Monday, June 13, 2022

Day 864: From Tragedy to Farce

The thirty-month-long Ays Rand novel that is the coronavirus pandemic leapt the shark recently, ascending from tragedy to farce via a thinly-veiled send-up of Pfizer on Dilbert. From the initial decision to become a big pharma company to Wally coming into his own to the most persuasive presentation pointy-haired boss has ever seen to eliminating the whistleblowers, it's two weeks of the most fun you can have combining epidemiology and cupidity in comic book form.

Monday, June 06, 2022

Day 857: Buying Health

Mathew Crawford explains the illusion of vaccine efficacy caused by income disparities, a theory shared by the Ethical Skeptic (ES):
ES wins a grappling match by clean submission by showing that (still working at the U.S. county level) COVID deaths correlate to vaccination no more and no less after vaccination began as before. The pattern of results just…remains the same.
He does not touch on the possibility that the causal factor behind better health may not be the wealth itself but whatever caused the income and educational disparities in the first place.

Friday, June 03, 2022

Day 854: COVID Karate Kids

The bad cat deals the covidocracy a one-two punch with posts about the fakery that was martial arts before kickboxing—that is, the fakery that was epidemiology before bad cats on the Internet pooled their statistical chops, and the morass of confirmation bias that is public health even today.

From the former post (why public health "experts" never want to fight "the amateurs": what kung fu theater can teach us about public health):
from SAGE to the CDC, the UW to the NIH, it’s been complete and total woo-woo. their models did not just fail, they were so bad they were non-deterministic and could not even replicate their own results.

they rode in on big white woo-woo horses laden with credentials and made bold claims of their prowess and prescience. they legitimately had no idea they were not world champ top of the game stone cold epi-killahs. they had never been outside. it was 15 years of patty cake training to get ready for the gold medal round in olympic boxing.

total misses on swine flu and zika and dengue and “ebola comes to america” had been largely ignored.

they had no idea that they were, in reality, stunningly, embarrassingly bad at this.

and suddenly they were in the big leagues and got knocked out in the first round in front of everyone because they did not know any better than to jump in a ring for which they were unqualified. all their predictions were wrong, their recommendations false and ill advised. it was just jumping around and tossing out jargon and mathiness as though it implied knowing how to fight a disease.

and we watched this kung-fu theater die in real time.
And the latter post (we've reached the "we're not even going to pretend to prove this works, just do as you're told" stage of the pandemic: watch as the messaging shifts once more):
and that’s the stage of public health we are reaching, because they have lost the debate, been trounced on the data, and been caught lying and making up studies over and over but they are still sure they are experts (and there is no safe path down off the tiger onto which they have climbed in any event).

they are not going to change their minds nor in all likelihood can they without internal psychological crisis. imagine the psychic baggage of realizing that you just architected the most damaging and least effective public health response in human history while endlessly grandstanding about your knowledge and insight.

yowsa.
Yowsa, indeed.

Thursday, June 02, 2022

Day 853: Vaxx For Thee But Not For Me

The latest celebrity charged in a Spanish counterfeit vaccine passport scheme is also the most ironic: José María Fernández Sousa-Faro, president of one of the largest pharmceutical companies in Spain. According to Steve Kirsch and the EuroWeekly News, it was a sliding fee scale, so he paid a lot not to take his medicine.

Not surprisingly, some famous athletes also paid the big bucks not to have to take the cure for soccer COVID. What was surprising is that the counterfeiting ring was broken not by a direct investigation, but as a side-effect of the campaign against the "dark web":
What is interesting is that the police did not uncover the scam through a local investigation, but rather through efforts to curb extremism on the dark web.

Enter policeman A, his name has not been made public. According to the Guardia Civil he made contact with an extremist Islamic group who he arranged to meet in France, but told them that he personally could not travel as he had not been vaccinated.

He said: “I don’t have a COVID-19 passport; I am not vaccinated. Allah does not allow me to put anything impure in my body.”

They replied that they could get him a passport and even get him registered on the National Registry of Vaccination, He was introduced to two Madrid residents, Álex, a former thief with a history of sexual assault and known to have contact with criminals in Madrid and Irene, an attractive woman who had been convicted and then pardoned for drug trafficking many years ago.

The police followed the two and noticed that Irene met a young man twice a week, after hours. That young man turned out to be Mario, a nursing assistant in the Hospital of La Paz.

An investigation online found that Mario was an active militant and a Covid-19 denier, which made them suspicious. But on checking they found he could not be the source of the false certificates as he would not have access to the database.

So they went about pretending to be potential customers to gather the evidence they needed. What they found was another nurse was being given a share to issue the certificates, with the money being put into cryptocurrency accounts to try and hide it.

But they also did spend it drawing further attention to themselves, with the network growing and the number of customers increasing.

In the end, the police arrested 15 people involved in the selling and issuing of false certificates.

What makes this case even more bizarre is that Mario contracted Covid-19 and need to be vaccinated to be able to return to work, but he couldn’t do that as a denier. So that’s when he approached his would be accomplice, who helped him out. It was at that point, Mario realised that they could make money offering the false certificates.
P.S. Massachusetts cases were up a sixth of a percentage point today.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Day 849: The First Casualty of COVID is Duty

Vinay Prasad blogs at length about the pushback he got for taking the (actually) rational and scientific position on matters of COVID, rather than adopting pop-sci stupidity about masking children, closing schools, boosting the healthy, giving Moderna to anyone under 40, etc., etc.:
I'm trying not to use the word stupid to describe the people who hold the view that it helps. Instead, I will put it this way. I no longer respect any actual scientist who tells me that that it makes sense to make 2-year-olds wear a cloth mask in daycare except for the two hours they all nap together side by side. Anyone who believes that policy actually slows viral spread can be safely ignored.

But what can I do about bad policy? I thought about it, and slowly over the course of a year advanced a series of articles in places like Medpage today, and the Atlantic on this issue. I tweeted against the AAP when they said deranged things like there is no evidence that kids need to see faces.

This earned me great professional pushback, and headache. But you can't focus on that, you must focus on your duty. My duty, as a professor whose life is the arbitration of evidence, is to encourage people to use their rational, evidence-based medicine skills in pursuit of policy recommendations that benefit people. I can't be dissuaded if a bunch of people who aren’t thinking clearly decide to engage in mob Twitter.
Though the occasion of his post is obvious now, it goes unmentioned so we should note for posterity that armed guards hired to protect schoolchildren instead stood by at a school shooting in Texas this past week.

Massachusetts cases were up a fifth of a percentage point on Friday.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Interlude: The Orthopox That Dare Not Speak Its Name

Alex Berenson reports the impending sudden end to the monkeypox scare, as the news gets out that it's only affecting gay men, after gaining a foothold at a couple of gay raves in Europe:
The good news is that the public health authorities are now likely to pivot fast away from trying to scare people about monkeypox, for fear of stigmatizing gay men (by letting them know too much about what happens at these raves).

[...]

Added bonus: the same epidemiologists who wanted to lock you and your kids up for the last two years for Covid, a disease that poses approximately no risk to them, are now sure to let you know that MANDATES AND GOVERNMENT EFFORTS TO CHANGE BEHAVIOR NEVER WORK!

Monday, May 23, 2022

Day 843: Boosting Severity

The bad cat counts up adverse effects of boosters in VAERS and finds them even deadlier than the original shots:
the surge of boosters in the US began in September 2021.

this is precisely the same time the spike in deaths and hospitalizations per day per dose per day started.

so this is NOT an artifact of just dosing more, we’ve already controlled for that. the per dose incidence of death and hospitalization rose 4X immediately, seems to have plateaued for a minute, then found another step function spike in late january early feb and basically increased 5X from its already 5X elevated level. that is actual exponential growth in propensity for severe bad outcomes per dose.

such a thing is extremely unusual to see and would appear to be of such magnitude as to make a simple rise in reporting rates appear highly unlikely, especially as the overall reports figure does not mirror this pattern, retains linearity, and shows no major moves during this spike in more severe outcomes.

[...]

VAERS is supposed to function as a tripwire, a warning system. it’s the canary in the vaccine coal mine.

american public health officials appear to be literally treading on a carpet of dead songbirds so thick that feet have not touched floor in nearly two years.
In an afterthought he realizes what the second spike might be:
addendum (post publication) another possibility just occurred to me: this second surge in severe outcomes might be associated with 4th doses (second booster). i have no data on prevalence or timing there, but if this is the cause, then we’d have real cause for alarm as it would imply that each incremental boost looks 5X worse than before. purely speculative, but perhaps fertile ground for inquiry.
In other VAERS news, Children's Health Defense reports the illicit deletion of 10,000 severe adverse reactions to COVID vaccines from the database.

P.S. In other vaccine news, the FDA rubber-stamped another booster today, this time for five-year-olds, without any clinical trials for efficacy, and with minimal safety data. It did not reconvene the advisory panel because the advisory panel already said not to do that.

Here at PlagueBlog Headquarters, we follow the science, not political decisions made by the FDA against scientific advice.

P.S. Massachusetts cases were up a quarter of a percent on Friday.