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Renowned epidemiologist and Yale professor Dr. Harvey Risch says there’s a ‘massive disinformation campaign’ against hydroxychloroquine

In May, Dr. Risch, a renowned epidemiologist and Yale professor, wrote an opinion study titled: “Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk Covid-19 Patients that Should be Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to the Pandemic Crisis.” The study, which was published in the American […]

The post Renowned epidemiologist and Yale professor Dr. Harvey Risch says there’s a ‘massive disinformation campaign’ against hydroxychloroquine appeared first on Tech News | Startups News.

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In May, Dr. Risch, a renowned epidemiologist and Yale professor, wrote an opinion study titled: “Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk Covid-19 Patients that Should be Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to the Pandemic Crisis.” The study, which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that early outpatient treatment is the most effective for the treatment of coronavirus patients.

In a 29-page report, the study suggests that early outpatient illness is very different than later hospitalized florid disease and the treatments differ. It also shows that late-stage studies missed the point about the effective usage of hydroxychloroquine. Instead, the author recommends that immediate and early ramping-up of treatment for high-risk COVID-19 patients is key to controlling the coronavirus pandemic crisis.

Almost three months after the study was conducted, the FDA and WHO declared that hydroxychloroquine is “unlikely to be effective” and withdrew its emergency use authorization due to safety concerns. But Dr. Risch is pushing back.

Last weekend, he accused Dr. Fauci and the FDA that they have caused the ‘deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans’ that could have been saved by hydroxychloroquine. During the interview, Dr. Risch explained that science is so one-sided in supporting the result that hydroxychloroquine is stronger than anything else he has ever studied in his entire career.

“And there’s been a massive disinformation campaign that stretches from the government to the media that’s either suppressing this message, or it is countering it with a false message, and I’m not an expert in the reasons why that’s happening other than just observing it, but I am an expert in the science and I can tell you the science is all one-sided. In fact, science is so one-sided in supporting this result that it’s stronger than anything else I’ve ever studied in my entire career. The evidence in favor of hydroxychloroquine benefit in high-risk patients treated early as outpatients is stronger than anything else I’ve ever studied.”

When asked if people with heart disease or asthma are likely to die or have a certain type of critical reaction to hydroxychloroquine, Dr. Risch replied:

No. The evidence is that healthy people with heart disease generally do fine on this medication. But like any medications, they should be prescribed by a doctor who is actually following the patient, knows the patient, knows what to expect, and is able to monitor them. All medications should be used that way and this is no different.

Dr. Risch concludes that the evidence about hydroxychloroquine is overwhelming. He went on to say that there’s no question that the people who need to be treated and are treated early, it has a very substantial benefit in reducing the risk of hospitalization or mortality.

Below is a video of the interview.

Below is the transcript of the interview.

Professor Risch, how are you, sir?

DR. HARVEY RISCH, PROFESSOR, YALE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH EPIDEMIOLOGY: I’m good. Nice to be here.

LEVIN: The question, the question is, you’ve looked I take it at all these studies and what do you conclude?

RISCH: I conclude the evidence is overwhelming. There’s no question that the people who need to be treated and are treated early, it has a very substantial benefit in reducing risk of hospitalization or mortality.

And there’s been a massive disinformation campaign that stretches from government to the media that’s either suppressing this message, or it is countering it with a false message, and I’m not an expert in the reasons why that’s happening other than just observing it, but I am an expert in the science and I can tell you the science is all one sided.

In fact, the science is so one sided in supporting this result that it’s stronger than anything else I’ve ever studied in my entire career. The evidence in favor of hydroxychloroquine benefit in high risk patients treated early as outpatients is stronger than anything else I’ve ever studied.

So scientifically, there’s no question whatsoever.

LEVIN: And most of the studies that are cited by the government scientists and the media are studies that do not treat patients early in the virus, is that correct?

RISCH: It’s either that they cite studies that are hospitalized patients, or they cite studies such as the Boulware studies from Minnesota that treat low risk patients. These are people under age 60 with no chronic conditions and so on, people who will survive the virus just on their own without treatment almost entirely.

And those people, nobody — virtually nobody is hospitalized, so there’s no room to do better when the people who don’t get the medication are already doing as best as one could hope.

So those are low risk people and we’re not talking about treating low risk people. We’re talking about treating people over 60, or with chronic conditions or obesity, diabetes and so on. Those are the people who are at risk of being hospitalized and dying from this illness. Those are the people who have to be treated.

And all the studies, every one of the studies that looks at that group of people has shown benefit. There are no studies in those people that show lack of benefit,

LEVIN: Dr. Anthony Fauci, he has been in the government 52 years. He heads the Infectious Office in the Federal government for a very, very long time, really over three decades. And when he is asked about this during testimony, he absolutely blows off hydroxychloroquine. He says the science is the science.

You tell us the science says yes. He says no. Has Dr. Fauci ever called you and asked you your opinion and why you have the opinion that you do.

RISCH: No. Dr. Fauci has —

LEVIN: And you’re renowned. I’ve done research on your background. You’re a renowned expert. You’re one of the top schools in America.

Let me ask you this. Has the head of the Food and Drug Administration, the F.D.A. ever contacted you and asked you about your review of these various studies.

RISCH: He has not contacted me for that purpose. During the time when the F.D.A. was considering a petition for early use authorization in outpatients of hydroxychloroquine that was submitted by the Henry Ford hospital doctors, during that time, I filed a brief with the F.D.A. demonstrating both the evidence that supports usage and the complete lack of harm, the complete lack of any systematic data that the F.D.A. has said on their website that they don’t have.

Just reading what they say on their website shows that they have no data about adverse events in use in outpatients. He responded, I’ve sent him this by e-mail as well as FedEx and he was responded thanking me for that. That is the only contact I’ve had with him.

LEVIN: So none of the heads of these various government entities have bothered to consult with you. And basically, when you go on these various media programs, particularly on CNN, they spend most of the time reclaiming their time and interrupting you and making it impossible for you to explain why you have the position that you have.

And when we come back, I want to spend a little bit more time looking at these studies.

We’ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEVIN: Welcome back. Dr. Harvey Risch is an expert, epidemiologist from Yale, a PhD, a doctor. Doctor, I want to ask you this question, people with heart disease or asthma, are they likely to die or have a certain type of critical reaction to this drug?

RISCH: No. The evidence is that healthy people with heart disease generally do fine on this medication. But like any medications, they should be prescribed by a doctor who is actually following the patient, knows the patient, knows what to expect, and is able to monitor them. All medications should be used that way and this is no different.

But in general, this is a very safe medication. The medication itself has, in some people, perhaps 10 percent of normal people can change the pacing of the heart muscle contractions, called the heart rhythm. That change has only measurement value.

In other words, if you measure it on electrocardiogram, you can see it. It has essentially no bearing for almost everyone who has that as to any risks for real arrhythmia that has potentially life threatening consequences. It is very, very, very low risk.

LEVIN: It’s interesting you should say that. On May 15th, The Washington Post, “Drug promoted by Trump as coronavirus game changer increasingly linked to deaths.” That was the headline that was blared. Is that true? It’s increasingly linked to deaths and what’s their data for this?

RISCH: First of all, it doesn’t say in which patients. If you’re talking about very sick hospitalized patients who get it as a last ditch effort, because nothing else is working, then there might be some relationship like that.

If you’re talking about healthy outpatients who are getting it among for example, the 10 billion people who have gotten this over the last 65 years, there’s no relationship at all.

And so you have to be very specific about who you’re talking about when you make statements like that.

LEVIN: You know, again, as a pedestrian, I am no expert, but I read the various reports. I read what you write and I draw my own conclusions from this. It is incredible to me that in the middle of this pandemic, that a drug that has been used for over half a century, where the testing has been so thorough and it’s been ubiquitous, and it’s so cheap, each pill is very, very cheap, that there is this effort to fight it and fight it and to destroy the doctors and the experts who dare to suggest that in the early stages, even maybe as a prophylactic, you might want to use this if it’s prescribed by a doctor.

Now pharmacists are afraid to provide it and now doctors are concerned to prescribe it and hospitals — some hospitals won’t prescribe it, and this has been politicized in an incredible, incredible way.

And you right here, wait a minute, this drug can save thousands and thousands of lives. Have you ever seen anything like this?

RISCH: Never. Never. No. That somehow we’ve let politics overrule science, and it’s an absurd situation that people have compared this to 1984 and the Ministry of Truth and so on that’s limiting what people can say on objective facts. It’s beyond belief.

LEVIN: And I watch when you do interviews when other networks, the so- called news hosts are literally angry at you. They’re shouting you down. They’re interrupting you. They won’t even let you make your case. That seems a little odd, too, doesn’t it?

RISCH: Well, here’s the thing. I think they know that the treatment works. I think that basically, they’re afraid to even let it be tried, because letting it be tried would show that it works.

So the message has to be shut at all costs because anything will leak out and in fact, it is leaking out, and you see across the country, people who started to speak up, who’ve become almost deathly ill and have been turned around in three days or sooner even, and these are now public figures who are speaking up, who’ve said that the medicine saved their life.

And it’s very difficult to, you know, close all the leaks in that dike that are being suppressed by the media that are trying to do that.

LEVIN: But it’s also being suppressed by individuals in these various scientific and medical communities and the Federal government who have been around a very long time, the bureaucrats, if you will, who are claiming that they’re the ones following the science and you and people like you are not following the science.

And when we come back, I want to ask you about that as a professional, as an expert, a man who has been in this field for decades, what can be done when the bureaucrats in the Federal government who are backed up by the media because, you know, from a political perspective, this is this is how they approach it — what can be done in the private sector when you have experts, when you have people, professors at universities, doctors who have been practicing who say, hey, wait a minute, we need access to this drug. Our patients need access to this drug.

We’ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEVIN: Dr. Harvey Risch, let’s focus in on the F.D.A. The F.D.A. is a huge bureaucracy. It’s almost a dinosaur.

Things are slowed down, they’re chewed up. The President has made efforts to speed up certain types of lifesaving drugs for people who are in extremis.

I feel like that’s what’s happening to this drug. It’s being chewed up by the F.D.A. What do you make of this?

RISCH: So the F.D.A. is a very strange organization that has a history of not making science based rational based decisions about its approvals.

This was started, and most noticeably in 1987, when people with AIDS in New York City were dying of what is called pneumocystis pneumonia, PCP, and the clinical experience then had been amassed. A large number of cases who were prevented from dying by use of the antibiotic, Bactrim. This is even then was a generic medication and cheap.

And activists obtained a meeting with Dr. Fauci and 15 of his selected scientists at F.D.A., at N.I.H. and asked Dr. Fauci just to make guidelines to physicians that they consider using Bactrim to treat preventively AIDS people so that they wouldn’t die of this pneumonia. Dr. Fauci refused.

He said, I want randomized, controlled, blinded, controlled trial evidence. That’s my gold standard. That or nothing.

The activists left. The N.I.H. did not fund any randomized trials. They raised money themselves from their own AIDS patients to collect the data to do a randomized trial.

It took them two years. They came back to Dr. Fauci.

During those two years, the F.D.A. approved AZT as a treatment for AIDS, AZT works, but not completely. It needs other medications as well.

And during the two years that it took them to get this data to come back to Dr. Fauci to support using Bactrim, 17,000 people with AIDS died because of Dr. Fauci’s insistence on not allowing even a statement supporting consideration of the use.

This has gone on before. Now, we have Dr. Fauci denying that any evidence exists of benefit, and that’s pervaded the F.D.A. The F.D.A. has relied on Dr. Fauci and his N.I.H. advisory groups to make a statement saying that there is no benefit of using hydroxychloroquine in outpatients.

And this is counter to the facts of the case. The evidence is overwhelming.

The F.D.A. has also said that there is the harm of using these medications in outpatients overweighs the benefit; and in fact, they’ve said this with no information, no evidence whatsoever of any harm in outpatient use, and this is provable both by the fact that the F.D.A.’s webpage says as a warning against outpatient use, but says it relies on inpatient hospital data, which means they don’t have any outpatient data.

As well as the fact that 90 percent of the cases of COVID this year have occurred since the time that the F.D.A. restricted usage to inpatients only.

So the F.D.A. knows that it has no data for outpatients and no data on harm and yet, it denied the Henry Ford petition for outpatient usage.

Dr. Fauci and the F.D.A. are doing the same thing that was done in 1987 and that’s led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans who could have been saved by usage of this drug.

And this is the same thing that the F.D.A. has done. It’s outrageous. People need to be writing or calling their congressmen and senators and complaining that this is not the way the country should work. That a bureaucracy that’s in bed with other forces that are causing them to make decisions that are not based on the science that is killing Americans is not acceptable.

LEVIN: Well, at a minimum, they ought to be reaching out to experts like you and experts all over the country who have something to contribute to this.

I mean, after all, it’s a pandemic, and constantly going on TV and telling everybody to wear a mask over and over and over again, and social distancing that doesn’t sound very scientific to me.

I want to thank you, Dr. Risch, for your courage, for your insight for publishing what you’re publishing. I know that it can’t be easy, and — but it’s a very, very important public service. God bless you.

RISCH: Thank you.


Source: https://techstartups.com/2020/08/28/renowned-epidemiologist-yale-professor-dr-harvey-risch-says-theres-massive-disinformation-campaign-hydroxychloroquine/

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Tony Hsieh, former CEO of Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh, the former CEO of Zappos, has died. Hsieh died on Friday, November 27, 2020, just two weeks and one day before his 47th birthday. According to multiple media sources, Hsieh died from complications from burns and smoke inhalation sustained in […]

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Tony Hsieh, the former CEO of Zappos, has died. Hsieh died on Friday, November 27, 2020, just two weeks and one day before his 47th birthday. According to multiple media sources, Hsieh died from complications from burns and smoke inhalation sustained in a house fire that occurred in Connecticut on November 18 while he was visiting his family.

Before his death, Hsieh retired as the CEO of the online shoe and clothing company Zappos in August 2020 after 21 years. Prior to joining Zappos, Hsieh co-founded the Internet advertising network LinkExchange, which he sold to Microsoft in 1998 for $265 million.

Hsieh was well known for his leadership of online shoe and clothing retailer Zappos. He had recently retired after spending 20 years with the company, Zappos CEO Kedar Deshpande wrote in a statement Friday.

Founded in 1999 by Nick Swinmurn, Zappos is an online retailer specializing in shoes. In addition to shoes, they sell handbags, clothing, eyewear, watches, and accessories. On July 22, 2009, Amazon.com acquired Zappos.com in a deal valued at approximately $1.2 billion.


Source: https://techstartups.com/2020/11/29/tony-hsieh-former-ceo-zappos-ceo-dies-46/

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Johns Hopkins Study That Showed COVID-19 Has ‘Relatively No Effect on Deaths’ in the U.S., Mysteriously Disappeared 4 Days After Publication

On August 28, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its provisional death counts for reporting period 2/1/2020 through 8/22/2020.  According to the stats, the CDC said that just 6% of the 161,392 reported US coronavirus deaths were “caused by […]

The post Johns Hopkins Study That Showed COVID-19 Has ‘Relatively No Effect on Deaths’ in the U.S., Mysteriously Disappeared 4 Days After Publication appeared first on Tech News | Startups News.

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On August 28, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its provisional death counts for reporting period 2/1/2020 through 8/22/2020.  According to the stats, the CDC said that just 6% of the 161,392 reported US coronavirus deaths were “caused by Only COVID-19.”

According to the CDC, the other 94% had, on average, 2+ pre-existing conditions or causes per death. In other words, 94% of Americans who died from COVID-19 had other “types of health conditions and contributing causes” in addition to the virus. Below is exactly how the CDC explained the death count.

“For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death. The number of deaths with each condition or cause is shown for all deaths and by age groups.”

Fast forward to three months later, Genevieve Briand, assistant program director of the Applied Economics master’s degree program at Johns Hopkins University, critically analyzed the impact that COVID-19 had on U.S. deaths using the data provided by the CDC. Based on his findings,  Briand explained that the impact of COVID-19 on deaths in the United States can be fully understood by comparing it to the number of total deaths in the country. Contrary to popular mainstream media narratives and people’s assumptions, the study concluded that the coronavirus had “relatively no effect on deaths in the United States.”

On November 22, Johns Hopkins University published Briand’s study in a newsletter titled: “A closer look at U.S. deaths due to COVID-19.” According to Briand, “The reason we have a higher number of reported COVID-19 deaths among older individuals than younger individuals is simply because every day in the U.S. older individuals die in higher numbers than younger individuals.”

Briand’s further analysis of the data found that the range of deaths amongst the older population has remained within the range of past years. So this begs the question if COVID-19 has actually had no significant impact on U.S. deaths, why does it not appear that way?

To answer that question, Briand shifted her focus to the deaths per causes ranging from 2014 to 2020. There is a sudden increase in deaths in 2020 due to COVID-19. This is no surprise because COVID-19 emerged in the U.S. in early 2020, and thus COVID-19-related deaths increased drastically afterward.

Analysis of deaths per cause in 2018 revealed that the pattern of the seasonal increase in the total number of deaths is a result of the rise in deaths by all causes, with the top three being heart disease, respiratory diseases, influenza, and pneumonia. “This is true every year,” explained Briand. “Every year in the U.S. when we observe the seasonal ups and downs, we have an increase in deaths due to all causes.”

Then on November 26, Briand’s study mysteriously disappeared from the Johns Hopkins website. Johns Hopkins said it decided to retract “the article to stop the spread of misinformation, as they noted on social media.”

“We decided on Nov. 26 to retract this article to stop the spread of misinformation, as we noted on social media. However, it is our responsibility as journalists to provide a historical record. We have chosen to take down the article from our website, but it is available here as a PDF.”

We decided to check a PDF version of the original study. It turned out, that too, was deleted. Luckily, Briand’s study can still be found on the WayBackMachine website.

Below is a copy of the entire study. You can read the study and make your own judgment call.

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According to new data, the U.S. currently ranks first in total COVID-19 cases, new cases per day and deaths. Genevieve Briand, assistant program director of the Applied Economics master’s degree program at Hopkins, critically analyzed the effect of COVID-19 on U.S. deaths using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in her webinar titled “COVID-19 Deaths: A Look at U.S. Data.”

From mid-March to mid-September, U.S. total deaths have reached 1.7 million, of which 200,000, or 12% of total deaths, are COVID-19-related. Instead of looking directly at COVID-19 deaths, Briand focused on total deaths per age group and per cause of death in the U.S. and used this information to shed light on the effects of COVID-19.

She explained that the significance of COVID-19 on U.S. deaths can be fully understood only through comparison to the number of total deaths in the United States. 

After retrieving data on the CDC website, Briand compiled a graph representing percentages of total deaths per age category from early February to early September, which includes the period from before COVID-19 was detected in the U.S. to after infection rates soared. 

Surprisingly, the deaths of older people stayed the same before and after COVID-19. Since COVID-19 mainly affects the elderly, experts expected an increase in the percentage of deaths in older age groups. However, this increase is not seen from the CDC data. In fact, the percentages of deaths among all age groups remain relatively the same. 

“The reason we have a higher number of reported COVID-19 deaths among older individuals than younger individuals is simply because every day in the U.S. older individuals die in higher numbers than younger individuals,” Briand said.

Briand also noted that 50,000 to 70,000 deaths are seen both before and after COVID-19, indicating that this number of deaths was normal long before COVID-19 emerged. Therefore, according to Briand, not only has COVID-19 had no effect on the percentage of deaths of older people, but it has also not increased the total number of deaths. 

These data analyses suggest that in contrast to most people’s assumptions, the number of deaths by COVID-19 is not alarming. In fact, it has relatively no effect on deaths in the United States.

This comes as a shock to many people. How is it that the data lie so far from our perception? 

To answer that question, Briand shifted her focus to the deaths per causes ranging from 2014 to 2020. There is a sudden increase in deaths in 2020 due to COVID-19. This is no surprise because COVID-19 emerged in the U.S. in early 2020, and thus COVID-19-related deaths increased drastically afterward.

Analysis of deaths per cause in 2018 revealed that the pattern of seasonal increase in the total number of deaths is a result of the rise in deaths by all causes, with the top three being heart disease, respiratory diseases, influenza and pneumonia.

“This is true every year. Every year in the U.S. when we observe the seasonal ups and downs, we have an increase of deaths due to all causes,” Briand pointed out.

When Briand looked at the 2020 data during that seasonal period, COVID-19-related deaths exceeded deaths from heart diseases. This was highly unusual since heart disease has always prevailed as the leading cause of deaths. However, when taking a closer look at the death numbers, she noted something strange. As Briand compared the number of deaths per cause during that period in 2020 to 2018, she noticed that instead of the expected drastic increase across all causes, there was a significant decrease in deaths due to heart disease. Even more surprising, as seen in the graph below, this sudden decline in deaths is observed for all other causes. 

COURTESY OF GENEVIEVE BRIAND Graph depicts the number of deaths per cause during that period in 2020 to 2018.

This trend is completely contrary to the pattern observed in all previous years. Interestingly, as depicted in the table below, the total decrease in deaths by other causes almost exactly equals the increase in deaths by COVID-19. This suggests, according to Briand, that the COVID-19 death toll is misleading. Briand believes that deaths due to heart diseases, respiratory diseases, influenza and pneumonia may instead be recategorized as being due to COVID-19. 

COURTESY OF GENEVIEVE BRIAND  Graph depicts the total decrease in deaths by various causes, including COVID-19.  

The CDC classified all deaths that are related to COVID-19 simply as COVID-19 deaths. Even patients dying from other underlying diseases but are infected with COVID-19 count as COVID-19 deaths. This is likely the main explanation as to why COVID-19 deaths drastically increased while deaths by all other diseases experienced a significant decrease.

“All of this points to no evidence that COVID-19 created any excess deaths. Total death numbers are not above normal death numbers. We found no evidence to the contrary,” Briand concluded.

In an interview with The News-Letter, Briand addressed the question of whether COVID-19 deaths can be called misleading since the infection might have exacerbated and even led to deaths by other underlying diseases.

“If [the COVID-19 death toll] was not misleading at all, what we should have observed is an increased number of heart attacks and increased COVID-19 numbers. But a decreased number of heart attacks and all the other death causes doesn’t give us a choice but to point to some misclassification,” Briand replied.

In other words, the effect of COVID-19 on deaths in the U.S. is considered problematic only when it increases the total number of deaths or the true death burden by a significant amount in addition to the expected deaths by other causes. Since the crude number of total deaths by all causes before and after COVID-19 has stayed the same, one can hardly say, in Briand’s view, that COVID-19 deaths are concerning.

Briand also mentioned that more research and data are needed to truly decipher the effect of COVID-19 on deaths in the United States.

Throughout the talk, Briand constantly emphasized that although COVID-19 is a serious national and global problem, she also stressed that society should never lose focus of the bigger picture — death in general. 

The death of a loved one, from COVID-19 or from other causes, is always tragic, Briand explained. Each life is equally important and we should be reminded that even during a global pandemic we should not forget about the tragic loss of lives from other causes.

According to Briand, the over-exaggeration of the COVID-19 death number may be due to the constant emphasis on COVID-19-related deaths and the habitual overlooking of deaths by other natural causes in society. 

During an interview with The News-Letter after the event, Poorna Dharmasena, a master’s candidate in Applied Economics, expressed his opinion about Briand’s concluding remarks.

“At the end of the day, it’s still a deadly virus. And over-exaggeration or not, to a certain degree, is irrelevant,” Dharmasena said.

When asked whether the public should be informed about this exaggeration in death numbers, Dharmasena stated that people have a right to know the truth. However, COVID-19 should still continuously be treated as a deadly disease to safeguard the vulnerable population.

Below is an explanation from Johns Hopkins’ about why the study was retracted.

Editor’s Note: After The News-Letter published this article on Nov. 22, it was brought to our attention that our coverage of Genevieve Briand’s presentation “COVID-19 Deaths: A Look at U.S. Data” has been used to support dangerous inaccuracies that minimize the impact of the pandemic.

We decided on Nov. 26 to retract this article to stop the spread of misinformation, as we noted on social media. However, it is our responsibility as journalists to provide a historical record. We have chosen to take down the article from our website, but it is available here as a PDF.

In accordance with our standards for transparency, we are sharing with our readers how we came to this decision. The News-Letter is an editorially and financially independent, student-run publication. Our articles and content are not endorsed by the University or the School of Medicine, and our decision to retract this article was made independently.

Briand’s study should not be used exclusively in understanding the impact of COVID-19, but should be taken in context with the countless other data published by Hopkins, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As assistant director for the Master’s in Applied Economics program at Hopkins, Briand is neither a medical professional nor a disease researcher. At her talk, she herself stated that more research and data are needed to understand the effects of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Briand was quoted in the article as saying, “All of this points to no evidence that COVID-19 created any excess deaths. Total death numbers are not above normal death numbers.” This claim is incorrect and does not take into account the spike in raw death count from all causes compared to previous years. According to the CDC, there have been almost 300,000 excess deaths due to COVID-19. Additionally, Briand presented data of total U.S. deaths in comparison to COVID-19-related deaths as a proportion percentage, which trivializes the repercussions of the pandemic. This evidence does not disprove the severity of COVID-19; an increase in excess deaths is not represented in these proportionalities because they are offered as percentages, not raw numbers.

Briand also claimed in her analysis that deaths due to heart diseases, respiratory diseases, influenza and pneumonia may be incorrectly categorized as COVID-19-related deaths. However, COVID-19 disproportionately affects those with preexisting conditions, so those with those underlying conditions are statistically more likely to be severely affected and die from the virus.

Because of these inaccuracies and our failure to provide additional information about the effects of COVID-19, The News-Letter decided to retract this article. It is our duty as a publication to combat the spread of misinformation and to enhance our fact-checking process. We apologize to our readers.


Source: https://techstartups.com/2020/11/29/johns-hopkins-study-showed-covid-19-relatively-no-effect-deaths-u-s-mysteriously-disappeared-4-days-publication/

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Immune T-cells may the best way forward to long-term protection against COVID-19, Stanford Professor Dr. Scott Atlas says

In early March, MIT biologist Dr. Shiva Ayyadura said fear-mongering on coronavirus will go down as the biggest fraud to manipulate economies. Dr. Shiva is not downplaying the risk and the deadly nature of coronavirus. Instead, Dr. Shiva brought the attention back to the importance […]

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In early March, MIT biologist Dr. Shiva Ayyadura said fear-mongering on coronavirus will go down as the biggest fraud to manipulate economies. Dr. Shiva is not downplaying the risk and the deadly nature of coronavirus. Instead, Dr. Shiva brought the attention back to the importance of talking about immune health and boost our immune system.

In a tweet back in March, Dr. Shiva said the media need to stop using coronavirus as a disguise to control people’s lives.

“As an MIT PhD in Biological Engineering who studies & does research nearly every day on the Immune System, the #coronavirus fear mongering by the Deep State will go down in history as one of the biggest fraud to manipulate economies, suppress dissent, & push MANDATED Medicine!”

Then in September, a team of scientists found that vitamin D deficiency may raise the risk of getting COVID-19. In a retrospective study of patients tested for COVID-19, researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine found a link between vitamin D deficiency and the likelihood of becoming infected with the coronavirus. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he takes two vitamins to help keep his immune system healthy.

In an interview with Jennifer Garner, Dr. Fauci said: “For example, if you are deficient in vitamin D, that does have an impact on your susceptibility to infection. So I would not mind recommending, and I do it myself taking vitamin D supplements. The other vitamin that people take is vitamin C because it’s a good antioxidant. So if people want to take a gram or two at the most vitamin C, that would be fine. So vitamin C and vitamin D. Okay. Any of the other concoctions and herbs I would not do.”

Having a better immune system could explain why some people are less susceptible to coronavirus. Dr. Shiva went into greater detail to explain how coronavirus works and why building our immune system may be a good safeguard against viruses. Dr. Shiva explained that it is not the virus or pathogens that kill people but the overaction of a weakened and dysfunctional immune system. Dr. Shiva went on to explained molecular systems’ understanding of the virus and how “Vitamin D destroys for you.

Fast forward eight months later, Dr. Shiva turned out to be right. In July, scientists discovered some coronavirus patients recovered from COVID-19 infection but mysteriously did not have any antibodies against the virus. When they later tested blood samples taken years before the coronavirus pandemic started, they later found that many of these coronavirus patients recovered from COVID-19 infection due to the presence of T-cell immunity in their bodies.

T-cells also called T lymphocyte or memory T-cells are immune cells that fight infection. T-cells also play an important role in fighting pathogens like viruses and bacteria. T-cells are also known to target and kill cancer cells. T-cells are one of the two primary types of lymphocytes—B cells being the second type—that determine the specificity of the immune response to antigens (foreign substances) in the body. Their main purpose is to identify and kill invading pathogens or infected cells.

Dr. Shiva is not alone. Dr. Scott Atlas is a former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center and a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. In an interview, Dr. Atlas discovered the importance of boosting our immune health. Dr. Atlas went on to discuss the need to harness the power of T-cell immunity instead of focusing on antibody immunity that could be lost in just three months. Dr. Atlas suggested that we should be harnessing the power of T-cell immunity instead of focusing on antibody immunity which only lasts for six months.

Some scientists disagreed with Dr. Atlas saying that ‘T cell immunity’ will not end the pandemic sooner. “It’s just a misunderstanding of the science,” said Dr. Shane Crotty, a virologist at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology who co-authored the groundbreaking research on T cells in June. “We have no data and neither does anybody else as to whether these T cells really help or not,” Crotty said.

However, in another study first published in the journal of Nature and led by Antonio Bertoletti and a team of researchers at the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, they found that “memory T cells might protect some people newly infected with SARS-CoV-2 by remembering past encounters with other human coronaviruses. This might potentially explain why some people seem to fend off the virus and may be less susceptible to becoming severely ill with COVID-19.” T-cells are not just one of the best weapons in fighting coronavirus, a new study published this month in MedScape found that “T-cells may best antibodies for detecting past COVID-19 infection.”

Explaining why T-cell immunity is better than antibodies, Dr. Atlas told reporters in a briefing:

“The immunity to the infection is not solely determined by the percentage of people who have antibodies … the reality is that according to the papers from Sweden, Singapore and elsewhere there is cross-immunity highly likely from other infections and there is also T-cell immunity, and the combination of those makes the antibodies a small fraction of the people that have immunity.”

Dr. Atlas went on to share some evidence that suggests T-cell immunity may provide long-lasting protection against coronavirus. Below is a video of Dr. Atlas explaining why T-cell immunity is better than antibodies.


Source: https://techstartups.com/2020/11/28/immune-t-cells-may-best-forward-long-term-protection-covid-19-stanford-university-professor-dr-scott-atlas-says/

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