Health Media Politics

Corona False Alarm?

 Corona False Alarm – Facts and Figures is a German book by Dr Karina Reiss and Dr Sucharit Bakdi.Published in June 2020 it went straight to number 1  selling 200,000 copies and 75,000 e-books in six weeks.

This blurb explains what it is about:

No other topic dominates our attention as much as coronavirus and COVID-19, the infectious disease it triggers. There’s been a global deluge of contradictory opinions, fake news, and politically controlled information. Differing views on the dangers posed by the pandemic have led to deep division and confusion, within governments, society, and even among friends and family.

In Corona, False Alarm?, award-winning researchers Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi and Dr. Karina Reiss give clarity to these confusing and stressful times. They offer analysis of whether radical protective measures—including lockdown, social distancing, and mandatory masking—have been justified, and what the ramifications have been for society, the economy, and public health. Dr. Bhakdi and Dr. Reiss provide dates, facts, and background information, including:

  • How Covid-19 compares with previous coronaviruses and the flu virus
  • What infection numbers and the death rate really tell us
  • The challenges around lockdown: Were the protective measures justified?
  • Mandatory mask-wearing: Does the science support it?
  • Does the race for vaccine development make sense? What are the chances of success? Will the vaccine be safe? Will people accept it?

Corona, False Alarm? provides you with sound information and substantiated facts—and encourages you to form your own opinion on the corona crisis.

I found it to be a fascinating book full of facts, minus conspiracy theories and containing a great deal of calm common sense. I am in no position to judge but insofar as I can the case they make seems to be well researched and backed up with plenty evidence – although that does not mean I agree with everything they say – but what do I know?!  If the authors are even half right then our politicians and media will have a lot to answer for.  There is a sense in which I hope they are not….but I found their case hard to argue against.   Here are ten lessons I learned from it.  I would suggest you read the whole book for yourself and make up your own mind – it’s not long!

  • Covid is Frequently Misreported.

“COVID-19 is the designation for severe illness that occurs only in about 10% of infected individuals (16), but because of incorrect designation, the number of “cases” surged and the virus vaulted to the top of the list of existential threats to the world. Another serious mistake was that every deceased person who had tested positive for the virus entered the official records as a coronavirus victim. This method of reporting violated all international medical guidelines (17). The absurdity of giving COVID-19 as the cause of death in a patient who dies of cancer needs no comment. Correlation does not imply causation. This was causal fallacy that was destined to drive the world into a catastrophe. Truth surrounding the virus remained enshrouded in a tangle of rumours, myths and beliefs.

“The WHO claimed that 3–4% of COVID-19 patients would die, which by far exceeded the fatality rate of annual influenza (48)”.  (the real rate is between 0.1 and 0.3%)

“What is wrong with Germany – and this whole world? Well, all the pictures disseminated so effectively by the international media – from Italy, Spain, England and then even from New York – coupled with model calculations for hundreds of thousands, or maybe even millions of deaths – planted the firm conviction in the general populace: It simply HAS TO BE a killer virus! “

Covid Deaths usually take place with those who have serious pre-existing conditions.

“Almost 96% of “COVID-19 deaths” in Italian hospitals were patients with pre-existing illnesses. Three quarters suffered from hypertension, more than a third from diabetes. Every third person had a heart condition. As almost everywhere else, the average age was above 80 years. The few people under 50 who died also had severe underlying conditions”

Respiratory viruses are a major cause of mortality worldwide, with an estimated 2–3 annual million deaths.

  • Many of the Covid rules are arbitrary.

“Arbitrariness and the lack of a plan wound their way through the measures. At the beginning, facial masks were scorned and not used, even in overcrowded buses. But when the epidemic was over, it became mandatory. DIY stores could stay open for business while electronics markets had to close. Jogging was OK, playing tennis taboo.”

  • Politicians want to be seen to be tough and so overreact

“Politicians entered a race for voter popularity – who could profit the most? Markus Söder, State President of Bavaria, presented himself as “Action Man”, emanating force and determination in front of the cameras, and declaring his intent to fight the virus to the finish with all the means at his disposal. Söder surges ahead with the first draconian measures: stay-at-home order for Bavarians as of March 21. No visits to loved ones in hospitals. No church services. Shops and restaurants closed. Among other incredible measures”.

According to Johann Giesecke, politicians wanted to use the pandemic to advance their own positions and were perfectly willing to implement measures that were not scientifically substantiated (196). “Politicians want to demonstrate their capacity to act, the capacity for decision making and most of all their strength. My best example for this is that in Asian countries the sidewalks are sprayed with chlorine. This is completely useless but it shows that the state and the authorities are doing something, and that is very important to politicians.”

“What did the government do wrong? It proclaimed an epidemic of national concern that did not exist It deprived citizens of their rights It made arbitrary instead of evidence-based decisions It intentionally spread fear It enforced senseless lockdown and mask-wearing It devastated the economy and destroyed livelihoods It disrupted the health care system It inflicted immense suffering on the populace”

  • Masks are usually unnecessary

“In fact, there is no study to even suggest that it makes any sense for healthy individuals to wear masks in public (136, 137). One might suspect that the only political reason for enforcing the measure is to foster fear in the population.”

  • False Comparisons are made with the Spanish Flu.

“Drosten: We can learn this from the Spanish flu. It started at the end of the First World War, and most of the 50 million victims died during the second wave. That is true. But at the time of the Spanish flu, antibiotics were not available to treat secondary bacterial infections that were the main cause of death (139). Consequently, people of all ages died. Whoever compares COVID-19 to the Spanish flu is either completely clueless or deliberately intends to spread fear. It is clear that viruses change but do not simply disappear. Just as there has always been a flu season, there has also always been a coronavirus season (140).”

  • The cure will be worse than the disease – especially for the poor.

“It will strike all countries. The global economic crisis could plunge 500 million people into poverty, so stated in a position paper by the UN (172).”

“In Germany, more than 1,000 people over the age of 80 die every day (185). While we are taking drastic measures to prevent them from dying of COVID-19, we are making their lives less worth living. This cannot but impinge on life expectancy. “

“In India, there are hundreds of millions of day-labourers, many of whom led a hand-to-mouth existence before the coronavirus restrictions robbed them of their livelihoods. Now they have no more means to survive. They are “protected” against the coronavirus and are in turn left to starve. “

“Vaccination campaigns against the measles were suspended in many countries. Although measles rarely cause death in western countries, 3–6% of the infected people in poor countries die, and those who survive often have life-long disabilities. The virus has claimed 6,500 child deaths in the Congo Republic (192). Between 2003 and 2013, Zimbabwe succeeded in lowering yearly malaria infections from 155 per 1,000 inhabitants to just 22. Now, and within a short time, there have been more than 130 deaths and 135,000 infections. Two thirds of all fatalities were < 5-year-old children. According to the WHO, malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa could rise to 769,000 in 2020, which would double the number for 2018. If so, they would be thrown back to a “mortality standard” of 20 years ago. The probable reason for this catastrophe is the fact that insecticide-treated mosquito nets can no longer be adequately distributed. Are the malaria deaths in Zimbabwe and the measles deaths in the Congo only precursors of what is in store for the continent?”

  • A vaccine may not be the cure all governments are gambling on.

“In the authors’ view, a global vaccination programme thus makes no sense. The risks far outweigh any possible benefit right from the start. Experts around the world express their concerns and warn of rushed COVID-19 vaccines without sufficient safety guarantees (214, 215). “

“A nationwide vaccination with the hastily produced and barely tested H1N1 vaccine was recommended. 60 million doses of adjuvanted vaccine were purchased for the German population. The non-adjuvanted vaccine was obtained only for high members of the government (229). Again, this all happened when it was clear that the swine flu pandemic had run a light course. The majority of the public decided wisely against the senseless vaccination. What was the end of the story? Trucks loaded with over 50 million expired vaccine doses were disposed of at the Magdeburg waste-to-energy plant. As was taxpayer’s money … no, actually not, the money just changed hands. Estimated profit for the pharmaceutical industry: 18 billion US dollars (230).”

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. (MARK TWAIN)

  • Public Media have become servile mouthpieces of the governments.

In a working democracy, the media should provide the public with truthful news, foster opinion formation through critique and discussion, and oversee the action of the government as the “fourth public authority” with impartiality and autonomy. What we have experienced during the coronavirus pandemic is just the opposite (233). All public broadcasters became servile mouthpieces of the government. The press was no better. Regard for the truth, protection of human dignity, service to the public – the Press Codex disappeared from the scene. Worldwide.”

“Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, said during an interview (240): “Everything that violates the recommendations of the WHO would constitute a breach against our guidelines. Therefore, deletion is another important part of our guidelines.” The WHO that was responsible for the fake swine flu pandemic in 2009; The WHO that overestimated the COVID-19 mortality on a large scale, and drove the world into a crisis with this and other misjudgements? This same WHO that now sets the standard on what can be said?”

It is easier to believe a lie that you have heard a thousand times than to believe a truth that you have only heard once (ABRAHAM LINCOLN)

The Rich will benefit – the poor will suffer.

The stock market professional, Dirk Müller, gave a persuasive explanation why the pandemic was a blessing for many (244): in short, because it is always the same story: Big companies win, small ones lose. Big corporations will survive while many small and midsize companies as well as private businesses will perish. Finance professor, Stefan Homburg, called it “the largest redistribution of wealth in peacetime”. The loser would be the taxpayer (245).

As an example of the misreporting I read this article – from CNN

https://www.theweek.co.uk/108218/who-warns-coronavirus-could-kill-million-more-reaction?_mout=1&utm_campaign=theweekdaily_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter

When they say that Covid 19 has killed more than one million people they are lying.  One million people who have Covid (and possibly many more) have died – one million people have not been killed by Covid.     When they make comparisons between the number who die of an illness worldwide and those who died in one terrorist attack, they are being irrational.  When they ignore the fact that 45 million other people have died this year who did not have Covid, they are being both irrational and heartless.  It is estimated that today about 4,000 people will have died of Covid, 22,000 will die of hunger – no mention in news media and no stopping economies for them.  So far this year there have been  6 million deaths from cancer, 850,000 suicides, 3.8 million deaths caused by smoking, 1.9 by misuse of alcohol, more people have died in road traffic accidents than have died of Covid, never mind the unspeakable tragedy of 32 million babies being killed in the womb this year so far…).

37 comments

  1. Faith is being confident about what you hope for, convinced about facts unseen.- Heb 11. 1

    Without faith it is impossible to please God, ..he that comes…must believe that he exists…- Heb 11.6

    When the day of judgement comes, every person who disputes the means to believe in God, will be promptly reminded of how they have lived, shaped and acted in their lives, by the very same faith they have rejected God.

    Virtually every living human being has exercised faith in COVID 19.
    Based on the ‘preaching’ of others, they have acted, trusted, and lived in hope by doing so, convinced about what they cannot see. They have applied Heb 11.1, a capacity every human is capable of.

    Therefore, there will be no excuse. In effect God will declare, you would not believe in me, but you did believe in this. The heavens and earth declare his glory. Yet the media and government declare an invisible illness called COVID 19.

    That’s not to dispute COVID, but to show how people do have, and exercise faith, with little evidence but the ‘preaching’ of others.

    God will say, if you can have faith in that, you can have faith in me!

  2. Thank you so much for this helpful summary. I do wish more pastors understood all this as I think it would very much effect how they pastored their flocks at this time. It’s so unhelpful when pastors accept the mainstream narrative around this disease hook line and sinker. It feels like many churches are treating C19 like the Spanish flu. So many Christians are literally in a state of undue panic, anxiety and hysteria around the virus and simple evidence would help bring them back to a place of normality. But while pastors don’t investigate, they propagate the narrative and support the evil that is being done to our world at this time. How can this information be distributed to more pastors? Thanks for all you are doing.

  3. ‘One might suspect that the only political reason for enforcing the measure is to foster fear in the population.”
    I thought you said conspiracy theory free?
    It’s a belt and braces method employed throughout other countries without issue.
    For me it also works as a reminder to people that it’s not gone away.

    1. Its been pretty well establlished that the main reasons for governments recommending masks were psychological and political rather than evidence based. There have been no empirical peer reviewed studies which clearly show they are essential. The WHO admitted they changed their view for political reasons. I don’t think that’s a conspiracy theory.

      1. Actually it’s worse than that, David — the UK government openly admitted that one of their goals was to include fear in the population. See:

        https://evidencenotfear.com/how-sage-and-uk-media-created-fear-in-the-british-public/

        And here is the government paper that web article refers to:

        https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/options-for-increasing-adherence-to-social-distancing-measures-22-march-2020

        Whether or not masks were part of this, it was nevertheless a stated government objective to increase fear/uncertainty/nervousness/anxiety in the population as their own publications admit.

  4. “……22,000 will die of hunger – no mention in news media and no stopping economies for them. So far this year there have been 6 million deaths from cancer, 850,000 suicides, 3.8 million deaths caused by smoking, 1.9 by misuse of alcohol, more people have died in road traffic accidents than have died of Covid, never mind the unspeakable tragedy of 32 million babies being killed in the womb this year so far…).”

    How is this paragraph relevant to a review of a book about the Covid virus?

    6 million deaths from cancer? Yes – terrible, but cancer is not an infectious disease David. You cannot get cancer riding to work on public transport.

    3.8 million deaths related to smoking. That’s a habit people are free to indulge in David. Do you suggest smoking should be be banned?

    850,000 suicides. Irrelevant David. What has this got to do with attempts to stop the spread of an infectious virus?

    More people have died in road accidents that have died of Covid? There is no correlation David.

    How do you think that your typical christian aversion to the free choice of women to terminate a pregnancy relates to the transmission of a virus? They are two entirely different matters.

    1. It’s relevant because the whole of public policy is based upon an alarmist and imbalanced view of death and the figures around it. I’m sorry and disgusted that you think that 850,000 deaths from suicide – and even more astonished that you are so blinded by political prejudice and having to be right that you cannot work out that lockdown measures are likely to increase suicide – in Australia it is estimated they will double. Plus there will be another 20,000 cancer deaths (and 80,000 in the UK) because people don’t seek and can’t get treatment in time. The road accidents are also relevant – because the mantra ‘what matters more the economy or lives’ is trotted out endlessly as justification for the extreme measures being taken. Using that logic we could save more lives by reducing the speed limit to 5 mph – and even more by banning tobacco and alcohol. The irrationality of your position is matched only by your sheer evil in defending the slaughter of children as ‘choice’. I guess you would not object on that basis to people have the ‘choice’ to have slaves?

      1. Evil is a religious concept David, hence not one I am concerned with- nonetheless it was strangely pleasant to be called evil by a Christian pastor. Thank you. Of course I can’t claim to be the only “evil” person in Australia as there is wide spread support for women to have legal access to abortion. I guess we are all just doomed to eternal torment.

        Abortion is an issue I have actually long struggled with.

        I simply reject you labeling it “the slaughter of children” . I understand you are unable to accept the idea of abortion as anything other than murder and a gross sin. I am not asking you to change your opinion.

        My view is different.

        The alternative to abortion is to force every single woman who falls pregnant to allow the pregnancy to run its course. To make childbirth compulsory. To enforce this outcome there would have to be laws enacted and penalties threatened to punish every woman who even sought an illegal abortion, let alone those who actually had an abortion.

        Could you give me your opinion on what those penalties should be? I am interested to hear what punishment you believe is fit for women who – legal abortion being denied them – either try to have an abortion, or actually procure an abortion.

        Are women who had no desire to have a child but now have one, also to be compelled to care for and raise the child? I expect one would have to take in to consideration whether each and every woman who was forced to have a child was fit to be a mother, whether her resentment at being forced by the state to have a child against her wishes would have an adverse effect on her relationship with and attitude towards the child, is the father around etc – I assume the state would feel that what is paramount is to ensure every child is in a safe loving environment conducive to providing their optimum upbringing so in many instances it would quite likely be that the child has to be taken from the mother and raised and cared for elsewhere.

        I’m certain you’ll have an explanation as to why it is the case that the bible doesn’t condemn slavery.

      2. I note that you deny the existence of evil and question the fact that a baby in the womb is a human being. The notion that if you don’t want to raise your child the only alternative is to kill her is evil…. And the bible does condemn slavery.

  5. Good data. I personally think that the numbers for Covid are wildly exaggerated since here in the U.S. it seems that anyone who dies in the hospital is counted as having died from Covid.

    1. In the UK, if you die of any cause, up to 28 days of having had (tested positive) COVID 19, it’s classed as a COVID death. Regardless of what actually caused you to pass away.

      Hit by a bus, fall off a ladder, heart disease, cancer, any cause.
      If your record shows you had COVID in the last 28 days, it’s a COVID death, even though you could have actually died of something else.

  6. Corona, False Alarm? provides you with sound information and substantiated facts—and encourages you to form your own opinion on the corona crisis.

    If this is truly the aim of the book then it is downright irresponsible.
    It is as ridiculous as stating there is no definitive evidence for evolution and one is encouraged to form one’s own opinion, only that such a stance will merely get you laughed at rather than run the risk of killing someone.

    …. based upon an alarmist and imbalanced view of death and the figures around it.

    Much like indoctrinating children that they will be spending eternity in Hell if they do not believe in Jesus. At least with the current pandemic there is evidence.

    1. Are you suggesting that you don’t have your own opinion about Covid and how it should be dealt with? You just have the facts and wouldn’t dare think about it for yourself, or examine evidence? I knew that fundamentalist atheists affected free thinking – but even that’s a bit extreme!

  7. It’s important to note that our understanding of the virus, particularly its mode f transmission, has changed since the pandemic began (and certainly since Rheiss and Bakdardi published their book).

    A few comments:

    COVID-19 is not just about mortality, it’s also about morbidity. Evidence points to a number of very serious post COVID infection complications including stroke and respiratory symptoms, in people with underlying health conditions and in young people without them (CDC Weekly Weekly / July 31, 2020 / 69(30);993-998).

    Many people seem to be demanding a level of evidence for public health policies that more suited to interventions. Hunt’s paper ‘COVID-19: interpreting scientific evidence – uncertainty, confusion and delays’ (BMC Infect Dis. 2020; 20: 653.) helpfully explains some of the problems in doing this.

    The thesis that only those with underlying health conditions die from COVID must also account for the fact that this is a potentially enormous population. For example, according to the analysis of the last National Health Survey, 11.4 million Australians (almost 50%) have at least one chronic disease.

    “The WHO was responsible for the fake swine flu pandemic in 2009” – seriously? https://www.cdc.gov/flu/spotlights/pandemic-global-estimates.htm

    I am still struggling to understand your last paragraph. The media I read has had articles on the ongoing famine in Yemen, the suicide epidemic in Japan, South Korea, Australia and the United States, the damage alcohol is causing in Australia, e-cigarettes as a gateway to cigarettes, all in the last month – hardly ‘no mention.’

    I also read about the virtual eradication of measles in the African continent, significant trials of genetically modified mosquitos in the fight against malaria and the hope of eradication of guide worm disease and polio.

    1. The book was published in June 2020 – the mode of transmission of the virus has not changed since then.

      Yes Covid 19 does seem to have lasting effects on some – although at the moment the WHO believes that the death rate is 0.13% and that 98% of people fully recover.

      No one is arguing that ‘only’ those with underlying health conditions die from Covid. What is being argued is that the vast majority of those who die were people with serious illnesses who are near the end of life anyway. Your figure about 50% of Australians having chronic disease is a great example of how people misuse figures. It includes obesity,diabetes and mental illness.

      I find it difficult to believe that you don’t understand my last paragraph. It’s not that difficult – its a comment on CNN not all the media – although the CNN report is an example of what happens – every Covid death is breathlessly headlined – others are largely ignored. In Australia 170,000 people will die this year – approximately 1,000 of them will be people who have Covid. Most of the 169,000 who don’t won’t get a mention. Its interesting that the death rate will not go up at all because of Covid – so why are we trashing the economy? The paragraph is simple to understand – you chose not to do so.

      1. ‘The book was published in June 2020’. So, David, what ‘research’ is this book based on? As a researcher the date tells me simply the book is NOT worth reading.

      2. I think its your prejudice that tells you that the book is not worth reading. Any researcher who believes that something over three months old should not be read would not be a researcher I could trust! I suggest you do some research and actually read it – it has extensive footnotes and so you can if you want, find out what the research is based on …

      3. “The book was published in June 2020 – the mode of transmission of the virus has not changed since then.”

        This is incorrect. When the book was written fomites and droplets were understood to be the routes of transmission, now it is understood that the virus spreads through aerosol transmission. Refer https://time.com/5883081/covid-19-transmitted-aerosols/.

        “Your figure about 50% of Australians having chronic disease is a great example of how people misuse figures. It includes obesity, diabetes and mental illness.”

        Yes, it includes obesity, diabetes and mental illness. The first two are risk factors for COVID mortality. The Centre for Evidence Based Medicine considers people with mental illness more at risk of contracting COVID and of having worse outcomes following infection.

        Please enlighten me how the figure of 50%, which is derived by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and used by the Australian Government to plan its chronic health policy, is considered by you as ‘misuse. ‘

        “No one is arguing that ‘only’ those with underlying health conditions die from Covid. ”

        Not in your blog, true, nor in Rheiss and Bakdardi’s book, but it is a currently widespread view elsewhere.

        “The paragraph is simple to understand – you chose not to do so.”

        As I stated, I did not understand it. Accusing me of choosing not to understand it is unnecessary. As I stated my reading of what appears to be the same media that you read has led me to different conclusions.

      4. There is still considerable disagreement about aerosol transmission – touch is still considered to be the most significant factor. The situation has not changed much since the book was written – the authors still maintain the same position.

        The point about chronic disease is that it is being used in two different ways. In terms of Covid deaths the vast majority in Australia have been in care homes where the majority of people die within two years. In the case of the UK I don’t know what the current situation is – but three months ago the Chief Medical Officer estimated and most who died would have died within one year anyway.

        If you are commenting on my blog and on the book, don’t confuse things by arguing against what neither of us are saying. Thats dishonest and confusing.

        I can’t help you in your lack of understanding. The paragraph is a straightforward critique of CNN’s report…You may think that all the other deaths in the world are being reported as much as Covid 19 – you clearly don’t read the same media as me!

      5. David, I should have said ‘PROBABLY NOT worth reading’. But it still isn’t ‘prejudice’. It isn’t that the book is OVER three months old but simply that it was PUBLISHED only three months after COVID-19 began to spread widely and (presumably) without the three months experience since then. How ‘trustworthy’ can that ‘research’ be?

      6. I would suggest its usually pretty unwise to comment on a book you haven’t read. It is full of detailed analyses and checkable facts….perhaps read it before you judge it isn’t worth reading?

  8. David, I’m with Geraint. I am wondering what you are actually critiquing in your last paragraph. ‘Kill’ does not have to be read literally. Your critique does not seem to relate then to what The Week article is saying.

    1. Once you start arguing ‘kill’ does not have to read literally – you’re done. You think they mean it metaphorically?! CNN were lying. They know they are lying – because they are not that stupid. The BBC have resorted to the more correct, but less scary, 1 million people with Covid have died….

  9. I am loathe to comment on this, especially given the comments.
    The severity of the virus was downgraded by the UK government back in march before lockdown: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/high-consequence-infectious-diseases-hcid

    I have been following the official data for England. This has been very frustrating because as they keep changing the definitions so that ‘cases’ or deaths increase. The data is now extremely difficult to interpret accurately because of this. The evidence is that all figures are inflated and it is impossible to obtain accurate figures because of how the information has been recorded.

    In addition, the way the PCR test is being used to inflate the number of positive tests and the way a ‘case’ is being defined as a positive test is scandalous. There is very well established statistical methodology to establish the probably that a positive test is a ‘case’ based on the prevalence of the virus in the general population along with known ‘sensitivity’ and ‘specificity’ of the test.

    In addition, the PCR test cannot pick up on whether there is any viable virus present in the sample. It just tests for fragments of RNA. So it gives no information on how infectious someone it.

    The ‘sensitivity’ is the proportion of actual cases the test picks up. This does actually appear to have been tested for and is very good.

    The problem is with the ‘specificity’ of the test which works out whether the test picks up things other than the coronavirus in question. I can find no evidence that this has been tested – except perhaps in Tanzania where it was concluded that the test was useless.

    There is a group of doctors and lawyers in Germany who have been investigating this. A summary of their findings and intention to sue for crimes against humanity can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr04gHbP5MQ&feature=youtu.be

    Finally the average age of death in developed countries is 80 or more. I fail to understand why this means whole populations have to be locked down for a virus that was downgraded from a ‘High Consequence Infectious Disease’ back in March before lockdown.

    Sorry for the rant. I am extremely frustrated by all this.

  10. Thank you very much, David, Rowina and Elizabeth. I sometimes feel very alone in my scepticism. My son has had covid-19, I know it’s real and can be dangerous, but the response is out of all proportion to the threat. We must keep praying for the truth and for deception to be uncovered. I’ve watched the video from Elizabeth’s link, and recommend it, and also this one https://acu2020.org/hearings It shows the very heavy-handed and shocking arrest in London of a Hamburg medical doctor, Heiko Schöning, who was held for hours, and whose phone, laptop, and a copy of the book which David reviews above, were confiscated. (You can watch the interview in German or English at the link.)

  11. Possibly the best way to settle the concern over whether COVID deaths are being properly recorded, is to delve into excess deaths stats. Only a few countries provide these – generally wealthy ones.
    Our Words in data uses John Hopkins university and European data sources (they explain why on their site.) https://ourworldindata.org/excess-mortality-covid
    And The Economist provides a similar service https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/07/15/tracking-covid-19-excess-deaths-across-countries

    To take a couple of examples: The Economist records reports of 174,468 COVID deaths in the US but finds 240,255 excess deaths (March 8 to Aug 22) For Britain 56,920 reputed COVID deaths and 63,782 excess deaths (March 14 to Sep 4)
    They give their sources here: https://github.com/TheEconomist/covid-19-excess-deaths-tracker

    I value your skepticism. Yet I think it is fair to suggest that any analysis of whether COVID causes or contributes to deaths need to take this sort of data into account. I hope you agree.

    1. Agreed – but excess deaths should be measured over the year…and we should also ask how many excess deaths have been caused by Covid and how many are because of the measures taken to limit Covid…

      1. It is helpful to look at the shape of the excess death graphs. So rather than only look at the excess deaths over a year, the weekly or daily figures are significant in determining the answer to the question you rightly ask. Some effects of COVID such as missed medical appointments can be expected to show over time, or suicides because of the economic impact might lag to some extent. But the closer the excess deaths occur in concentrated periods at times of first or second waves, the argument for them to be COVID related is stronger. Of course correction does not equal causation.

      2. Excess deaths are not going to give a clear indicator of accuracy, if a person actually dies of a cause that would have happened anyway, but they just happened to have had COVID within the proceeding 28 days.

  12. There’s a whole lot of faith going on at the moment.
    Not a lot of knowing, certainty, indisputable evidence or proof.
    But a lot of faith in what others have said, wrote, personally experienced, or believe. The same arguments by Jesus skeptics.

    Any they say faith is dead! This has to be the most universal expression of faith at the same time across the entire history of humanity.

    When Jesus asked, ‘will the Son of man find faith on the earth?’
    Absolutely. Not in him.

    But in a lot of possibly, maybe, could be, about something else that the people cannot see!

    He must be bemused by the irony.

    1. What is there to have an opinion about? A doctor died – which is tragic. Health staff are more susceptible to Covid 19 and need proper PPE – given that my daughter is a Covid 19 nurse in a busy London hospital – where the PPE was shockingly bad – you will appreciate I have a personal interest in this.

      1. I amaware of your daughter’s position, as you have mentioned this before, which makes it all the more baffling that you would want to open churches for worship.

  13. The article above ends with mention of the 32 million killed in the womb so far this year. The secular media are never keen to discuss this. They are even less likely to discuss what might look like a success against abortion by evangelicals. A new and small pro-life group in Northern Ireland are called CBRNI (Campaign for Bioethical Reform Northern Ireland). The 03 Oct entry on the CBRNI facebook page makes interesting reading. Was it a coincidence that prayer and protest, at a site suspected of being implicated in-“abortion care”-, was followed a few days later by the Northern Health Trust appearing to possibly cancel their abortion service? Christian NHS workers should seek clarity (ideally “in confidence” through their MP/MLA who has a mandate to receive information) around the possible presence of abortion activity at their employment site or hospital building. The tactics of CBRNI are quite direct, but do they work on the biblical basis of conscience, with what we see and hear stirring us: the message of Second Peter 2:8.

  14. Thank you, David, for highlighting this book, and the issue generally.
    I note the many critical comments you have received, but wonder how many have actually bothered to read any of the book. Somehow I doubt they could bothered.
    Many of those who have simply accepted the political rhetoric are brain dead anyway!!!

    Having reached the half way mark in the book, and continuing to read… I see Melbourne, where I am still imprisoned to within 5km of my home, being a text book copy of all the mistakes mentioned in the book, and more besides.
    Our Governments actions have now caused around 800 direct deaths.
    Clearly, many are people who were rushed from aged care homes to hospitals, and placed on ventilators. Most subsequently died OF Covid 19 (???) despite many, if not most, being terminally ill before receiving the invasive treatment, and subsequent loneliness.
    Having seen exactly what loneliness has done to my 86 yo mother in law, I can easily imagine the suffering of many, many more.
    Time alone will tell what the real consequences of the Melbourne lockdown will bring.

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