Search Result for 'asymptomatic woeful'

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Today's update on Lockdown Sceptics is here. Includes an original piece by Clare Craig on the effectiveness of a single dose of the vaccine, and a chart of deaths in Scotland from 2010-2020. Can you spot the pandemic year?

Ambitious Interpretation of Results of the Oxford Vaccine Group’s Latest Paper

by Dr Clare Craig FRCPath On February 1st the Oxford Vaccine Group published their latest findings on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. While the findings are encouraging, the way they have been interpreted is questionable. The study is underpowered for the conclusions that are being drawn from it and there has been extensive data mining undertaken retrospectively in an attempt to draw more powerful conclusions. They concluded that in the vaccinated group two thirds fewer people were infected. Despite admitting that they did not study transmission, they still commented on it. The conclusions reached were the overall percentage testing positive was 54% lower “indicating the potential for a reduction of transmission”. The 54% figure was deduced from positivity including asymptomatic positives. This is not a reasonable conclusion to draw on two counts. They have assumed that asymptomatic positives are a major source of transmission and there is minimal evidence to support that assertion; and they failed to account for false positive test results. Asymptomatic positives were looked for only in the UK participants. They have not stated how often these people were tested, but it can be inferred that they were tested 10 times each on a weekly basis for follow up from day 22 to day 90. That is 82,070 tests. A remarkably low false positive rate of 0.16% would be ...

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Today's update on Lockdown Sceptics is here. Includes a stout defence of Sir Desmond Swayne, more on whether the Govt can force you to pay for Quarantining and a blistering attack on Sam Bowman's pro-Government propaganda.

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Today's update on Lockdown Sceptics is here. Includes a rebuttal of Sam Bowman's pro-Government propaganda, a Postcard from Bangkok and another harrowing tale of someone's mum lost in the labyrinth of the NHS.

The Glitch That Stole Christmas

Fear of Covid now 70% more transmissible by James Ferguson Blind faith in authority is the greatest enemy of truth. Albert Einstein On December 20th the UK Government put 44% of the English population into Tier 4 lockdown, cancelling Christmas get-togethers for 24m people, following a recommendation from the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag). Nervtag had identified a new variant of the novel coronavirus in the South East of the country, which was 70% more transmissible than its predecessor, carried a viral load up to 10,000x higher and which the primer on the widely used Thermo Fisher TaqPath PCR machines failed to pick up. However, these conclusions are highly dependent on the interpretation of the data and logically (Occam’s Razor) none of the claims made at that time about the new variant’s increased transmissibility, higher viral load or ability to escape detection appear justified. The PCR test The primers used to detect short gene sequences in reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machines under the COVID-19 protocol, search for three gene types: ORF1ab (or just ORF), N and the ‘spike gene’, S. Positive test results require at least two of the three genes to be found but since amplification is run to a very high cycle threshold (Ct) of 40-45, known as ‘the limit of detection’ (LoD), ...

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Have yourself a Merry Little Lockdown Christian Adam's cartoon in the Evening Standard The Prime Minister warned yesterday that he could not rule out a new lockdown and we do appear to be heading that way. The Telegraph has more. Boris Johnson has put the country on notice that a third lockdown could be on its way in January as several Government scientific advisers warned restrictions could need to be tougher than before. While the Prime Minister said he hoped to avoid joining Wales and Northern Ireland in imposing new lockdowns after Christmas, he warned that “the reality is that the rates of infection have increased very much in the last few weeks”. Speaking on a trip to Bolton, he also signalled that decisions on COVID-19 restrictions in the new year would depend on how people approach the five-day window when social distancing rules are relaxed...It came as new estimates released by Sage showed the R number has risen from 0.9-1.0 to between 1.1 and 1.2, suggesting the virus is at risk of growing exponentially again. In a statement, the Sage sub-committee SPI-M also warned that modelling suggesting that "additional mixing" during the Christmas period may have a "large impact on post-Christmas prevalence", including a "slight shift towards a higher proportion of cases in older and more vulnerable age groups." One idea for avoiding ...

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The Story Behind the Number 10 Bloodbath The power behind the throne The Sunday Times's Tim Shipman has written one of the best pieces about Dom's departure from Downing Street for today's papers, as you'd expect. Shipman has authored two books about the Brexit drama and is working on a third and it's clear that Dom is one of his main sources. But to be fair to Tim, he's clearly been briefed by both sides and his piece is fairly balanced. In Tim's telling, the conflict between Dominic Cummings and Lee Cain on the one hand, and Allegra Stratton and Carrie Symonds on the other, is a battle for Boris's soul. What kind of Prime Minister is he going to be? At its simplest, it was a division between the Vote Leave faction of Brexiteer buccaneers – led by Cummings and Cain – who guided Johnson to his victories in the 2016 EU referendum, the Tory leadership contest and last year’s election – and others, led by Symonds and Stratton, who remember more fondly the consensual figure who twice won the London mayoralty in a Labour city.In the end, Johnson decided he quite liked that version of himself too. As one Cabinet minister put it: “Boris has finally decided that he wants to be the Prime Minister rather than a ...

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Second Lockdown For Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday announced new restrictions in Scotland – a new lockdown in all but name. Christopher Snowdon is not impressed in the Spectator. So now we know the threshold at which Nicola Sturgeon pulls the trigger. If the number of daily hospital admissions for Covid-19 exceeds a tenth of the number recorded at the April peak, she will lay waste to the hospitality industry. From Friday, all pubs and licensed restaurants in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Forth Valley, Lothian and Ayrshire and Arran – where two-thirds of Scots live – will be forced to shut their doors for at least 16 days. So too will snooker clubs, casinos, bowling alleys and bingo halls.In the rest of Scotland, pubs and restaurants will be allowed to serve food and soft drinks – but not alcohol – until 6pm. Cafés which don’t have an alcohol licence can also stay open until 6pm. Hotel restaurants will be permitted to open beyond 6pm but only for residents and, again, only without alcohol. Repressive stuff, and with a whiff of prohibition and temperance. And it's only October. The pub industry is keen to point out that only 5% of Covid infections take place in the hospitality sector, and there is certainly a sense of the trade being made a ...

COVID-19: Parliamentary Brief

By James Ferguson James Gilray imagines what would have happened to MPs if Napoleon had successfully invaded Britain: "We come to recover your lost liberties." They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safetyBenjamin Franklin Whilst my note on the false positive rate (FPR) made its way into the corridors of power, the Health Department’s response was at once dismissive but innumerate. Fortunately, not all parliamentarians are so easily fobbed off and one has asked me to prepare a brief, which is why the following is not in the usual format. It appears that the number of amplification cycles used in PCR tests, whether there is any quality control, the false positive rate (for both Pillar 1 and Pillar 2) and the incidence of the disease are all state secrets. However, what is clear is that none of those wielding the controls understand the maths. Both Secretary of State, Matt Hancock (who says the FPR is “under 1%”) and Baroness Harding’s chief medical advisor, Dr Susan Hopkins (definitely less than 1-in-100 and more likely 1-in-1000) believe the FPR is so low as to result in what Hancock calls a “very small proportion of false positives”. In fact, even a FPR as fancifully low as 0.1% (and there is a mass of ...

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