Today’s daily update will feature a great deal of back-tracking and narrative changing from our pandemic “experts.”

To start with, some readers will recall that in late May, the World Health Organization (WHO) temporarily suspended the hydroxychloroquine arm of its trial. I chose to ignore this drama and continued to focus on reports stressing its success in addressing the early stages of COVID-19.

The Guardian has done some deep digging into data from a little-known US healthcare analytics company, which was the basis for that decision. An investigation by the British publication reveals the US-based company Surgisphere, whose handful of employees appear to include a science fiction writer and an adult-content model, provided data for multiple studies on Covid-19. Its chief executive co-authored the study but has not adequately explained its data or methodology.

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.

The New England Journal of Medicine and Lancet released an “expression of concern” about studies they published using the data. The WHO is resuming the hydroxychloroquine trial.

I would like to commend the Guardian’s reporters for their work, which is an example of real investigative journalism and not merely more Trump Derangement Syndrome inspired inanity. I am confident lives have been saved because they did the research that American reporters could not do.

Professor whose grim warnings prompted global lockdowns now admits Sweden suppressed Covid-19 to the same level but without shutdowns

True shutdown believers took a big hit when Dr. Neil Ferguson, whose flawed Imperial College models were the basis of the global lockdown policies nearly everywhere but Sweden, indicated the Nordic country’s infection rate was about the same as elsewhere…without the shutdowns.

The professor whose grim warning that 500,000 Brits may die from Covid-19 without action triggered lockdown has admitted Sweden may have suppressed its outbreak as well as Britain – without imposing the draconian measures.

Professor Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London, revealed he had the ‘greatest respect’ for the Scandinavian nation, which has managed to suffer fewer deaths per capita than the UK.

He made the comments at a House of Lords Science and Technology Committee today during his first public appearance since flouting stay at home rules to have secret trysts with his married mistress last month.

The epidemiologist – dubbed Professor Lockdown – has come under fire for his modelling which predicted half a million Britons could die from Covid-19 and heavily influenced the UK’s decision to rush into a nationwide quarantine.

Professor Ferguson appeared to praise Sweden for keeping infections low without the economically crippling curbs and said ‘they have gone quite a long way to [achieving] the same effect’.

Infectious disease specialists promote petition calling for an end to tear gas during COVID-19 pandemic

After promoting policies that have been based on flawed data and models, infectious disease specialists are now calling for the removal of a critical tool used for police as part of riot control tactics….based on questionable theories and social justice.

Infectious disease specialists are circulating an online petition calling for police to stop using tear gas to disperse crowds during the coronavirus pandemic who are coming out in droves to mourn the death of George Floyd and decry police brutality.

While the doctors say they support the peaceful protesters, they are calling on police to use “public health best practices” during demonstrations.

The University of Washington created the petition, while University of California at San Francisco infectious disease specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, helped craft the science behind it.

Tear gas, first used during WWI, causes people to cough, Chin-Hong said in an interview. And coughing during a pandemic is not a good thing.

“When you bring together a lot of people, like at a stadium or a protest, the virus goes from people’s noses to mouths in droplets,” he said.

When people are in these crowded and emotional settings, they tend to shout and “project the virus more than three feet,” he said.

 

 
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