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Posted by: Free Man ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 12:32AM

More cult behavior we can all relate to, as described in this article, many scientists are silenced if they don't follow the official narrative. So much for "follow the science".


https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-covid-science-wars1/

While pressure is applied in both directions, many at RFM will be surprised to learn there are reputable scientists who question their government's covid strategies. These are not "covidiots".

Quotes:

In the U.S., John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist and professor of medicine at Stanford University, was subjected to attacks, not at the hands of public officials, but his fellow scientists. Ioannidis has authored some of the most cited journal articles in medical history and was praised in a 2010 article in The Atlanticas possibly “one of the most influential scientists alive.” Yet he was pilloried when he published an opinion essay expressing concerns that we lacked data on the efficacy of draconian responses to the outbreak, such as lockdowns, and that such measures could cause their own harms. We read some of the obscene and defamatory e-mails that were sent to Ioannidis and his administrators and colleagues at Stanford. Numerous misleading claims were advanced in the press, including the charge that he had a financial conflict of interest related to a study of the prevalence of COVID-19 that he co-authored. But a fact-finding review by an external legal firm determined that Ioannidis did not have a financial conflict. Ioannidis would come under more fire when he published an analysis showing that the infection fatality rate of COVID-19 was far lower than initially reported. Later, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published similarly low rates (which varied by age group, time and location) and the World Health Organization published updated research by Ioannidis showing a low overall infection fatality rate.

-----

These attacks and others like them have led at least some scientists to self-censor, for fear their contrarian positions would leave them open to reputational damage that could potentially threaten their careers. One epidemiologist told us the environment was “too toxic” to talk to us, even anonymously. The British journalist Laurie Clarke reported similar difficulties when she tried to interview epidemiologists who questioned the majoritarian views regarding population-based lockdowns. One expert told her via e-mail that “putting your head above the parapet is a dangerous thing to do at the moment”.

-----

The effects of public health interventions can be very difficult to assess, so evidence gleaned from the few instances of randomized controlled trials of such interventions become particularly important. Yet the highly anticipated results of the only randomized controlled trial of mask wearing and COVID-19 infection went unpublished for months. Researchers, anxious to learn of the results, contacted Thomas Lars Benfield, a lead investigator on the study of 6,000 community-dwelling residents in Denmark, about the delay in publication. Benfield responded that the results would be published, “As soon as a journal is brave enough to accept the paper.” The paper finally appeared, after a five-month delay, on November 18 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. It showed no clear benefit from mask wearing in the community setting. In an accompanying editorial, the editors recommended mask wearing while noting that any benefit is likely to be “small,” and adding, “With fierce resistance to mask recommendations by leaders and the public in some locales, is it irresponsible for Annals to publish these results, which could easily be misused by those opposed to mask recommendations? We think not. More irresponsible would be to not publish the results of carefully designed research because the findings were not as favorable or definitive as some may have hoped.”

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 12:35AM

Wear a mask.

Get vaccinated.

Contribute to RfM.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 12:51AM

We didn't lack data. We had tons of data from the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic that lockdowns worked to curb deaths. The cities that did lockdowns a hundred years ago had vastly improved survival rates. And lockdowns weren't particularly popular back then either.

Lockdowns also worked quite well for Wuhan, although the rather draconian lockdowns China used would never fly here.

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Posted by: Counting the Cost ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 06:42AM

summer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lockdowns also worked quite well for Wuhan,

If you believe their official figures. Tencent reported Covid fatalities in China as being ten times as high as the official statistics before Beijing stepped in.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 02:37PM

Oh yes, the Wolf Hunter.

Tencent isn't a news company let alone a science outfit. Your citing it is a bit like getting your information from a video games company. Did I mention that Tencent is the largest producer of video games in the world?

But just for the scats and giggles, let's assume the 10X figure is correct. Since China reports 4,800 deaths, that would put the real number at 48,000. Meanwhile the US has lost 500,000 lives, which is still 10X greater still than in China.

And of course China has a much larger population, roughly 4X the US total. So on a per capita basis the US has lost 40 times as many as China. seems like a significant difference, no?

Did I mention that your source makes video games? You could have done better with a Google news search like you were using yesterday.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 12:53AM

It's interesting how you excise the examples that contradict your personal politics.

1) Li Wenliang, the Chinese scientist who was punished for telling people COVID was a very serious threat and had to be contained,

2) Two Swedish doctors who were punished and received death threats for challenging the government's pursuit of the herd immunity strategy,

3) A French MD who was threatened for arguing against the advocates of hydroxychlorine use.

Let's recall where you personally stand. You told us COVID was not a serious threat, that the herd immunity strategy was the right one to pursue, and that hydroxychlorine prevents COVID infection--all of which were wrong. Why did you say those things? Perhaps because you support President Trump, who asserted each of those positions and threatened anyone who disagreed. But whatever the motivation, you line up with perhaps the most egregious suppressors of science.

It's a good article about a serious problem, but you've distorted the analysis to make it more Free Man-friendly. That's unfortunate; it's not quite honest; and it's patently obvious to anyone who reads. A better approach might be anonyXmo's tactic of reproducing quotations without providing a source that others can check.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/23/2021 01:01AM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: [|] ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 02:20AM

We previously discussed the Danish study in a post of yours that was deleted.

https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/m20-6817

"The most important limitation is that the findings are inconclusive, with CIs compatible with a 46% decrease to a 23% increase in infection. Other limitations include the following. Participants may have been more cautious and focused on hygiene than the general population; however, the observed infection rate was similar to findings of other studies in Denmark (26, 30). Loss to follow-up was 19%, but results of multiple imputation accounting for missing data were similar to the main results. In addition, we relied on patient-reported findings on home antibody tests, and blinding to the intervention was not possible. Finally, a randomized controlled trial provides high-level evidence for treatment effects but can be prone to reduced external validity."

"Yet, the findings were inconclusive and cannot definitively exclude a 46% reduction to a 23% increase in infection of mask wearers in such a setting. It is important to emphasize that this trial did not address the effects of masks as source control or as protection in settings where social distancing and other public health measures are not in effect."
Thus, these findings do not provide data on the effectiveness of widespread mask wearing in the community in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infections"

***Again: The findings were inconclusive.***


https://www.forbes.com/sites/leahrosenbaum/2020/11/18/lead-researcher-behind-controversial-danish-study-says-you-should-still-wear-a-mask/?sh=516e458f39e7

"While the study found little evidence that masks protected the wearers from Covid-19, it should not be used as evidence to not wear a mask. “Even a small degree of protection is worth using the face masks,” says Dr. Henning Bundgaard, professor of Cardiology at Rigshospitalet in Denmark and lead author of the study, “because you are protecting yourself against a potentially life-threatening disease."

"70%: That’s how much wearing a mask reduces the risk of Covid-19 transmission, according to studies in the U.S. and in Thailand."

"Surprising Fact

A national mask mandate could save the U.S. economy up to $1 trillion, according to research from Goldman Sachs"

https://www.covidfaq.co/Claim-A-Danish-study-shows-masks-don-t-work-e2bb579390ea4fed9802d8b2106ad7cd
1) The study only looked at protection of the wearer.
2) Problems were pointed out before the study appeared
3) The study was too small.
4) There are other reasons to think masks work
For details on each, see actual link.


https://www.factcheck.org/2020/11/danish-study-doesnt-prove-masks-dont-work-against-the-coronavirus/

"The trial evaluated whether giving free surgical masks to volunteers and recommending their use safeguarded wearers from infection with the coronavirus, in addition to other public health recommendations. The study didn’t identify a statistically significant protective effect for wearers, but the trial was only designed to detect a large effect of 50% or more. And the study didn’t weigh in on the ability of masks to prevent spread of the virus from wearers to others, or what’s known as source control, which is thought to be the primary way that masks work.

The study was conducted at a time when Danish authorities were not recommending masks to the general public, so most people both groups would encounter were not likely to be masked. Both groups were told to follow national public health guidance, which included physical distancing, avoiding crowds and washing hands."

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Posted by: Counting the Cost ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 06:35AM

"Surprising Fact: A national mask mandate could save the U.S. economy up to $1 trillion, according to research from Goldman Sachs"

Whatever your stance on masks, and Covid infection, it is clear that the lockdowns have done massive economic harm worldwide. Sadly, most governments have not done enough to prevent debts or people going bankrupt. The fact remains - Covid could disappear overnight and we will be dealing with the economic fallout for a decade.

Many people are now saying it would have been cheaper and less economically destructive to isolate the elderly and vulnerable. These groups constitute the vast majority of deaths. Deaths among the under thirties get reported in the media but are extremely rare.

The psychological toll of these lockdowns is also being covered up. Alcoholism has become rampant, and in one location I read about recently the suicide rate has quadrupled in 2020 according to state records. That was in the Isle of Man, a small place with short lockdowns and a New Zealand style approach. But I imagine this pattern repeats across the world, especially in places with harsher rules. But US lockdowns have been milder than many countries.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 08:51AM

Is there an option, regarding Covid-19, that allows a country's population to go through a world-wide pandemic (I like 'mundemic', based on the Spanish word for world: mundo) and come out the other side with everyone totally happy and completely unaffected?

Let's fast-forward: No, there isn't.

So then what's the 'best' way, with the least economic damage and the least human suffering?

What's that you say, we don't know? People have to sort themselves out and pretty much make it up as they go along, alternating between the economy and the human toll? And if there is a conflict between the two goals, compromise and trade-offs are made?

Which countries today have the largest percentage of 'survivors' who are united in agreement that "The way we did is best!"?

I think that all the critics making their points today have agendas. And as with all individuals they are powerless unless they can attract a large enough voting block to be courted by 'users'.

What's the answer? Easy! Each of us has to become 'perfect'. How do we do that? I know, let's ask the experts!

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Posted by: Dr. No ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 09:10AM

Loss of life, or loss of money.

So, they try make a debate of it - money lovers contorting and pretzelizing themselves to say it's REALLY about valuing life.

It's not.

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Posted by: bradley ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 10:06PM

But government incompetence provides plausible deniability. If your life is all messed up, it must be their fault.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 11:00PM

elderolddog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> . . . I like 'mundemic', based on
> the Spanish word for world: mundo). . .

There is an argument that this point is mundane, which suggests you may be suffering a bout of mundania.

In fact, sometimes you swamp the world with so many mundanities that you become a veritable mundanic mundempic.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/23/2021 11:02PM by Lot's Wife.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 11:22PM

Gladys, you daft muppet!

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Posted by: blindguy ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 06:12PM

Counting the Cost Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "Surprising Fact: A national mask mandate could
> save the U.S. economy up to $1 trillion, according
> to research from Goldman Sachs"
>
> Whatever your stance on masks, and Covid
> infection, it is clear that the lockdowns have
> done massive economic harm worldwide. Sadly, most
> governments have not done enough to prevent debts
> or people going bankrupt. The fact remains - Covid
> could disappear overnight and we will be dealing
> with the economic fallout for a decade.
>
> Many people are now saying it would have been
> cheaper and less economically destructive to
> isolate the elderly and vulnerable. These groups
> constitute the vast majority of deaths. Deaths
> among the under thirties get reported in the media
> but are extremely rare.
>
> The psychological toll of these lockdowns is also
> being covered up. Alcoholism has become rampant,
> and in one location I read about recently the
> suicide rate has quadrupled in 2020 according to
> state records. That was in the Isle of Man, a
> small place with short lockdowns and a New Zealand
> style approach. But I imagine this pattern repeats
> across the world, especially in places with
> harsher rules. But US lockdowns have been milder
> than many countries.

I wonder what religion told its followers that keeping the economy going was more important than saving people's lives.

Mormonism?

Never mind.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 10:56PM

You know what people like you miss, Honourable Lord Counting? Of course you don't.

Assume that the lockdowns didn't happen. How many people would have died around the world? How many, for that matter, in the United States? One million? 1.5 million? Two million?

Do you think a country can lose that many lives without massive economic damage? Do you think that there would not be increased emotional damage, more depression, more suicides among the family members who lost their loved ones--damage that would have entailed still more harm to the economy?

No need to answer. We know you get your information from Tencent and other video game companies.

But the point is important. People who count the cost of the lockdowns must also, if they want to be honest with themselves and others, count the cost of going WITHOUT the lockdowns. The comparison isn't 5-600,000 deaths with SIP measures and 500,000 deaths without. It is 500,000 versus the much larger number that would obtain if those measures had not been imposed.

Enjoy that orange.

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Posted by: logged out today ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 11:19PM

> Many people are now saying


"Many people say…"

No thanks. Heard that far too often over the last 4 years. You have to do better than that.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 11:23PM

Yep.

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Posted by: Dr. No ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 08:51AM

no scientific debate on the virology of it, merely evidence.

Enter economic and political hack cats, and there's more than one way to skin a cat.

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Posted by: anybody ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 09:52AM


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Posted by: macaRomney ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 10:30AM

It sounds like this scientist John Loannidis makes some valid points. Criticism is hard to take especially for intellectuals who know they are 'always' right. This is why they are attacking him, I figure.

"Yet he was pilloried when he published an opinion essay expressing concerns that we lacked data on the efficacy of draconian responses to the outbreak, such as lockdowns, and that such measures could cause their own harms."

We have seen the effects of the lockdown, it can be argued there are benefits for it, such as less transmission of the C. disease, saving of lives. But also some of the 'harms' are that there are so many businesses going under, so many disregards of constitutional rights, so much over reach of power by state officials which may not go away once the C. virus is under control.

There are many anointed intellectuals who have overreaching expectations that they want to force on the rest of us. Bill Gates is advocating giving up beef, and that the lock down is suppose to go on through 2022. More stimulous checks will have to go out but it's a devils bargain,

The governments never give anything away without expecting something in return, Just look at the stock market this morning. Inflation is here. These are the 'harms' this scientist is probably worried about.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 01:51PM

You (among others) seem to have this obsession with lockdowns. Most businesses in most places are not locked down. Restaurants in Utah have been open for months. They are struggling because people won't go to restaurants because they seem like ideal places to spread covid. Which they are.

South Korea never went into a lockdown, though they did restrict large gatherings. It is a small, densely populated nation, 51 million people in a country about half the size of Utah.

They have very high mask compliance, and strict quarantine and contact tracing. That worked quite well. It's not rocket science.

The US demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to do the obvious.

Oh, and that inflation thing - the usual suspects have been predicting inflation since 2008. It has been just around the corner for going on 13 years now. I see hope springs eternal with you. Some year you will be right. Just hang in there.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 06:36PM

Maca, I feel that people with your attitude lack the sense of discipline and self-sacrifice that enabled my parents' generation to win WWII. My father, a multi-talented man, even let Federal authorities tell him where his talents would best be utilized in the war effort. So did my mom, for that matter. They both cooperated with government rationing and other restrictions.

It's interesting that the people who are currently whining the most about "freedom" seem to have a difficult time with even the most simple of requests, such as wearing a mask, avoiding large gatherings, and so on.

I'm sure that other countries such as Russia, China, Iran, etc. are taking note that Americans cannot currently be counted on to work together for the common good. We are apparently too busy enjoying our "freedom."

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 07:10PM

That's how I see it too, summer.

I saw this going around on Twitter (I don't have the source at the moment):

"Roads in Dallas are snowy and icy and the government is telling me to stay home or I might die. But this is infringing on my FREEDOM and we need to keep the economy OPEN. I will drive the speed limit on untreated overpasses because I REFUSE to live in fear."

Working together for a common good is what was missing from consistent leadership regarding COVID. There may have been several effective ways to handle it, but the fact everyone was doing their own thing cost us many of those 500,000 lives.

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Posted by: Susan I/S ( )
Date: February 24, 2021 04:33AM

You are spelling it incorrectly. It is freedumb.

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Posted by: kathleen ( )
Date: February 24, 2021 12:11PM

I don’t have it right in front of me, but in his book, “Night,” Elie Wiesel told of his father refusing to leave the ghetto —-saying, “I won’t let fear kill me.”

Elie’s father died in a concentration camp. At the end of the book, Ellie asked, “Then what did kill you, father?”

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: February 24, 2021 01:03PM

I bet that's deeper than anything you heard from Grandma Blaart!

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Posted by: ookami ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 02:10PM

Guy, saying scientists were "bullied" into accepting that masks and distancing work better than herd immunity is like claiming scientists are being bullied into accepting the heliocentric model of the solar system.

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Posted by: schrodingerscat ( )
Date: February 23, 2021 07:18PM

ookami Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Guy, saying scientists were "bullied" into
> accepting that masks and distancing work better
> than herd immunity is like claiming scientists are
> being bullied into accepting the heliocentric
> model of the solar system.


Or "scientists are bullied into accepting the Earth isn't flat."

Delusion: maintaining erroneous beliefs despite superior evidence to the contrary.

Start out with the egotistical delusion that we survive death because God loves 'us' more than 'them' (others, other religions, other races, other animals, other life forms) and you can convince people of anything.

"Convince them of absurdities and they'll commit atrocities." Voltaire

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Posted by: Happy_Heretic ( )
Date: February 24, 2021 10:47AM

I heard from some of my medical colleagues that they had been taken into the bathroom and were given "wedgies" and "swirlies" if they didn't tout the COVID line. I don't know how you stand against such pressure and fear? It is a conundrum.


HH =)

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: February 24, 2021 10:57AM

Scoff away <scoff-scoff>, but I heard that there were threats of 'pantsing' and that these threats were both frequent and credible!!

What man knows his reaction to the abyss until he stands at its edge? And what's the abyss doing all this time, huh? You think it's just sitting there, doing nothing?

Do you know what anti-abysmal is? Shallow-bottomed and trite. I can say no more... (I loved "Ishtar"; it really spoke to me.)

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: February 24, 2021 01:33PM

“Pull your pants up or your shirt down. I do not want to stare into your abyss.”

—Homer, upon seeing Barney from behind at Mo’s Tavern, Season 3, Episode 4

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