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Brownstone Institute

A Closer Look at the Covid Mortality Rate

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Article from the Brownstone Institute

BY Ian MillerIAN MILLER

One of the most consistent efforts made by “experts” during the early stages of the pandemic was to attempt to impress on the public that COVID was an extremely deadly disease.

While it’s clear that for the extremely elderly and severely immunocompromised, COVID does present significant and serious health concerns, the “experts” did their best to convince people of all age groups that they were in danger.

Initially the World Health Organization, in their infinite incompetence, made a substantial contribution to this perception by claiming that the mortality rate from COVID was shockingly high.

In March 2020, with precious little data, the WHO made the alarming claim that 3.4% of people who got COVID had died.

CNBC reported that an early press conference by WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus compared that expected mortality of COVID-19 to the flu:

“Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva. In comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected, he said.

This stood in contrast to previous estimates, which were also above 2%:

“Early in the outbreak, scientists had concluded the death rate was around 2.3%.”

While “experts” could be forgiven for being unsure about the death rate of a brand new illness with very little data available, the fear-mongering and world-altering policy enacted based on these estimates has caused incalculable damage.

It’s now widely known and accepted that these estimates were wildly incorrect, off by orders of magnitude.

But a new paper out from one of the world’s leading experts confirms that they were off even more than we previously realized.

John Ioannidis is one of the nation’s leading public health experts, employed at Stanford University as Professor of Medicine in Stanford Prevention Research, of Epidemiology and Population Health,” as well as “of Statistics and Biomedical Data Science.”

You’d think that those impeccable qualifications and a track record of being one of the most published and cited scientists in the modern world would insulate him from criticism, but unfortunately that’s no longer how The Science™ works.

Ioannidis first drew the ire of The Keepers of The Science™ early in the outbreak, when he cautioned that society might be making tremendous decisions based on limited data that was of poor quality.

He also took part in the infamous seroprevalence study conducted in Santa Clara County, led by Dr. Jay Bhattacharya.

That examination, which looked at antibody prevalence in the San Jose area, came to the conclusion that COVID was already significantly more widespread by March and April 2020 than most people realized.

This had wide-ranging implications, but the most important revelation was that the estimates of COVID’s mortality rate used by “scientists” and the WHO were almost certainly much too high.

Those estimates were created under the assumption that COVID cases were overwhelmingly detectable; that cases were captured by testing and thus tracking deaths could be achieved with a “case fatality rate,” instead of “infection fatality rate.”

That was the mistake Tedros and the WHO made two and a half years ago.

Of course, for providing substantial evidence and data that COVID was less deadly than initially feared, Ioannidis (and Bhattacharya) was attacked from within the “expert community.”

In what has now become a familiar insult, those behind the study were vilified as COVID minimizers and dangerous conspiracy theorists who would get people killed by not taking the virus seriously enough.

But Ioannidis remained undeterred, and with several authors, he recently released another review of the infection fatality rate of COVID. Importantly, the paper looks at the pre-vaccination time period and covers the non-elderly age groups; those who were most affected by COVID restrictions and endless mandates.

The Numbers

The review begins with a statement of fact that was almost entirely ignored by lockdown “experts” throughout the pandemic, but especially when restrictions, lockdowns and mandates were at their peak early on.

The infection fatality rate (IFR) of COVID-19 among non-elderly people in the absence of vaccination or prior infection is important to estimate accurately, since 94% of the global population is younger than 70 years and 86% is younger than 60 years.

Emphasis added.

94% of the global population is younger than 70 years old.

6% of is older than 70 years old.

86% is younger than 60 years old.

This is relevant because restrictions overwhelmingly impacted the 86-94% of people who are younger than 60 or 70 years old.

Ioannidis and his co-writers reviewed 40 national seroprevalence studies that covered 38 countries to come to determine their estimates of infection fatality rate for the overwhelming majority of people.

Importantly, those seroprevalence studies were conducted before the vaccines were released, meaning the IFR’s were calculated before whatever impact vaccines had on younger age groups.

So what did they find?

The median infection fatality rate for those aged 0-59 was 0.035%.

This represents 86% of the global population and the survival rate for those who were infected with COVID pre-vaccination was 99.965%.

For those aged 0-69, which covers 94% of the global population, the fatality rate was 0.095%, meaning the survival rate for nearly 7.3 billion people was 99.905%.

Those survival rates are obviously staggeringly high, which already creates frustration that restrictions were imposed on all age groups, when focused protection for those over 70 or at significantly elevated risk would have been a much more preferable course of action.

But it gets worse.

The researchers broke down the demographics into smaller buckets, showing the increase in risk amongst older populations, and conversely, how infinitesimal the risk was amongst younger age groups.

  • Ages 60-69, fatality rate 0.501%, survival rate 99.499%
  • Ages 50-59, fatality rate 0.129%, survival rate 99.871%
  • Ages 40-49, fatality rate 0.035% survival rate 99.965%
  • Ages 30-39, fatality rate 0.011%, survival rate 99.989%
  • Ages 20-29, fatality rate 0.003%, survival rate 99.997%
  • Ages 0-19, fatality rate 0.0003%, survival rate 99.9997%

They added that “Including data from another 9 countries with imputed age distribution of COVID-19 deaths yielded median IFR of 0.025-0.032% for 0-59 years and 0.063-0.082% for 0-69 years.”

These numbers are astounding and reassuringly low, across the board.

But they’re almost nonexistent for children.

Yet as late as fall 2021, Fauci was still fear-mongering about the risks of COVID to children in order to increase vaccination uptake, saying in an interview that it was not a “benign situation:”

“We certainly want to get as many children vaccinated within this age group as we possibly can because as you heard and reported, that this is not, you know, a benign situation.”

It’s nearly impossible for any illness to be less of a risk, or more “benign” than a 0.0003% risk of death.

Even in October 2021, during that same interview with NPR, Fauci said that masks should continue on children as an “extra step” to protect them, even after vaccination:

And when you have that type of viral dynamic, even when you have kids vaccinated, you certainly – when you are in an indoor setting, you want to make sure you go the extra step to protect them. So I can’t give you an exact number of what that would be in the dynamics of virus in the community, but hopefully we will get there within a reasonable period of time. You know, masks often now – as we say, they’re not forever. And hopefully we’ll get to a point where we can remove the masks in schools and in other places. But I don’t believe that that time is right now.

Nothing better highlights the incompetence and misinformation from Dr. Fauci than ignoring that pre-vaccination, children were at vanishingly small risks from COVID, that vaccination uptake amongst kids was entirely irrelevant since they do not prevent infection or transmission, and that mask usage is completely ineffective at protecting anyone. Especially for those who didn’t need protection in the first place.

The CDC, “expert” community, World Health Organization, media figures — all endlessly spread terror that the virus was a mass killer while conflating detected case fatality rates with infection fatality rates.

Yet now we have another piece of evidence suggesting that the initial WHO estimates were off by 99% for 94% of the world’s population.

Just for some perspective, here’s the difference visually portrayed between what the WHO claimed and what Ioannidis found:

Whoops

Even if the lockdowns, mask mandates, capacity limits and shuttered playgrounds worked, the dangers of the virus were so minuscule that the collateral damage instantly and immediately outweighed any potential benefit.

Economic destruction, increased suicide attempts due to seemingly indefinite isolation, horrifying levels of learning loss, increasing obesity amongst kids, plummeting test scores, increased poverty and hunger, supply chain problems, rampant inflation; all of it is a direct result of policies imposed by terrified, incompetent “experts.”

Their estimates were hopelessly, catastrophically wrong, yet they maintained their unchallenged sense of authority for multiple years, and still receive awards, praise, increased funding and a sense of infallibility amongst politicians and decision-makers.

If sanity and intellectual honesty still existed, these estimates would be front page news for every major media outlet in the world.

Instead, because the media and their allies in the tech, corporate, and political classes promoted and encouraged lockdowns and restrictions while censoring dissent, it’s ignored.

Nothing could be more perfectly COVID than that.

Republished from the author’s Substack

 

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Brownstone Institute

The WHO: Our New Overlords

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From the Brownstone Institute

BY John Mac GhlionnJOHN MAC GHLIONN

According to its website, the World Health Organization (WHO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, “works worldwide to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable.” In recent times, however, the organization has become a vehicle for corruptiondeceit, and Chinese propaganda.

The WHO is an incredibly powerful organization with 194 member states. When the WHO speaks, the world listens. When the WHO decides on a plan of action, the world changes.

As the piece demonstrates, the WHO has aspirations of becoming even more powerful than it already is. If successful, the consequences could prove to be severe.

Last year, Henry I. Miller, a physician and molecular biologist, wrote a stinging piece that took direct aim at the WHO’s “bungled response to the coronavirus.” Miller, like so many others around the world, was particularly disillusioned about the “misplaced trust” placed in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). As many readers no doubt recall, the CCP did its very best to conceal the COVID-19 outbreak that originated in Wuhan.

Because of the WHO’s numerous failures, Miller argued persuasively that the United States, whose “funding of UN activities exceeds that of every other country,” should refrain from financing the organization unless an “effective oversight and auditing entity” can be created to oversee operations.

In 2020, shortly after suspending financial support, the Trump administration began initiating a process to withdraw the United States from membership in the WHO. However, upon taking office in January 2021, President Joe Biden quickly reversed that decision and restored funding practices.

A few weeks after Miller’s well-argued piece, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) introduced a bill designed to prevent the WHO from unilaterally imposing public health restrictions on the United States and violating the country’s national sovereignty. The legislation came after the decision-making body of the WHO, the World Health Assembly, met to discuss a “pandemic treaty.” If introduced, such a treaty would give the WHO far greater control over public health decisions in the United States.

Scott said: “The WHO’s radical ‘pandemic treaty’ is a dangerous globalist overreach. The United States of America must never give more power to the WHO.” He added that the bill would “ensure that public health matters in the country remain in the hands of Americans,” and it needed to be passed immediately. It wasn’t. It should have been.

From Jan. 9–13, clandestine meetings took place in Geneva, Switzerland. Those in attendance discussed the possibility of amending the WHO’s International Health Regulations (IHR). For the uninitiated, the regulations are considered an instrument of international law, a legally binding agreement of basically every country in the world (except Liechtenstein) that calls on members to detect, evaluate, report, and respond to public health emergencies in a coordinated manner.

Michael Nevradakis, a senior reporter for The Defender, warned that if the proposed IHR amendments are made, then WHO members would essentially be stripped of their sovereignty. As Nevradakis previously reported, the IHR framework already allows Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general, “to declare a public health emergency in any country, without the consent of that country’s government.” The proposed amendments would give even more power to the director-general.

Francis Boyle, a professor of international law at the University of Illinois, told Nevradakis that the proposed changes could violate international law.

Boyle, a legitimate expert who played a pivotal role in drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, believes we are heading toward “a worldwide totalitarian medical and scientific police state,” which the WHO directly controls. That’s because the IHR regulations “are specifically designed to circumvent national, state and local government authorities when it comes to pandemics, the treatment for pandemics and also including in there, vaccines.”

It’s clear to Boyle that the WHO is preparing to adopt the regulations in May of 2023, just a few months from now.

The brilliant researcher James Roguski also shares Boyle’s concerns. He claims that the WHO is attempting a global power grab by morphing from an advisory organization into what can only be described as a global law-enforcement agency. If introduced, the IHR changes, he suggested, “would institute global digital health certificates, dramatically increase the billions of dollars available to the WHO and enable nations to implement the regulations WITHOUT respect for the dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms of people.”

Although COVID-19 is now a distant memory for many, another pandemic, we’re told, is just around the corner. When it comes, the WHO may very well be in a position to order you, dear reader, to do exactly what it wants, when it wants. If these amendments are made in May, resistance may prove to be utterly futile.

Reposted from Epoch Times

 

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  • John Mac Ghlionn

    With a doctorate in psychosocial studies, John Mac Ghlionn works as both a researcher and essayist. His writing has been published by the likes of Newsweek, NY Post, and The American Conservative. He can be found on Twitter: @ghlionn, and on Gettr: @John_Mac_G

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Brownstone Institute

FOIA Doc Shows BioNTech Founders Postdated Start of C19 Vax Project

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From the Brownstone Institute

BY Robert KogonROBERT KOGON

As noted in my last article on BioNTech’s “brazen” avoidance of safety testing of its Covid-19 vaccine, BioNTech founders Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci claim in their book The Vaccine that the company’s Covid-19 vaccine project got underway on January 27, 2020. But documentary evidence released in response to a FOIA request (and included in the so-called “Pfizer documents”) shows that this is not true and that the company had in fact already begun preclinical, i.e. animal, testing nearly two weeks earlier, on January 14.

BioNTech R&D STUDY REPORT No. R-20-0072 is available here. The report is also referenced and discussed in an FDA submission on the preclinical study program that is available here. The below screenshot shows the study dates from p. 8 of the report.

In the book, Sahin claims furthermore that he only even became interested in the outbreak in Wuhan on January 24, after reading an article in the German weekly Der Spiegel (p. 4) and/or a submission to The Lancet (p. 6). But look again at the study dates above. BioNTech had already completed the first preclinical study for its Covid-19 vaccine the day before!

January 24, 2020 was a Friday. On Sahin’s account, he took the decision to launch his Covid-19 vaccine project over the weekend and unveiled his plans to his collaborators at BioNTech’s headquarters in Mainz, Germany on the following Monday: January 27 (ch. 2 passim and p. 42; see screencap below).

Sahin claims (p. 33) that it was at this January 27 meeting that he asked BioNTech’s animal testing team to prepare the preclinical program that was in fact already underway!

It should be noted that January 14, 2020, the start-date of the first preclinical study, was just two weeks after the first report of Covid-19 cases in Wuhan and just a day after the release of the full SARS-CoV-2 genome (drafts had been released previously).

BioNTech’s first preclinical study was evidently prepared before publication of the genome and in anticipation of it. As explained in the summary of the study (p. 6), its purpose was to test BioNTech mRNA formulated in lipid nanoparticles produced by the Canadian firm Acuitas. But the mRNA was here encoding a proxy antigen (luciferase), not the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 that would later serve as the target antigen.

The study looked at both biodistribution and immune system activation. As the FDA submission on the preclinical program puts it, “Platform properties that support BNT162b2 were initially demonstrated with non-SARS-CoV-2 antigens” (2.4 NONCLINICAL OVERVIEW, p. 7).

In The Vaccine, which was written with the journalist Joe Miller, Sahin and Türeci talk about the need to obtain the Acuitas lipids, which, they say, were more suitable for intramuscular injection than BioNTech’s own in-house lipids. But, again, they postdate the matter. Thus, on p. 52, we read: “The missing piece was still Acuitas, who had not yet consented to the use of their lipids. Then, on the morning of Monday 3 February, [Acuitas CEO] Tom Madden offered his help.” But BioNTech was already running tests using the Acuitas lipids three weeks earlier!

Furthermore, BioNTech was not able to formulate its mRNA into the lipids itself, but depended on the Austrian company Polymun to do this for it. As noted in The Vaccine (p.51), Polymun’s facilities are an 8-hour drive from BioNTech’s headquarters in Mainz. In the book, Sahin and Türeci describe the first batch of mRNA for the vaccine tests proper being packed up and driven by car to Polymun outside Vienna: “A couple of days later, a small Styrofoam box containing frozen vials full of vaccine would be driven back over the border to BioNTech” (pp. 116-117).

But presumably this same back-and-forth had to have occurred with the mRNA encoding the luciferase. This means that as a practical matter “Project Lightspeed” must have gotten underway even earlier: at least several days before the January 14 start date of the study.

Why did Sahin and Türeci postdate the launch of their Covid-19 vaccine project in their book? Well, undoubtedly because the actual start date – and we do not know when exactly the actual start date was – would have seemed far too soon. Based on the above considerations, it must have been at the latest just days after the first December 31, 2019 report of Covid-19 cases in Wuhan.

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  • Robert Kogon

    Robert Kogon is a pen name for a widely-published financial journalist, a translator, and researcher working in Europe. Follow him at Twitter here. He writes at edv1694.substack.com.

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