cause death rates of up to 6% in risk groups such as residents of a care facility, and that virus test kits initially falsely indicated an infection with SARS coronaviruses.

March 21, 2020 (I)

  • Spain reports only three test-positive deaths under the age of 65 (out of a total of about 1000). Their pre-existing health conditions and actual cause of death are not yet known.
  • On March 20, Italy reported 627 nationwide test-positive deaths in one day. By comparison, normal overall mortality in Italy is about 1800 deaths per day. Since February 21, Italy has reported about 4000 test-positive deaths. Normal overall mortality during this time frame is up to 50,000 deaths. It is not yet known to what extent normal overall mortality has increased, or to what extent it has simply turned test-positive. Moreover, Italy and Europe have had a very mild flu season in 2019/2020 that has spared many otherwise vulnerable people.
  • According to Italian news reports, 90% of test-positive deceased in the Lombardy region have died outside of intensive care units, mostly at home or in general care sections. Their cause of death and the possible role of quarantine measures in their deaths remain unclear. Only 260 out of 2168 test-positive persons have died in ICUs.
  • Bloomberg highlights that „99% of Those Who Died From Virus Had Other Illness, Italy Says“

Italy test-positive deaths by prior illnesses (ISS / Bloomberg)

March 21, 2020 (II)

  • The Japan Times asks: Japan was expecting a coronavirus explosion. Where is it? Despite being one of the first countries getting positive test results and having imposed no lockdown, Japan is one of the least-affected nations. Quote: „Even if Japan may not be counting all those infected, hospitals aren’t being stretched thin and there has been no spike in pneumonia cases.“
  • Italian researchers argue that the extreme smog in Northern Italy, the worst in Europe, may be playing a causative role in the current pneumonia outbreak there, as in Wuhan before.
  • In a new interview, Professor Sucharit Bhakdi, a world renowned expert in medical microbiology, says blaming the new coronavirus alone for deaths is „wrong“ and „dangerously misleading“, as there are other more important factors at play, notably pre-existing health conditions and poor air quality in Chinese and Northern Italian cities. Professor Bhakdi describes the currently discussed or imposed measures as „grotesque“, „useless“, „self-destructive“ and a „collective suicide“ that will shorten the lifespan of the elderly and should not be accepted by society.

March 22, 2020 (I)

Regarding the situation in Italy: Most major media falsely report that Italy has up to 800 deaths per day from the coronavirus. In reality, the president of the Italian Civil Protection Service stresses that these are deaths „with the coronavirus and not from the coronavirus“ (minute 03:30 of the press conference). In other words, these persons died while also testing positive.

As Professors Ioannidis and Bhakdi have shown, countries like South Korea and Japan that introduced no lockdown measures have experienced near-zero excess mortality in connection with Covid-19, while the Diamond Princess cruise ship experienced an extra polated mortality figure in the per mille range, i.e. at or below the level of the seasonal flu.

Current test-positive death figures in Italy are still less than 50% of normal daily overall mortality in Italy, which is around 1800 deaths per day. Thus it is possible, perhaps even likely, that a large part of normal daily mortality now simply counts as „Covid19“ deaths (as they test positive). This is the point stressed by the President of the Italian Civil Protection Service.

However, by now it is clear that certain regions in Northern Italy, i.e. those facing the toughest lockdown measures, are experiencing markedly increased daily mortality figures. It is also known that in the Lombardy region, 90% of test-positive deaths occur not in intensive care units, but instead mostly at home. And more than 99% have serious pre-existing health conditions.

Professor Sucharit Bhakdi has called lockdown measures „useless“, „self-destructive“ and a „collective suicide“. Thus the extremely troubling question arises as to what extent the increased mortality of these elderly, isolated, highly stressed people with multiple pre-existing health conditions may in fact be caused by the weeks-long lockdown measures still in force.

If so, it may be one of those cases where the treatment is worse than the disease. (See update below: only 12% of death certificates show the coronavirus as a cause.)

Angelo Borrelli, head of the Italian Civil Protection Service, emphasizing the difference between deaths with and from coronaviruses.

March 22, 2020 (II)

  • In Switzerland, there are currently 56 test-positive deaths, all of whom were „high risk patients“ due to their advanced age and/or pre-existing health conditions. Their actual cause of death, i.e. from or simply with the virus, has not been communicated.
  • The Swiss government claimed that the situation in southern Switzerland (next to Italy) is „dramatic“, yet local doctors denied this and said everything is normal.
  • According to press reports, oxygen bottles may become scarce. The reason, however, is not a currently higher usage, but rather hoarding due to fear of future shortages.
  • In many countries, there is already an increasing shortage of doctors and nurses. This is primarily because healthcare workers testing positive have to self-quarantine, even though in many cases they will remain fully or largely symptom-free.

March 22, 2020 (III)

  • A model from Imperial College London predicted between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths in the UK „from“ Covid-19, but the authors of the study have now conceded that many of these deaths would not be in addition to, but rather part of the normal annual mortality rate, which in the UK is about 600,000 people per year. In other words, excess mortality would remain low.
  • Dr. David Katz, founding director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, asks in the New York Times: „Is Our Fight Against Coronavirus Worse Than the Disease? There may be more targeted ways to beat the pandemic.“
  • According to Italian Professor Walter Ricciardi, „only 12% of death certificates have shown a direct causality from coronavirus“, whereas in public reports „all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus“. This means that Italian death figures reported by the media have to be reduced by at least a factor of 8 to obtain actual deaths caused by the virus. Thus one ends up with at most a few dozen deaths per day, compared to an overall daily mortality of 1800 deaths and up to 20,000 flu deaths per year.

March 23, 2020 (I)

  • A new French study in the Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, titled SARS-CoV-2: fear versus data, concludes that  „the problem of SARS-CoV-2 is probably overestimated“, since „the mortality rate for SARS-CoV-2 is not significantly different from that for common coronaviruses identified at the study hospital in France“.
  • An Italian study of August 2019 found that flu deaths in Italy were between 7,000 and 25,000 in recent years. This value is higher than in most other European countries due to the large elderly population in Italy, and much higher than anything attributed to Covid-19 so far.
  • In a new fact sheet, the World Health Organization WHO reports that Covid-19 is in fact spreading slower, not faster, than influenza by a factor of about 50%. Moreover, pre-symptomatic transmission appears to be much lower with Covid-19 than with influenza.
  • A leading Italian doctor reports that „strange cases of pneumonia“ were seen in the Lombardy region already in November 2019, raising again the question if they were caused by the new virus (which officially only appeared in Italy in February 2020), or by other factors, such as the dangerously high smog levels in Northern Italy.
  • Danish researcher Peter Gøtzsche, founder of the renowned Cochrane Medical Collaboration, writes that Corona is „an epidemic of mass panic“ and „logic was one of the first victims.“

March 23, 2020 (II)

  • Former Israeli Health Minister, Professor Yoram Lass, says that the new coronavirus is „less dangerous than the flu“ and lockdown measures „will kill more people than the virus“. He adds that „the numbers do not match the panic“ and „psychology is prevailing over science“. He also notes that „Italy is known for its enormous morbidity in respiratory problems, more than three times any other European country.“
  • Pietro Vernazza, a Swiss infectious disease specialist, argues that many of the imposed measures are not based on science and should be reversed. According to Vernazza, mass testing makes no sense because 90% of the population will see no symptoms, and lockdowns and closing schools are even „counterproductive“. He recommends protecting only risk groups while keeping the economy and society at large undisturbed.
  • The President of the World Doctors Federation, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, argues thatlockdown measures as in Italy are „unreasonable“ and „counterproductive“ and should be reversed.
  • Switzerland: Despite media panic, excess mortality still at or near zero: the latest testpositive „victims“ were a 96yo in palliative care and a 97yo with pre-existing conditions.
  • The latest statistical report of the Italian National Health Institute is now available in English.

March 24, 2020

  • The UK has removed Covid19 from the official list of High Consquence Infectious Diseases (HCID), stating that mortality rates are „low overall“.
  • The director of the German National Health Institute (RKI) admitted that they count all test-positive deaths, irrespective of the actual cause of death, as „coronavirus deaths“. The average age of the deceased is 82 years, most with serious preconditions. As in most other countries, excess mortality due Covid19 is likely to be near zero in Germany.
  • Beds in Swiss intensive care units reserved for Covid19 patients are still „mostly empty“.
  • German Professor Karin Moelling, former Chair of Medical Virology at the University of Zurich, stated in an interview that Covid19 is „no killer virus“ and that „panic must end“.
  • In Italy, overall national mortality of the 65+ age group until March 7 remained below the level of earlier years, especially due to the rather mild winter (see red line in chart below).

Italy: Overall mortality of 65+ age group (red) compared to earlier years (March 7, 2020 / MdS)

March 25, 2020

  • German immunologist and toxicologist, Professor Stefan Hockertz, explains in a radio interview that Covid19 is no more dangerous than influenza (the flu), but that it is simply observed much more closely. More dangerous than the virus is the fear and panic created by the media and the „authoritarian reaction“ of many governments. Professor Hockertz also notes that most so-called „corona deaths“ have in fact died of other causes while also testing positive for coronaviruses. Hockertz believes that up to ten times more people than reported already had Covid19 but noticed nothing or very little.
  • The Argentinean virologist and biochemist Pablo Goldschmidt explains that Covid19 is no more dangerous than a bad cold or the flu. It is even possible that the Covid19 virus circulated already in earlier years, but wasn’t discovered because no one was looking for it. Dr. Goldschmidt speaks of a „global terror“ created by the media and politics. Every year, he says, three million newborns worldwide and 50,000 adults in the US alone die of pneumonia.
  • Professor Martin Exner, head of the Institute for Hygiene at the University of Bonn, explains in an interview why health personnel are currently under pressure, even though there has hardly been any increase in the number of patients in Germany so far: On the one hand, doctors and nurses who have tested positive have to be quarantined and are often hard to replace. On the other hand, nurses from neighbouring countries, who provide an important part of the care, are currently unable to enter the country due to closed borders.
  • Professor Julian Nida-Ruemelin, former German Minister of State for Culture and Professor of Ethics, points out that Covid19 poses no risk to the healthy general population and that extreme measures such as curfews are therefore not justified.
  • Using data from the cruise ship Diamond Princess, Stanford Professor John Ioannidis showed that the age-corrected lethality of Covid19 is between 0.025% and 0.625%, i.e. in the range of a strong cold or the flu. Moreover, a Japanese study showed that of all the test-positive passengers, and despite the high average age, 48% remained completely symptom-free; even among the 80-89 year olds 48% remained symptom-free, while among the 70 to 79 year olds it was an astounding 60% that developed no symptoms at all. This again raises the question whether the pre-existing diseases are not perhaps a more important factor than the virus itself. The Italian example has shown that 99% of test-positive deaths had one or more pre-existing conditions, and even among these, only 12% of the death certificates mentioned Covid19 as a causal factor.

March 26, 2020 (I)

  • USA: The latest US data of March 25 shows a decreasing number of flu-like illnesses throughout the country, the frequency of which is now well below the multi-year average. The government measures can be ruled out as a reason for this, as they have been in effect for less than a week.
US Influenza Trend (March 25, 2020)
US Influenza Trend (March 25, 2020)

Italy’s Institute of Health (ISS) Report: 99% of Deaths Attributed to Covid-19 Deaths Had “Pre-existing Serious Illness”

USA: Decreasing flu-like illnesses (March 25, 2020, KINSA)

  • Germany: The latest influenza report of the German Robert Koch Institute of March 24 documents a „nationwide decrease in activity of acute respiratory diseases“: The number of influenza-like illnesses and the number of hospital stays caused by them is below the level of previous years and is currently continuing to decline. The RKI continues: „The increase in the number of visits to the doctor () in adults cannot currently be explained either by influenza viruses circulating in the population or by SARS-CoV-2.“
Deutschland: Atemwegserkrankungen 2019/2020 ggü. Vorjahren
Deutschland: Krankenhausaufenthalte durch Atemwegserkrankungen nach Altersgruppen

Germany: Decreasing flu-like illnesses (20 March 2020, RKI)

  • Italy: The renowned Italian virologist Giulio Tarro argues that the mortality rate of Covid19 is below 1% even in Italy and is therefore comparable to influenza. The higher values only arise because no distinction is made between deaths with and by Covid19 and because the number of (symptom-free) infected persons is greatly underestimated.
  • UK: The authors of the British Imperial College study, who predicted up to 500,000 deaths, are again reducing their forecasts. After already admitting that a large proportion of test-positive deaths are part of normal mortality, they now state that the peak of the disease may be reached in two to three weeks already.
  • UK: The British Guardian reported in February 2019 that already in the otherwise weak flu season 2018/2019 there were more than 2180 flu-related admissions to intensive care units in the UK.
  • Switzerland: In Switzerland, the excess mortality due to Covid19 is apparently still zero. The latest „fatal victim“ presented by the media is a 100-year-old woman. Nevertheless, the Swiss government continues to tighten restrictive measures.

March 26, 2020 (II)

  • Sweden: Sweden has so far pursued the most liberal strategy in dealing with Covid19, which is based on two principles: Risk groups are protected and people with flu symptoms stay at home. „If you follow these two rules, there is no need for further measures, the effect of which is only marginal anyway,“ said chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell. Social and economic life will continue normally. The big rush to hospitals has so far failed to materialize, Tegnell says.
  • German criminal and constitutional law expert Dr. Jessica Hamed argues that measures such as general curfews and contact bans are a massive and disproportionate encroachment on fundamental rights of freedom and are therefore presumably „all illegal“.
  • The British magazine OffGuardian reports on „12 experts questioning the corona virus panic“.
  • In his famous book „The Plague“ (1947), French Nobel laureate in Literature Albert Camus wrote: „The only way to fight the plague is honesty.“

Albert Camus, The Plague (1947): „The only way to fight the plague is honesty.“

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