Whenever single-topic messaging, such as COVID-19, is endlessly reported by corporate media to the exclusion of all other news, my reaction is to research legitimate controversies to media's 24/7 highly scripted narratives. After 27 years of providing such alternative analysis, why stop now?
And per usual, corporate media omits the bona-fide controversies to their monolithic coverage as meaningless matters that don't need attention. I beg to differ.
And per usual, the devil's in the details, but clearly too many Americans don't give a fig about the details. Certainly corporate media does not. Below are only some of the controversies that deserve exposure if our collective responses to this COVID-19 global crisis are to be properly informed.
Some cautionary words: While legitimate concerns exist relative to SARS-CoV2 as a pandemic-worthy virus, it is critical to understand that, based on the evidentiary data available worldwide, there is no scientific proof for or against its causal relationship to the disease called COVID-19, more specifically the virus' rate of infectious transmissibility, or it's lethality. This means the risks could be very real, therefore act accordingly.
Because the evidence available on this virus is convoluted and disparate, health organizations globally cannot claim with irrefutable certainty that SARS-CoV2 is an infectious contagion that causes life-threatening COVID-19 en masse via human-to-human transmission. Nor can it claim with irrefutable certainty that it does not.
That said, each of us has an absolute responsibility to begin questioning the COVID-19 narratives being systematically hyped by media, especially because the fear-based coverage omits critical information that would profoundly impact the public's understanding of the risk(s) associated with COVID-19.
Corporate media's refusal to ask critical questions, to blindly accept the script they are provided, and its ongoing suppression of any information that remotely contradicts the narratives, is very troubling. The more questions asked and answered, the more solid the case for or against a thing becomes, and the sooner viable solutions can be applied. But when widespread debate over a thing is all but shut down, red flags appear for good reason, begging the question: Why?
The really curious thing is that the narratives themselves are full of contradictions, incomplete information, constant politicizing, and increasingly incongruous speculation.
Broadcast- and cable-media favor neurolinguistic triggers designed to heighten our emotions and engender fear, displacing rationale cognitive processing. Without these manipulative triggers, viewers would recognize the redundant, incomplete, and inconsistent reporting, unleashing exhaustive questions from the public.
Admittedly, there is a stubborn willingness by most Americans to be manipulated. It's easier to not question, to trust authorities regardless of nagging cognitive dissonance, instead deferring to ingrained delusions that those authorities are true experts serving our collective best interests. There seems to be no amount of past incompetence and/or malfeasance by governments to negate this general public response to its authority. And precisely why governments can repeat, again and again, its abuses of power.
The primary genesis for COVID-19 began when a new RNA sequence was found in the SARS-CoV virus (responsible for the SARS epidemic in 2002-04). This mutation alerted authorities to a potentially dangerous novel coronavirus, naming it SARS-CoV2. The symptomology arising from this new virus, although not expressly defined by the CDC or the WHO, is COVID-19 Disease. However, the requisite testing protocol for confirming this RNA sequence as a new virus has not been conducted to definitively prove that the SARS-CoV-2 is actually new, let alone highly infectious or eminently lethal.
The mutation is a 15-band sequence that so far has not been authenticated because the testing currently available is incapable of distinguishing between different strands of RNA, or even DNA, to isolate it for replication millions of times, necessary to determine its authenticity as an independent virus.
The Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have both disclosed this deficiency relative to current testing technologies. The CDC's own website explains that the standard Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing they are tracking does not specifically test for the SARS-CoV2 virus, but sequences of various Coronaviruses. And that very same CDC website contains a disclaimer that the CDC “cannot provide any warranty regarding their accuracy.” (RCReader.com/y/covid19.1)
However, corporate media have given this pesky detail a wide berth.
It is widely known in the medical and health communities, yet rarely reported to the public, that the PCR testing endorsed by the WHO and CDC are imprecise in their respective abilities to isolate and replicate the specific sequence(s) that would authenticate viruses (old and new), due to impure primers used in the test tubes in which RNA samples are placed for analysis. (RCReader.com/y/covid19.2)
Which begs the question: If PCR tests can't isolate the new RNA sequence required for replication to verify it as a new virus, then how can it be definitively asserted as the cause of a new disease, let alone a contagion capable of a global pandemic? Does it reasonably follow that COVID-19 is more likely a new-ish influenza, albeit harsh for certain risk groups, because it derives largely from the original SARS-CoV virus?
That answer is elusive either way because, until the new RNA sequence is properly purified for testing to ascertain if it can be isolated, then replicated millions of times, it remains scientifically unresolved. Regardless these relevant questions remain and demand unequivocal answers sooner than later, and not as a retrospective exercise.
So what has compelled the health experts, NGOs, and governmental authorities to promote mitigation measures so extreme that prevention could arguably be worse than the disease?
The answer is computer modeling, a growing nemesis of fact-based evidence. For pandemic computer models, various assumptions about events are aggregated and used as inputs, then processed using algorithms that concoct predictive analysis of what will happen.
The computer model used to justify the extreme global response to the COVID-19 pandemic originated with Neil Ferguson the epidemiologist professor of mathematical biology at London's Imperial College. His computer generated model predicted 2.2 million cases in Britain alone, with 200,000 deaths, all from COVID-19 within a matter of months.
Shortly thereafter, but not before countries worldwide began shutting down, and the United States passed nearly $3 trillion in relief aide legislation, Ferguson magically adjusted his computer analysis downward to 20,000 cases, then again to 7,500. With apologies of course. (RCReader.com/y/covid19.3)
To date, for COVID-19, the models' predictions have been dire, and nowhere near reality.
Yet globally, health authorities and governments have deemed this as-yet-unproven virulent agent as possessing highly dangerous infectious transmittability and lethality, justifying lockdowns of entire populations, shuttering economies, and causing financial devastation worldwide as a dramatic means of mitigation and containment.
Perhaps of even greater concern for misinterpretation of aggregate data associated with a pandemic rests with widely varying protocols and data inputs, including the following: diagnostic criteria for testing for COVID19; types of tests preformed; the number of tests preformed to establish Case Mortality Rates based on total number of people tested, total number of positive cases, total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19; and criteria for reporting deaths attributed to COVID-19.
It is interesting to note that SARS never scaled to a pandemic because the Case Mortality Rate (CMR) for SARS was so low. The CMR was low because the SARS-CoV virus that caused SARS wasn't widely tested for beyond approximately 8,000 patients worldwide. Obviously, the more patients tested, the higher the CMR will be if deaths that actually occurred in substantial numbers were specifically attributed to the targeted viral cause. With SARS-CoV, the deaths attributed were 800, therefore its CMR was 10 percent.
To date, the CMR of COVID-19 is significantly lower because many more people are being tested, yet few have actually died, especially compared to SARS. The truth is, while far more patients have tested positive for Coronavirus, there is no way to differentiate whether the positive result was for the new Coronavirus SAR-CoV2, or for the original SARS-COV, or some general Coronavirus.
There are many coronaviruses. Some cause influenza, some common colds, and more recently respiratory disease. The PCR tests can detect the presence of coronaviruses in RNA, but cannot differentiate between specific coronavirus sequences, therefore a positive result from PCR testing determines that the person has a coronavirus present, but not which coronavirus.
The RNA sequence unique to SARS-CoV2 and COVID-19 cannot be specifically identified using any PCR test, but since the presence of a coronavirus in general can be detected by PCR, this is sufficing as a positive test result for COVID-19. This means that for purposes of this current pandemic, anyone with a positive coronavirus detection is automatically determined to have the COVID-19 disease, even though there is nothing scientifically conclusive to support that diagnosis.
Further compromises of test results for the SARS-CoV2 virus causing COVID-19 is the lack of accounting for test results with false positives and false negative results. Factoring these into a population's infection transmittability composition is a standard protocol in testing for illnesses. Yet in 2020, these are ignored as they relate to COVID-19. This departure from protocol could be causing over- or under-estimates of cases, which in turn impact CMR. Time will judge the significance of such decisions, and whether a different policy could have been pursued relative to the extreme actions taken to arrest the spread of COVID-19.
There are other arbitrary criteria for determining a positive test result, including the number of times a person is tested consecutively with a positive outcome. For example, the criteria might require two out of three positive detections of coronavirus before the person can be diagnosed with COVID-19.
Another criteria for testing can be qualifying symptoms. In the case of SARS, the patient had to have a fever of 100 degrees or above, as well as a sore throat and cough before he/she was a candidate for testing. Further testing criteria required the patient to have come into contact with someone previously diagnosed with SARS. Meeting all these different criteria significantly reduced the total number of people tested for SARS, thereby increasing the CMR overall.
Finally, two other factors greatly influence morbidity, and by association accurate CMRs as they relate to viral epidemics and pandemics—age and underlying conditions (co-morbidity). Older populations are often far more compromised by viral infections and disease, and almost always have underlying conditions that contribute overwhelmingly to their ability to defend against such things as Coronaviruses.
In Italy, the average age of patients reported as having died from COVID-19 was 80 years old, 99 percent of whom had severe underlying conditions. Designating their deaths as caused by COVID-19 was misleading, and the Italian medical community is admitting as much after reviewing all the cases and revising them accordingly.
Part of the problem arguably lies in the CDC's reporting requirements for deaths due to infectious diseases. It provides hospitals, medical examiners, and coroners a Notifiable Form for reporting COVID-19 deaths, stating it is permissible to list COVID-19 as the cause of death if it is the direct cause or is assumed to contribute to the cause. (RCReader.com/y/covid19.4) This means that if a patient has terminal lung cancer, but tests positive for COVID-19 at the time of his/her death, the cause of death can be listed as COVID-19. This deeply flawed reporting standard begs the question, why would the CDC allow for erroneously inflated deaths due to COVID-19?
John Hopkins University keeps a daily record online detailing world and USA statistics on the number of cases of COVID-19 with number of deaths. As of April 7, 2020, 1,407,123 cases were reported worldwide, with 81,103 deaths, for a six percent CMR. In the United States, the reported cases totaled 386,800 with 12,285 deaths, for a three percent CMR. (RCReader.com/y/covid19.5)
As stated above, during the SARS epidemic of 2002-04, the CMR was 10 percent not because the number of actual deaths was higher, but because the number of people tested was so much lower. How the data is presented is meaningful. Had more people been tested for SARS, it might have resulted in a much lower death rate due to infection recovery being represented in larger numbers. Translation: SARS may not have been as lethal as the data showed at the time.
Politico's COVID-19 Tracking Project keeps daily track of all the testing conducted in the U.S., all positive tests, and all deaths per state attributed to COVID-19. (RCReader.com/y/covid19.6) As of April 7, 2020, Iowans received 12,718 tests, with 1,048 testing positive and 26 deaths, resulting in a 0.2% CMR or two-tenths of one percent. Illinois received 68,732 tests, with 13,549 testing positive and 380 deaths, resulting in a 0.6% CMR or six-tenths of one percent.
The next logical step would be to compare COVID-19 CMRs with CMRs from previous epidemics, including SARS, MERS, H1N1, Ebola, Swine and Spanish Flus, etc. This would provide a much needed perspective to better assess risks.
Another revealing comparison would be to compare the number of deaths reported from viral influenza or pneumonia in past years (month by month if possible) with the current number of deaths reported from COVID-19 to determine if there is a demonstrable increase in deaths over norms for those comparative periods. The suggestion is that, if all current deaths of people who also tested positive with coronavirus, were recorded as caused by COVID-19, is it possible that the deaths were really caused by influenza or pneumonia, especially since the PCR tests cannot differentiate between coronavirus strains? Without far more reliable definitive testing, there is no way to know for sure exactly what caused these deaths.
Uncertainty then easily makes the turn to reasonable skepticism as to why health authorities and government leaders have chosen to react with such extreme policies to mitigate something they can't reliably diagnose, let alone control with mitigation that may or may not have efficacy.
Mitigation efforts that include shutting down states' economies, mandating statewide quarantines regardless of risk of exposure, or harm if infected, at the expense of livelihoods, constitutional protections, and potential herd immunity to what could be a typical coronavirus virus that poses only a marginal threat for the majority demographics within populations, deserves equal measured consideration of less disruptive solutions.
No question the potential risks associated with worse-case scenarios for pandemic devastation should be fully explored, but more than that, supported with far better hard evidence, especially if extreme measures are brought to bear using the powers of the federal government for prolonged periods.
Using a wider lens, does uprooting people's lives, imposing exponentially greater public debt on our children and grandchildren, shuttering economies indefinitely, all based on unsubstantiated data such as computer-model projections (mostly inaccurate to date), represent responsible stewardship of powerful authorities granted by declarations of national emergencies? It's a fair question. Yet where was the consideration for the gravity of this certain fallout in the overall calculus to proceed?
Per usual, there are several dark possibilities that deserve scrutiny in these unprecedented circumstances. The first involves the country's financial condition, including the trove of future generational debt that has quietly flowed to banks and financial institutions under the radar to backstop massive balance sheet shortfalls. In rare uniformity, many banks, including the largest too-big-to-fail banks, bellied up to the discount window in the last six months. This highly unusual activity indicates a large share of banks simultaneously could not balance their books, and needed short-term loans the Federal Reserve's discount window provides. Had the media reported this news-worthy anomaly, alarms would have gone off well before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve have been quietly bailing out these institutions again, but this time without Americans' knowledge. $1.2 trillion recently flowed to the repo market with no media coverage, mainly because it had no bandwidth for such banalities compared to its rabid impeachment coverage. The same is true for the congressional committees charged with oversight of such economically jarring events.
Equally deserving of scrutiny is the additional $3 trillion tax dollars that will now flow to numerous NGOs, local, state and federal government agencies, health organizations, corporations including banks, foreign aide such as the World Bank and the World Health Organization, with less than 10 percent to be split amongst the qualifying American people for their losses. There are very few strings attached to this massive new money allocation, so don't expect much oversight per usual.
Conveniently, a pandemic is the perfect distraction away from the massive bailout spending with equally massive Coronavirus relief aide spending. Consensus would likely not be forthcoming for bailing out any more banks or giant corporate parasites if asked, so don't ask.
On October 18, 2019, the Coronavirus Pandemic Simulation, Event 201, was conducted by John Hopkins, the World Economic Forum, the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations, and various corporate participants. This simulation was complete with newsreels and graphs eerily similar to those used by media today. It suggests an extensive pre-game preparation and is worth watching all five segments on YouTube.
Perhaps most alarming of all is the degradation of the U.S. Constitution, and the erosion of the protections of our rights that it provides. Declaring national emergencies suspends the Constitution and conveys almost limitless power to the federal government, especially the executive branch. But congress is vested with extra meddling authorities, too, while the judicial branch consistently fails to protect the rule of law in favor of the federal government's narrower interests.
Now comes the narrative supporting mandated vaccinations against the SARS-CoV2 virus to prevent future COVID-19 pandemics. The next phase is afoot with the onset of serology testing for antibodies that would indicate a natural immunity if previously infected. However, for those who don't have such antibodies (arguably due to sheltering in place and quarantines), mandated vaccination will provide inoculated immunity … well, for maybe a year anyway. And the antibodies may or may not provide natural immunity indefinitely, so mandatory periodic exams will verify whether inoculation immunity is then required. Vaccination certificates are proposed to provide the documentation that individuals have complied.
Then there is the added boon of mass collection of DNA inherent in antibodies testing. Don't get me started … . Americans are quickly coming face to face with hard choices that might actually require something more from each of us.
Meanwhile, we have all largely complied with mitigation guidelines, hoping for financial respite from U.S. taxpayers for myriad losses occurring nationwide. And for all of us who are safe and well, following the guidelines is a comfort. There is little sense in doing things differently because while there is no proof that the SARS-CoV2 virus is as dangerous as predicted, there is still no proof that isn't.
But there are serious questions and inconsistencies that must be resolved before more extreme actions are taken by government that could have unimaginable negative consequences going forward.
Stay safe and vigilant.