The PCR test is not reliable

Sensitivity of the PCR test creates unreliability which undermines contact tracing, and destabilises policy making.

Jay Bhattacharya explains that the epidemic is too widespread for contact tracing to limit disease spread; that errors in the PCR tests substantially raise the human costs of contact tracing and render it less effective; and that contact tracing incentivises the public to mislead public health authorities.

Global leaders infected each other with panic

No matter how dangerous you think Covid19 might be, this academic analysis dissects the dangerous speed and nature of the authoritarian responses by otherwise democratic governments.

Its says the political ‘global copycat response’ signals an ‘pandemic of authoritarianization’ with “the potential to unleash humanitarian crises no less devastating than COVID-19 in the long run”.

Herd immunity variable, but it happens: Sunetra Gupta

Sunetra Gupta has written a thoughtful explanation of herd immunity.

It’s a riposte to a claim by the UK health minister that herd immunity is impossible for Covid19. In short she says individual immunity to Covid19 is unlikely to be permanent or complete, as with many similar viruses, so herd immunity is variable, but the level it occurs reduces widespread infection.

CDC study finds masks don’t stop Covid19 infection

A CDC study found that wearing a mask made no difference to catching Covid19.

71% of case-patients (ie. infected) and 74% of control-participants (not infected) reported always using cloth face coverings or other mask types when in public.

The CDC didn’t highlight this finding, but the finding that people who caught Covid19 were twice as likely to have gone out to eat or drink.

Covid19 infection produces antibodies that protect you for at least five months

Big Question answered: It turns out that the antibodies you make when you get Covid19 protect you for at least five month, like most other viruses. This doesn’t include the T-cells and other immunity variations that also protect us.

Irish doctor speak out against Covid19 being treated as a crisis

Irish doctors call for living with the virus with a “proportionate de-escalation of the current exclusive focus on Covid-19 to the exclusion of all other health and wellbeing needs of our Irish society”.

The frontline doctors in the group say they feel more confident about managing the disease now and believe “we can effectively co-exist with the virus”. They say current “unilaterally enforced national strategy” has not evolved in step with improve scientific understanding since the spring.

“We are in effect managing this as a ‘crisis’, from day to day, level to level – as though it were March 2020 when the actual crisis was present,” according to the letter.

Other signatories include surgeon Martin Feeley, who resigned as clinical director of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group last month after criticising the country’s approach to tackling the virus; one-time contraception campaigner Dr Andrew Rynne, who spoke at an anti-lockdown and anti-mask march in Dublin earlier this month; and retired GP and Aontú councillor in Derry, Dr Anne McCloskey, who has compared using masks to stop the spread of the virus to “using a sheep fence to keep out mosquitoes”.

Ioannidis again encourages balanced response to Covid19

Vulnerable people, he believes, should continue to shelter in place, and anyone living or working in a high risk setting should receive weekly COVID-19 testing and careful contact tracing. He recommends similar measures for meat packing plants, prisons and especially nursing homes, where Centers for Disease Control data shows about one-third of all deaths have occurred.

At the same time, Ioannidis is convinced that shelter in place orders are doing great harm to the rest of society.

“We know that 95% of the population has practically minimal risk,” he said, adding It’s unlikely that in the current situation we are really saving lives. I think that probably we’re killing people by following some of these measures for forever.”

According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, 29% of Americans are avoiding or delaying medical care due to fear of catching the coronavirus.

Dominic Battel, a 38-year-old father of two, put off going to the hospital after feeling chest pains. It was a Sunday in April and he spent the day working on his house and playing with his kids. His wife, Cortney, said Dominic was afraid if he went to the hospital he would catch the coronavirus.

Stanford Professor Warns COVID Shelter-in-Place Orders Are ‘Killing People’

Covid Plan B signs the Great Barrington Declaration

Covid Plan B members have signed a global petition against Covid lockdowns, other over-reactions and urging a return to normal.

The petition was formulated by our international colleagues; Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University; Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University; and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School.

Check out the growing list of international academics and compare and contrast with the New Zealand experts advising the NZ Government.


Medical and Public Health Scientists and Medical Practitioners

Dr. Rodney Sturdivant, PhD. associate professor of biostatistics at Baylor University

Dr. Eitan Friedman, MD, PhD. Founder and Director, The Susanne Levy Gertner Oncogenetics Unit,

Dr. Rajiv Bhatia, MD, MPH a physician with the VA health system

Dr. Michael Levitt, PhD is a biophysicist and a professor of structural biology at Stanford University.

Dr. Eyal Shahar, MD professor (emeritus) of public health at the University of Arizona

Dr. David Katz, MD, MPH, President, True Health Initiative and the Founder and Former Director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center

Dr. Laura Lazzeroni, PhD., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and of biomedical data science at Stanford University Medical School

Dr. Simon Thornley, PhD is an epidemiologist at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Dr. Michael Jackson, PhD is an ecologist and research fellow at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Dr. Jonas Ludvigsson, pediatrician, epidemiologist and professor at Karolinska Institute and senior physician at Örebro University Hospital, Sweden.

Dr. Sylvia Fogel, autism expert and psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and instructor at Harvard Medical School, USA.

Dr. Andrius Kavaliunas, epidemiologist and assistant professor at Karolinska Institute, Sweden

Prof. Udi Qimron, Chair, Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, Tel Aviv University

Prof. Ariel Munitz, Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, Tel Aviv University

Prof. Motti Gerlic, Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, Tel Aviv University

Dr. Uri Gavish, an expert in algorithm analysis and a biomedical consultant

Dr. Paul McKeigue, professor of epidemiology in the University of Edinburgh and public health physician, with expertise in statistical modelling of disease.

Prof. Ellen Townsend, Self-Harm Research Group, University of Nottingham, UK.

Prof. Matthew Ratcliffe, Professor of Philosophy specializing in philosophy of mental health, University of York, UK

Prof. Mike Hulme, professor of human geography, University of Cambridge

Dr. Cody Meissner, professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine, an expert on vaccine development, efficacy and safety.

Dr. Mario Recker, Associate Professor in Applied Mathematics at the Centre for Mathematics and the Environment, University of Exeter.

Prof. Lisa White, Professor of Modelling and Epidemiology Nuffield Department of Medicine, Oxford University, UK

Prof. Angus Dalgleish, MD, FRCP, FRACP, FRCPath, FMedSci, Department of Oncology, St. George’s, University of London

Prof. David Livermore, Professor at University of East Anglia, a microbiologist with expertise in disease epidemiology, antibiotic resistance and rapid diagnostics

Dr. Helen Colhoun, professor of medical informatics and epidemiology in the University of Edinburgh and public health physician, with expertise in risk prediction.

Prof. Partha P. Majumder, PhD, FNA, FASc, FNASc, FTWAS National Science Chair, Distinguished Professor and Founder National Institute of Biomedical Genomics, KalyaniEmeritus Professor Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata

Dr. Gabriela Gomes, professor at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, a mathematician focussing on population dynamics, evolutionary theory and infectious disease epidemiology.

Prof. Simon Wood, professor at Edinburgh University, a statistician with expertise in statistical methodology, applied statistics and mathematical modelling in biology

Prof. Anthony J Brookes, Department of Genetics & Genome Biology, University of Leicester, UK

Prof. Sucharit Bhakdi, em. Professor of Medical Microbiology, University of Mainz, Germany

Prof. Stephen Bremner,
Professor of Medical Statistics, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex

Prof. Yaz Gulnur Muradoglu, Professor of Finance, Director at Behavioural Finance Working Group, School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London

Prof. Karol Sikora MA, PhD, MBBChir, FRCP, FRCR, FFPM, Medical Director of Rutherford Health, Oncologist, & Dean of Medicine

UK Public Health Prof: finally we’re getting debate on Covid19 responses

Raj Bhopal
Emeritus Professor of Public Health
The University of Edinburgh

COVID-19: open, reasoned, detailed, discussion of the options is overdue and welcome


At last, differing perspectives are being aired. This is healthy.


Let me summarise my view: children and young people have a great deal to lose from measures that restrict their education, social development and freedom and have relatively little to lose from the infection. Older people like myself (67 years of age, retired, married and an Indian male) have little to lose from restrictions. Indeed, several friends and colleagues have welcomed them as a restful period when they become more prosperous. I have much to lose from the infection. Nonetheless, I am not prepared to sacrifice the well-being of children and young people for society to try to reduce my risk to zero, which is near impossible until the virus is vanquished worldwide. I believe society should concentrate the scarce resources we have to protect those who are frail or for other reasons cannot protect themselves. People in a privileged position like myself have to apply well-known solutions: hygiene, social distancing and face masks.


The problem is not going away with and without a vaccine. Our vision and strategies should be long-term, not week by week. Dismissing any idea, no matter how zany it might seem, without detailed and reasoned discussion, is irresponsible at this time of global crisis.

The risk of dying related to Covid19, compared to other health risks

Deaths related to COVID-19, while modest overall, varied considerably by age.

Deaths as a percentage of all cause deaths during the time period under study ranged from <0.01% in children in Germany, Portugal and Netherlands, to as high as 41.65% for men aged over 80 years in England and Wales.

The percentage of the population who died from COVID-19 was less than 0.2% in every age group under the age of 80. In each country, over the age of 80, these proportions were: England and Wales 1.27% males, 0.87% females; Italy 0.6% males, 0.38% females; Germany 0.13% males, 0.09% females; France 0.39% males, 0.2% females; Portugal 0.2% males, 0.15% females; and Netherlands 0.6% males, 0.4% females.

Interpretation: Mortality rates from COVID-19 remains low including when compared to other common causes of death and will likely decline further while control measures are maintained. These data may help people contextualise their risk and policy makers in decision-making.