Facts about Covid-19

SPECIAL FEATURE, 8 Jun 2020

Swiss Policy Research - TRANSCEND Media Service

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May 2020 – Fully referenced facts about Covid-19, provided by experts in the field, to help our readers make a realistic risk assessment.

The only means to fight the plague is honesty.” (Albert Camus, 1947)

Overview

  1. According to data from the best-studied countries and regions, the lethality of Covid19 is about 0.2%, which is in the range of a severe influenza (flu) and much lower than initially assumed.
  2. Even in the global “hotspots”, the risk of death for the general population of school and working age is typically in the range of a daily car ride to work. The risk was initially overestimated because many people with only mild or no symptoms were not taken into account.
  3. Up to 80% of all test-positive persons remain symptom-free. Even among 70-79 year olds, about 60% remain symptom-free. Over 95% of all persons develop mild symptoms at most.
  4. Up to 60% of all persons may already have a certain cellular background immunity to Covid19 due to contact with previous coronaviruses (i.e. common cold viruses).
  5. The median or average age of the deceased in most countries (including Italy) is over 80 years and only about 4% of the deceased had no serious preconditions. The age and risk profile of deaths thus essentially corresponds to normal mortality.
  6. In many countries, up to two thirds of all extra deaths occurred in nursing homes, which do not benefit from a general lockdown. Moreover, in many cases it is not clear whether these people really died from Covid19 or from extreme stress, fear and loneliness.
  7. Up to 50% of all additional deaths may have been caused not by Covid19, but by the effects of the lockdown, panic and fear. For example, the treatment of heart attacks and strokes decreased by up to 60% because many patients no longer dared to go to hospital.
  8. Even in so-called “Covid19 deaths” it is often not clear whether they died from or with coronavirus (i.e. from underlying diseases) or if they were counted as “presumed cases” and not tested at all. However, official figures usually do not reflect this distinction.
  9. Many media reports of young and healthy people dying from Covid19 turned out to be false: many of these young people either did not die from Covid19, they had already been seriously ill (e.g. from undiagnosed leukaemia), or they were in fact 109 instead of 9 years old. The claimed increase in Kawasaki disease in children also turned out to be false.
  10. The normal overall mortality per day is about 8000 people in the US, about 2600 in Germany and about 1800 in Italy. Influenza mortality per season is up to 80,000 in the US and up to 25,000 in Germany and Italy. In several countries Covid19 deaths remained below strong flu seasons.
  11. Regional increases in mortality can occur if there is a collapse in the care of the elderly and sick as a result of infection or panic, or if there are additional risk factors such as severe air pollution. Special regulations for dealing with the deceased sometimes led to additional bottlenecks in funeral or cremation services.
  12. In countries such as Italy and Spain, and to some extent the UK and the US, hospital overloads due to strong flu waves are not unusual. In addition, up to 15% of doctors and health workers are now being put into quarantine, even if they develop no symptoms.
  13. The often shown exponential curves of “corona cases” are misleading, as the number of tests also increased exponentially. In most countries, the ratio of positive tests to tests overall (i.e. the positive rate) remained constant at 5% to 25% or increased only slightly. In many countries, the peak of the spread was already reached well before the lockdown.
  14. Countries without curfews and contact bans, such as Japan, South Korea or Sweden, have not experienced a more negative course of events than other countries. Sweden was even praised by the WHO and now benefits from higher immunity compared to lockdown countries.
  15. The fear of a shortage of ventilators was unjustified. According to lung specialists, the invasive ventilation (intubation) of Covid19 patients, which is partly done out of fear of spreading the virus, is in fact often counterproductive and damaging to the lungs.
  16. Contrary to original assumptions, various studies have shown that there is no evidence of the virus spreading through aerosols (i.e. tiny particles floating in the air) or through smear infections (e.g. on door handles or smartphones). The main modes of transmission are direct contact and droplets produced when coughing or sneezing.
  17. There is also no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of face masks in healthy or asymptomatic individuals. On the contrary, experts warn that such masks interfere with normal breathing and may become “germ carriers”. Leading doctors called them a “media hype” and “ridiculous”.
  18. Many clinics in Europe and the US remained strongly underutilized or almost empty during the Covid19 peak and in some cases had to send staff home. Numerous operations and therapies were cancelled, including many cancer screenings and organ transplants.
  19. Several media were caught trying to dramatize the situation in hospitals, sometimes even with manipulative images and videos. In general, the unprofessional reporting of many media maximized fear and panic in the population.
  20. The virus test kits used internationally are prone to errors and can produce false positive and false negative results. Moreover, the official virus test was not clinically validated due to time pressure and may sometimes react positive to other coronaviruses.
  21. Numerous internationally renowned experts in the fields of virology, immunology and epidemiology consider the measures taken to be counterproductive and recommend rapid natural immunisation of the general population and protection of risk groups. The risks for children are virtually zero and closing schools was never medically warranted.
  22. Several medical experts described vaccines against coronaviruses as unnecessary or even dangerous. Indeed, the vaccine against the so-called swine flu of 2009, for example, led to sometimes severe neurological damage and lawsuits in the millions.
  23. The number of people suffering from unemployment, psychological problems and domestic violence as a result of the measures has reached historic record values. Several experts predict that the measures will claim more lives than the virus itself. According to the UN millions of people around the world may fall into absolute poverty and famine.
  24. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warned that the “corona crisis” will be used for the massive and permanent expansion of global surveillance. The renowned virologist Pablo Goldschmidt spoke of a “global media terror” and “totalitarian measures”. Leading British virologist professor John Oxford spoke of a “media epidemic”.
  25. More than 500 scientists have warned against an “unprecedented surveillance of society” through problematic apps for “contact tracing”. In some countries, such “contact tracing” is already carried out directly by the secret service. In several parts of the world, the population is already being monitored by drones and facing serious police overreach.
  26. A 2019 WHO study on public health measures against pandemic influenza found that from a medical perspective, “contact tracing” is “not recommended in any circumstances”.

See also:

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Below you will find monthly updates on medical and political developments.

May 2020

Expert interviews
  • Stanford professor John Ioannidis explains in an interview with CNN that Covid19 is a “widespread and mild disease” comparable to influenza (flu) for the general population, while patients in nursing homes and hospitals should receive extra protection.
  • Stanford professor Scott Atlas explains in an interview with CNN that “the idea of having to stop Covid19 has created a catastrophic health care situation”. Professor Atlas says that the disease is “generally mild” and that irrational fears had been created. He adds that there is “absolutely no reason” for extensive testing in the general population, which is only necessary in hospitals and nursing homes. Professor Atlas wrote an article at the end of April entitled “The data are in – Stop the panic and end total isolation” that received over 15,000 comments.
  • Epidemiologist Dr Knut Wittkowski explains in a new interview that the danger of Covid19 is comparable to an influenza and that the peak was already passed in most countries before the lockdown. The lockdown of entire societies was a “catastrophic decision” without benefits but causing enormous damage. The most important measure is the protection of nursing homes. According to Dr. Wittkowski, Bill Gates’ statements on Covid19 are “absurd” and “have nothing to do with reality”. Dr. Wittkowski considers a vaccination against Covid19 “not necessary” and the influential Covid19 model of British epidemiologist Neil Ferguson a “complete failure”. (Note: The video was removed by Youtube).
  • German virologist Hendrik Streeck explains the final results of his pioneering antibody study. Professor Streeck found a Covid19 lethality of 0.36%, but explains that this is an upper limit and the lethality is probably in the range of 0.24 to 0.26% or even below. The average age of test-positive deceased was approximately 81 years. Professor Streeck argues that “waiting for a vaccine” is not a good strategy because both the feasibility and effectiveness of a vaccine are uncertain.
  • Biology professor and Nobel Prize winner Michael Levitt, who has been analyzing the spread of Covid19 since February, describes the general lockdown as a „huge mistake“ and calls for more targeted measures, especially to protect risk groups.
  • The emeritus microbiology professor Sucharit Bhakdi explains in a new interview that politics and the media have been conducting an “intolerable fear-mongering” and an “irres­pon­sible disinformation campaign”. According to professor Bhakdi, face masks for the general population are not needed and may in fact be harmful “germ catchers”. The current crisis was brought about by the politicians themselves and has little to do with the virus, he argues, while a vaccine against coronavirus is “unnecessary and dangerous”, as was already the case with swine flu. The WHO has “never taken responsibility for its many wrong decisions over the years”, professor Bhakdi adds. (Note: The video was temporarily deleted by YouTube).
  • The Swiss chief physician for infectiology, Dr. Pietro Vernazza, explains in a new interview that the Covid19 disease is “mild for the vast majority of people” and the “counting of infected people and the call for more tests” aren’t helpful. In addition, most of the people listed in the corona statistics did not die solely from Covid-19. According to Dr. Vernazza, there is no evidence for the benefit of face masks in people who do not show symptoms themselves (archive).
Medical studies
  • A new overview of existing PCR and antibody studies shows that the median value of Covid19 lethality (IFR) is about 0.2% and thus in the range of a strong influenza.
  • A new antibody study with Danish blood donors showed a very low Covid19 lethality (IFR) of 0.08% for persons under 70 years of age.
  • A new antibody study from Iran, one of the earliest and most affected countries by Covid19, also showed a very low lethality of 0.08% to 0.12%.
  • A new antibody study from Japan comes to the conclusion that about 400 to 800 times more people there had contact with the new coronavirus than previously thought, but showed no or hardly any symptoms. Japan had done rather few tests so far.
  • A new study from Germany, with the participation of leading virologist Christian Drosten, shows that about one third of the population already has some cellular immunity to the Covid19 corona virus, presumably through contact with earlier corona viruses (cold viruses). This cellular immunity by so-called T-cells is significantly higher than PCR and antibody tests suggested and may partly explain why many people develop no symptoms with the new coronavirus.
  • In a prison in the US state of Tennessee, only two out of 1349 test-positive people showed any symptoms at all.
  • On the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, none of 1046 test-positive sailors have died so far. On the US aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, one of 969 test-positive sailors has died so far (preconditions and exact cause of death are not known). This yields a lethality rate of 0 to 0.1% for this population group.
  • Numerous media reported about alleged “re-infections” of already recovered persons in South Korea. However, researchers have now come to the conclusion that all of the 290 suspected cases were false-positive test results caused by “non-infectious virus fragments”. The result again highlights the well-known unreliability of PCR virus tests.
Other medical updates
  • Numerous media reported that in connection with Covid19, more and more children would fall ill with so-called Kawasaki disease (a vascular inflammation). However, the UK’s Kawasaki Disease Foundation issued a press release stating that fewer, not more, Kawasaki cases are currently being reported than usual and that of the few cases reported, only about half had tested positive for corona virus.
  • In an open letter to the French Ministry of Health, a French doctor speaks of Covid19 as “the biggest health scam of the 21st century”. The danger of the virus for the general population is in the range of influenza and the consequences of the lockdown are more dangerous than the virus itself, the French doctor argues.
  • In France, it became known during a subsequent investigation that the first Covid19-positive patient had already been treated at the end of December 2019, one month earlier than previously assumed. The man was being treated for what appeared to be flu-related pneumonia. This case shows that the new corona virus either arrived in Europe earlier than assumed, or that it is not as new as assumed, or that the test result was a false-positive. In addition, it is not clear whether the man, who has long since recovered, was actually suffering from flu or corona virus or both.
  • The Executive Director of the WHO recently praised Sweden as a successful model for handling Covid19. Sweden had implemented its health policy successfully and “in partnership with the population”, he said. Previously, Sweden had been heavily criticized for weeks by foreign media and politicians for its relaxed approach to Covid19.
  • Belarus, which took the least action against Covid19 of all European countries and did not even cancel major events like soccer matches, is counting only 103 test-positive or suspected Covid19 deaths after more than two months. The Belarusian long-term president Lukashenko called Corona a “psychosis”. Critics argue he is not disclosing the real number of deaths.
  • An extensive literature review by a Canadian researcher found that face masks do not provide measurable protection against colds and influenza.
  • A Swiss chief psychiatrist expects a sharp increase in psychological problems and more than 10,000 additional suicides worldwide due to the global lockdown and unemployment.
  • The so-called reproduction number, which indicates the proliferation of Covid, is increasingly becoming a political issue. However, this does not change the facts: the peak of the spread was already reached in most countries before the lockdown and the reproduction ratio fell to or below the stable value of one due to simple everyday and hygiene measures. The lockdown was therefore epidemiologically unnecessary.
  • The clinical picture and risk groups of Covid19 corona viruses are probably related to the use of the so-called ACE2 cell receptor, which is found in the bronchi and lungs, but also in blood vessels, the intestines and kidneys. However, other coronaviruses such as the common cold virus NL63, also use the ACE2 cell receptor. Some researchers therefore expect that the Covid19 coronavirus, too, will be seen as a typical cold virus in the medium term.
  • The exact origin of the new corona virus is still unclear. The easiest explanation remains natural transmission or mutation, which happens quite often. It is true, however, that the virological laboratory in Wuhan, as part of a research programme co-financed by the US, studied corona viruses from bats and also examined their transmissibility to other mammals, something that has been criticised for years by some researchers as too risky. The director of the laboratory, however, explained that the new virus did not correspond to the corona viruses investigated in the laboratory. At any rate, earlier rumours about “bioweapons” or “HIV sequences” turned out to be disinformation given the relative harmlessness of the corona virus.
Nursing Homes

Nursing homes play an absolutely key role in the current corona situation. In most Western countries, 30% to 70% of all deaths “related to Covid” occurred in nursing homes (in some regions even up to 90%). It is also known from northern Italy that the crisis there began with a panic-induced collapse of nursing care for the elderly.

Nursing homes require targeted protection and do not benefit from a general lockdown of society. If one looks only at the deaths in the general population, in most countries these are in the range of a normal or even mild wave of influenza.

Moreover, in many cases it is not clear what people in nursing homes really died of, i.e. whether it was Covid19 or stress, fear and loneliness. From Belgium, for example, it is known that about 94% of all deaths in nursing homes are untested “presumed cases”.

A new analysis of French statistics moreover shows the following: as soon as there is a “suspected case” in a nursing home (e.g. due to coughing), all deaths are considered “suspected Covid19 deaths”, and as soon as there is a “confirmed case” in a nursing home (even if symptomless), all deaths are considered “confirmed Covid19 deaths”.

A report from Germany vividly describes the extreme conditions under which hundreds of thousands of patients in care and nursing homes have had to live in recent weeks, often against their will. Many of the patients were barely allowed to leave their rooms, were no longer allowed to go out into the fresh air or receive visits from their relatives.

In several nursing homes, the error-prone PCR virus test moreover led to serious false alarms and panic. In one Canadian nursing home, employees fled in fear of the corona virus, resulting in the tragic death of 31 patients due to lack of care.

The former New York Times journalist and Corona critic Alex Berenson writes on Twitter: “Let’s be clear: the fact the nursing home deaths are not front and center every day in elite media coverage of COVID tells you everything you need to know about the media’s priority – which is instilling panic (and punishing Trump), not driving good health policy.”

Full analysis: Mortality associated with COVID-19 outbreaks in care homes: early international evidence (LTC Covid, May 2020)

Deaths in nursing homes, absolute and percentage figures (LTC Covid)
Great Britain
  • Cumulative all-cause mortality in the UK remains in the range of the five strongest flu waves in the last 25 years. The peak in daily hospital deaths was already reached on April 8 (s. chart below).
  • New statistical data show that in mid-April, out of about 12,000 additional deaths, about 9,000 were “related to Covid” (including “suspected cases”), but about 3,000 were “not related to Covid”. Moreover, of the total of about 7300 deaths in nursing homes, only about 2000 were “related to Covid”. In both the “Covid19 deaths” and the non-covid19 deaths, it is often unclear what these people actually died of. The Association of British Pathologists has therefore called for a “systematic review of the true causes of death”.
  • The temporary “Nightingale” hospitals in the UK have so far remained largely empty. A similar situation was already seen in China, the US and many other countries.
  • At the end of April it became known that the lockdown was apparently not, as officially stated, recommended by a scientific commission alone, but that a high government advisor had “pushed” the scientists to support the lockdown.
  • Peter Hitchens: We’re destroying the nation’s wealth – and the health of millions. “If you don’t defend your most basic freedom, the one to go lawfully where you wish when you wish, then you will lose it for ever. And that is not all you will lose. Look at the censorship of the internet, spreading like a great dark blot, the death of Parliament, the conversion of the police into a state militia.”
England: Test-positive deaths in hosptials (NHS)
United States
  • The latest report from the US CDC shows that the Covid19 hospitalization rate among the over-65s is in the range of strong flu waves. It is slightly higher among 18 to 64-year-olds and significantly lower among those under 18.
  • Video: A nurse from New York City stated in a dramatic video that New York is “killing” Covid19 patients by putting them on invasive ventilators and destroying their lungs. The use of the invasive ventilators (instead of oxygen masks) is done “for fear of spreading the virus”. It is “a horror movie”, “not because of the disease, but because of the way it is dealt with”, the nurse explained. Experts have been warning since March against intubation of Covid19 patients.
  • Dr. Daniel Murphy, the head of emergency medicine at a heavily affected hospital in New York City, recommends a quick end to the lockdown. According to Dr Murphy, the Covid19 wave had already reached its peak on April 7th. Covid19 is a serious matter, but the fear of it is exaggerated, as the vast majority of the population gets at most mildly ill. His biggest concern now is the sharp decline in the care of emergency patients and children due to the lockdown and the widespread fear in the population.
  • Video: The conservative Project Veritas whistleblower platform spoke with New York funeral home directors who stated that currently Covid is written “on all death certificates” (of suspected cases), whether there was a test or not. Many people are currently dying at home, and often the exact cause of death is no longer checked. The Covid19 statistics are inflated for political or financial reasons, the directors stated.
  • The director of the Illinois Department of Health confirmed that even terminally ill people who clearly die of another cause but who test positive for Covid19 virus before or after death are recorded as Covid19 deaths.
  • Due to the lockdown, 30 million people in the US have already applied for unemployment benefits by the end of April – that is significantly more than the International Labour Office ILO originally assumed for the entire world.
  • Tesla boss Elon Musk called the California curfews “fascist”. The “forced imprisonment” of people in their homes violates all their constitutional rights, Musk explained in a telephone conference.
  • Video: A Wisconsin mother was confronted by police at her home because her children played illegally with neighbor children.
  • Video: In late April, some photographers were caught in a partial staging of a protest by care workers against anti-lockdown demonstrators. (Read more).
Switzerland
  • Cumulative deaths since the beginning of the year in Switzerland remain within the range of a normal flu epidemic and far below the strong flu epidemic of 2015 (see graph below). Around 50% of deaths occurred in care and nursing homes.
  • The Swiss government plans to transform the current corona emergency decrees into a permanent urgent federal law. Most Swiss media have not reported on this far-reaching announcement, or have done so only marginally.
  • The Swiss Armed Forces began testing an app for contact tracing that is to be introduced on 11 May in collaboration with Google and Apple. Meanwhile, a Swiss “data protection office” declared: “If the contact tracing app is suitable and necessary, it does not need to be voluntary”.
  • Various vigils were held on the Swiss Bundesplatz in Berne with around 400 participants who spoke out against restrictions on constitutional rights. The rallies were cleared by the police.
  • In the context of Covid19 , it was not the long-established Swiss Pandemic Commission that was used, but a newly founded “Covid-19 Task Force”, some of whose members have conflicts of interest in the pharmaceutical sector.
  • Video: “Does the Swiss government belong in prison?” Swiss journalist Reto Brennwald interviewed the entrepreneur Daniel Stricker, who temporarily fled Switzerland to Sweden in mid-March and strongly criticizes the corona policy of the Swiss government.
  • A Swiss nurse has written a highly shared article on the current situation. She explains that Swiss hospitals have remained largely empty and in some cases had to furlough staff. She also says it is very unusual to transfer people over 80 years of age to intensive care units because of flu or pneumonia, where they then have to die alone instead of with their families. If this were done, the intensive care units would be overloaded almost every winter. The nurse criticises that most of the media have not sufficiently addressed the recent scientific findings on the rather low overall risk of Covid19.
Cumulative deaths compared to expected deaths, 2010 to 2020 (KW17, BFS/Stotz)
Germany and Austria
  • In Germany and Austria, similar to Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway and Portugal, no excess mortality exists to date.
  • According to a leaked protocol of the Austrian Corona Task Force, Chancellor Kurz is said to have demanded in March that the population should be “more afraid” of infection or death of parents or grandparents. A strategy paper of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior had already become known earlier, which also called for a psychological fear campaign that was indeed implemented by politicians and the media. In retrospect, the question arises as to how many people died as a result of this largely unfounded fear.
  • An open letter with already about 5000 signatures from people over 64 years of age demands: “Corona: Don’t protect us older people at this price! Let us decide for ourselves!” For the protection of risk groups, the basic rights of the entire society should not be overridden, the authors argue.
  • In Austria (and possibly also in other countries) kissing among people in love but not living together is still forbidden. This applies both in public and in one’s own flat, explained the Austrian Minister of Health.
  • A German lawyer is currently suing in several courts against the government anti-corona measures, as they are “blatantly unconstitutional”.
  • Videos: In Germany there have recently been several cases of serious police overreach. A young woman was brutally arrested by several police officers while shopping, as she had apparently “got 20cm too close” to a policewoman. Another woman was instructed by the police at a rally not to hold the German constitution in front of her chest, as this was an “illegal political message”. The organizer of a peaceful rally in Berlin was also arrested in a rather brutal fashion. Even older women were arrested in a disproportionate manner. (Caution: disturbing footage of police violence).
Other updates
  • The CEO of Youtube announced in an interview at the end of April that video contributions on coronavirus that contradict the guidelines of the WHO or national health authorities will be removed. For example, the video of the two skeptic Californian emergency doctors, which had over five million views, was deleted. Likewise, the interview with Professor Sucharit Bhakdi linked above was at least temporarily removed by Youtube.
  • In the US magazine The Atlantic, two law professors wrote an article entitled: “Internet Speech Will Never Go Back to Normal. In the debate over freedom versus control of the global network, China was largely correct, and the U.S. was wrong.”
  • Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer and one of the most influential media managers in Germany, calls for a “decoupling from China” and a strengthening of the transatlantic alliance with the USA in the wake of the Corona crisis.
  • Washington Post: “The last time the government sought a ‘warp speed’ vaccine, it was a fiasco”. The 1976 swine flu express vaccination led to paralysis and deaths.
  • Looking back: Woodstock Occurred in the Middle of a Pandemic. On the rather relaxed handling of the global flu pandemic of 1968 (read more).
Covid-19 and the media

A lot of people are shocked by the dubious and often fear-mongering Covid19 reporting of many media outlets. Obviously, this is not “ordinary reporting”, but classical and massive propaganda, as it is typically employed in connection with wars of aggression or alleged terrorism.

SPR has depicted the media networks responsible for the dissemination of such propaganda in earlier infographics for the USA, for Germany and for Switzerland. Even the supposedly “open” Internet lexicon Wikipedia is an integral part of this geopolitical media structure.

The political stance and relationship to power of different media outlets have been analyzed and compared as part of the SPR Media Navigator. The Media Navigator may also be helpful in evaluating the current Covid19 reporting by different media outlets.

If, for example, pictures of soldiers in protective suits disinfecting entire streets are seen on television, this does not prove the danger of the corona virus, but rather – as Professor Giesecke put it benevolently – proves useless “political activism”. Or as others would put it: propaganda.

Covid-19 and mass surveillance

By far the most significant and, from a civil society perspective, the most dangerous development in response to the coronavirus is the apparent political attempt to massively expand mass surveillance and control of society. In this context, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warned of the emergence of an “architecture of oppression”.

The flu-like coronavirus may serve as a rationale or pretext for the introduction of strategic measures to expand monitoring and control of an increasingly uneasy society. The most important instruments currently under discussion by several governments include:

  1. The introduction of applications for “tracing” contacts across society
  2. The establishment of units to enforce the tracing and isolation of citizens
  3. The introduction of digital biometric ID cards to control and regulate participation in social and professional activities.
  4. The extended control of travel and payment transactions (including the abolition of cash).
  5. The creation of a legal basis for access to and intervention in citizens’ biological systems by governments or corporations (based on so-called “compulsory vaccinations”).

In the US, former President Bill Clinton discussed the introduction of a national network of “contact tracers” with governors of various states in April. The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, then announced that together with billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, he would create a “contact tracing army” with up to 17,000 contact tracers for New York.

Meanwhile, in the UK and many other countries, governments are calling for the introduction of biometric “immunity passports” and presenting them as the allegedly “only way out” of the primarily politically motivated lockdown. The British Tony Blair Institute called for the “expansion of technological surveillance” to “combat the corona virus”.

In the US, the Silicon Valley data analysis company Palantir is to play a key role in setting up the data platform for monitoring the (already declining) spread of the corona virus. Palantir is known for its IT projects with intelligence agencies and the military and was founded by US billionaire and Trump supporter Peter Thiel.

In Israel, contact monitoring of the civilian population is carried out by the domestic intelligence service Shin Bet, using programs from the notorious NSO Group, known for its spy software used to monitor civil and human rights activists around the world.

Countries like Russia and China also want to massively expand the surveillance of the population in the wake of the alleged “corona crisis”, but will most likely do so independently of the US.

The idea that a pandemic can be used to expand control of the population is not new: as early as 2010, the American Rockefeller Foundation described a „lock step scenario“ in a report on future technological and social developments, in which current events were anticipated with impressive accuracy (pages 18ff). At the time, the scenario was conceived as a kind of authoritarian “worst case”.

Meanwhile, more than 500 scientists have warned in an open letter against “unprecedented surveillance of society” through contact tracking apps.

The so-called Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University, which is at the heart of the Covid19 pandemic management and which has contributed greatly to the global escalation through its misleading charts, is also very closely linked to the US security apparatus and has been involved in some of its earlier simulations and operations.

In general, cooperation with private actors to achieve geostrategic goals is not a new or unusual phenomenon in US foreign and security policy.

For instance, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the most important private sponsor of the WHO, the vaccine industry and biometric ID projects, financed a Global Health Program of the US Council on Foreign Relations as early as 2003, which is concerned with the question of how health policy influences geopolitics and, conversely, how health policy can be used to achieve geostrategic goals.

April 25, 2020

Medical updates
  • Professor Detlef Krüger, the direct predecessor of the well-known German virologist Christian Drosten at the Charité Clinic in Berlin, explains in a recent interview that Covid19 is “in many respects comparable to the flu” and “no more dangerous than certain variants of the flu virus”. Professor Krüger considers the “mouth and nose protection discovered by politicians” to be “actionism” and a potential “germ-slinger”. At the same time he warns of “massive collateral damage” caused by the measures taken.
  • The former Swedish and European chief epidemiologist Professor Johan Giesecke gave the Austrian magazine Addendum a candid interview. Professor Giesecke says that 75 to 90% of the epidemic is “invisible” because that many people develop no or hardly any symptoms. A lockdown would therefore be “pointless” and harm society. The basis of the Swedish strategy was that “people are not stupid”. Giesecke expects a death rate between 0.1 and 0.2%, similar to that of influenza. Italy and New York had been very poorly prepared for the virus and had not protected their risk groups, Professor Giesecke argues.
  • The latest figures from Italy show (pp. 12/13) that 60 of almost 17,000 doctors and nurses who tested positive died. This results in a Covid19 lethality rate of less than 0.1% for those under 50, 0.27% for those aged 50 to 60, 1.4% for those aged 60 to 70, and 12.6% for those aged 70 to 80. Even these figures are likely too high, as these are deaths with and not necessarily from corona viruses, and as up to 80% of people remain asymptomatic and some may not have been tested. Overall, however, the values are in line with those from e.g. South Korea and give a lethality rate for the general population in the range of influenza.
  • The head of the Italian Civil Defence declared in mid-April that more than 1800 people died in nursing homes in Lombardy, and that in many cases the cause of death was not yet clear. It was already known beforehand that the care of the elderly and nursing homes and, as a result, the entire health care system in parts of Lombardy had collapsed, in part due to fear of the virus and the lockdown.
  • The latest figures from Belgium show that there too, just over 50% of all additional deaths occur in nursing homes, which do not benefit from a general lockdown. In 6% of these deaths Covid19 was “confirmed”, in 94% of the deaths it was “suspected”. About 70% of the test-positive persons (employees and residents) showed no symptoms.
  • The British Guardian cites new studies according to which air pollution could be a “key factor” in Covid19 deaths. For example, 80% of deaths in four countries were in the most polluted regions (including Lombardy and Madrid).
  • The Californian physician Dr. Dan Erickson described his observations regarding Covid19 in a much-noticed press briefing. Hospitals and intensive care units in California and other states have remained largely empty so far. Dr. Erickson reports that doctors from several US states have been “pressured” to issue death certificates mentioning Covid19, even though they themselves did not agree. Dr. Erickson recommends quarantining only the sick and not the healthy or the whole society, as this could have negative effects on health and psyche. A significant increase in “secondary effects” such as alcoholism, depression, suicide and abuse of children and spouses has already been observed. Based on figures from various countries, Dr. Erickson estimates the lethality of Covid-19 to be about 0.1% or similar to influenza. According to Dr Erickson, a face mask only makes sense in acute situations such as in hospital, but not in everyday life. (Note: Youtube deleted the press briefing after it had 5 million views.)
  • The German newspaper DIE ZEIT focuses on the high vacancy rates in German hospitals, which in some departments are as high as 70%. Even cancer examinations and organ transplants that were not acutely necessary for survival had been cancelled to make room for Covid19 patients, but these have so far been largely absent.
  • A new analysis from the UK concludes that there are currently about 2000 people per week dying at home without Covid19 because they cannot or do not want to use the health care system. These are mainly emergency patients with heart attacks and strokes as well as chronically ill people.
  • Researchers in Austria concluded that more people died there in March from untreated heart attacks than from Covid19.
  • In Germany, a mask requirement was introduced in public transport and in retail outlets. The president of the World Medical Association, Frank Montgomery, has criticized this as “wrong” and the intended use of scarves and drapes as “ridiculous”. In fact, studies show that the use of masks in everyday life does not bring measurable benefits to healthy and asymptomatic people, which is why the Swiss infectiologist Dr. Vernazza spoke of a “media hype”. Other critics speak of a symbol of “forced, publicly visible obedience”.
  • In 2019, a WHO study found “little to no scientific evidence” for the effectiveness of measures such as “social distancing”, travel restrictions and lockdowns. (Original study)
  • A German laboratory stated in early April that according to WHO recommendations, Covid19 virus tests are now considered positive even if the specific target sequence of the Covid19 virus is negative and only the more general corona virus target sequence is positive. However, this can lead to other corona viruses (cold viruses) also trigger a false positive test result. The laboratory also explained that Covid19 antibodies are often only detectable two to three weeks after the onset of symptoms. This must be taken into account so that the actual number of people already immune to Covid19 is not underestimated.
  • In both Switzerland and Germany, some politicians have called for “compulsory vaccination against corona”. However, the vaccination against the so-called “swine flu” of 2009/2010, for example, led to sometimes severe neurological damage, especially in children, and to claims for damages in the millions.
  • Professor Christopher Kuhbandner: About the lack of scientific justification for the corona measures: “The reported figures on new infections very dramatically overestimate the true spread of the corona virus. The observed rapid increase in new infections is almost exclusively due to the fact that the number of tests has increased rapidly over time (see figure below). So, at least according to the reported figures, there was in reality never an exponential spread of the coronavirus. The reported figures on new infections hide the fact that the number of new infections has been decreasing since about early or mid-March.”
Green: Real increase of infected people; red: increase due to more tests.
Sweden: The media versus reality

Some readers were surprised by the decrease in deaths in Sweden, as most media show a steeply rising curve. What is the reason for this? Most media show cumulative figures by date of reporting, while the Swedish authorities publish the much more meaningful daily figures by date of death.

The Swedish authorities always stress that not all newly reported cases have died within the last 24 hours, but many media ignore this (see graph below). Although the latest Swedish figures may still increase somewhat, as in all countries, this does not change the generally declining trend.

In addition, these figures represent deaths with and not necessarily from coronavirus. The average age of death in Sweden is also over 80 years, about 50% of deaths occurred in vulnerable nursing homes, while the effect on the general population has remained minimal, even though Sweden has one of the lowest intensive care capacities in Europe.

However, the Swedish government has also been given new emergency powers due to “corona” and could still participate in later contact tracing programmes.

Cumulative deaths by date of reporting vs. daily deaths by date of death. (OWD / FOHM)
The situation in Great Britain

Deaths in the UK have risen sharply in recent weeks, but are still in the range of the strongest flu seasons of the last fifty years (see chart below). In the UK, too, up to 50% of additional deaths occur in nursing homes, which do not benefit from a general lockdown.

Moreover, up to 50% of the additional deaths are said to be non-Covid19 deaths and up to 25% of the additional deaths occur at home. It is therefore not at all clear whether the general lockdown is beneficial or in fact detrimental to society at large.

The editor of the British Spectator has claimed that government agencies expect the lockdown to result in up to 150,000 additional deaths in the longer term, significantly more than what Covid19 is expected to cause. Most recently, the case of a 17-year-old student and singer who took her own life because of the lockdown became known.

It is striking that England, in contrast to most other countries (including Sweden), has a significantly elevated mortality rate even among 15 to 64-year-olds. This could be due to the frequent cardiovascular preconditions, or it might be caused by the effects of the lockdown.

The InProportion project has published numerous new graphs that put current UK mortality in relation to previous flu outbreaks and other causes of death. Other websites that critically review the British situation and measures are Lockdown Skeptics and UK Column.

UK: Weekly all-cause mortality (InProportion)
Switzerland: Excess mortality well below strong flu waves
  • A first serological study by the University of Geneva concluded that at least six times more people in the canton of Geneva had contact with Covid19 than previously thought. This means that the lethality of Covid19 in Switzerland also falls well below one percent, while official sources still speak of up to 5%.
  • Even in the most severely affected canton of Ticino, almost half of the additional deaths occurred in nursing homes that do not benefit from the general lockdown.
  • In Switzerland, 1.85 million people or over a third of all employees have already been registered for short-time work. The economic costs are estimated at 32 billion for the period from March to June.
  • Infosperber: Corona: The parroting of the media. “Major media outlets are hiding the fact that they rely on opaque data for Covid-19 numbers.”
  • Ktipp: Swiss authorities: Almost all numbers ‘without guarantee’. “This year fewer under-65s died in the first 14 weeks than in the last five years. Among the over-65s, the number was also relatively low.”

The following graph shows that overall mortality in Switzerland in the first quarter of 2020 was in the normal range and that by mid-April it was still around 2000 people below the flu wave of 2015. 50% of deaths occurred in nursing homes that do not benefit from a lockdown.

Overall, around 75% of the additional deaths occurred at home, while hospitals and intensive care units remain heavily underutilized and numerous operations have been cancelled. In Switzerland, too, the very serious question thus arises as to whether the “lockdown” may have cost more lives than it saved.

Cumulated deaths compared to expected value, 2010 to 2020 (BFS)
Political updates
  • Video: In the Australian state of Queensland, a police helicopter with night-vision equipment tracked down three young men who were drinking a beer on the roof of a house at night, thus violating “Corona regulations”. The men were informed via a megaphone that the building is “surrounded by police” and that they must proceed to the exit. The men were fined about $1000 each.
  • In Israel, the domestic and anti-terrorism intelligence agency Shin Bet, in cooperation with the police, has been tasked to monitor the population’s mobile phones since mid-March in order to track contacts and order house arrest in the context of Covid19. These measures were initially ordered without the consent of Parliament and are due to remain in place until at least the end of April.
  • OffGuardian: The Seven Step Path from Pandemic to Totalitarianism
  • UK Column: Who controls the British Government response to Covid-19?
  • The corona-critical Swiss doctor, who was arrested by a special unit of the Swiss police and sent to a psychiatric clinic (see update of April 15), has meanwhile been released. A report by the magazine Weltwoche revealed that the doctor was arrested on false grounds: there had been no threat to relatives or authorities and there had been no possession of a loaded weapon. Thus, a politically motivated operation seems likely.
  • A Munich local radio station, which interviewed doctors critical of corona in March, was informed by the responsible media supervisory authority after complaints that “such problematic broadcasts must be stopped in the future”.
  • The website kollateral.news of a German specialist lawyer is collecting reports on “suffering due to the lockdown” and on the actual situation in German hospitals.
  • German general practitioners have published an appeal to politics and science in which they call for “a more responsible handling of the corona crisis”.
  • Both in Austria and in Hungary, doctors who have criticised the corona measures are threatened with a ban from their profession.
  • In Nigeria, according to official figures, more people have so far been killed by the police enforcing corona curfews than by the corona virus itself.

April 21, 2020

Medical updates
  • Stanford professor of medicine John Ioannidis explains in a new one-hour interview the results of several new studies on Covid19. According to Professor Ioannidis, the lethality of Covid19 is “in the range of seasonal flu”. For people under 65 years of age, the mortality risk even in the global “hotspots” is comparable to the daily car ride to work, while for healthy people under 65 years of age, the mortality risk is “completely negligible”. Only in New York City was the mortality risk for persons under 65 years of age comparable to a long-distance truck driver.
  • Professor Carl Heneghan, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University, warns in a new article that the damage caused by the lockdown could be greater than that caused by the virus. The peak of the epidemic had already been reached in most countries before the lockdown, Professor Heneghan argues.
  • A new serological study in Los Angeles County found that 28 to 55 times more people had Covid19 than previously assumed (without showing significant symptoms), which reduces the danger of the disease accordingly.
  • In the city of Chelsea near Boston, about one third of 200 blood donors had antibodies against the Covid19 pathogen. Half of them reported having experienced a cold symptom in the last month. In a homeless shelter near Boston, just over a third of the people tested positive, but nobody showed any symptoms.
  • Scotland reports that half of the (stocked up) intensive care beds have remained empty. According to officials, the admission of new patients is “levelling off”.
  • The emergency room in Bergamo’s municipal hospital was completely empty at the beginning of this week for the first time in 45 days. In the meantime, more people with other diseases than “Covid19 patients” are being treated again.
  • A report in the medical magazine Lancet comes to the conclusion that school closures to contain corona viruses have no or only a minimal effect.
  • A nine-year-old French child with corona infection had contact with 172 people, but none of them were infected. This confirms earlier results that corona infection (unlike influenza) is not or hardly ever transmitted by children.
  • The German emeritus microbiology professor Sucharit Bhakdi gave a new one-hour interview on Covid-19. Professor Bhakdi argues that most media have acted “completely irresponsibly” during the Covid-19 epidemic.
  • The German Initiative for Care Ethics criticises blanket bans on visits and painful intensive care treatment of nursing patients: “Even before Corona, around 900 old people in need of care died every day in German homes without being taken to hospital. In fact, palliative treatment, if at all, would be more appropriate for these patients. () According to all we know about Corona so far, there is not a single plausible reason to continue to value infection protection higher than the basic rights of citizens. Lift the inhuman visiting bans!”
  • The oldest woman in the Swiss canton of St. Gallen died last week at the age of 109. She survived the “Spanish flu” of 1918, was not corona-infected and “for her age she was doing very well”. The “corona isolation”, however, had “very much affected her”: “She faded without the daily visits of her family members.”
  • The Swiss cardiologist Dr. Nils Kucher reports that in Switzerland currently about 75% of all additional deaths occur not in hospital but at home. This certainly explains the largely empty Swiss hospitals and intensive care units. It is also already known that about 50% of all additional deaths occur in nursing homes. Dr. Kucher suspects that some of these people die of sudden pulmonary embolism. This is conceivable. Nevertheless, the question arises as to what role the “lockdown” plays in these additional deaths.
  • The Italian health authority ISS warns that Covid19 patients from the Mediterranean region, who often have a genetic metabolic peculiarity called favism, should not be treated with antimalarial drugs such as chloroquine, as this can lead to death. This is a further indication that the wrong or overly aggressive medication can make the disease even worse.
  • Rubicon: 120 expert opinions on Corona. Worldwide, high-ranking scientists, doctors, lawyers and other experts criticize the handling of the corona virus. (German)
Classification of the pandemic

In 2007, the US health authorities defined a five-tier classification for pandemic influenza and counter-measures. The five categories are based on the observed lethality (CFR) of the pandemic, from category 1 (<0.1%) to category 5 (>2%). According to this key, the current corona pandemic would probably be classified in category 2 (0.1% to 0.5%). For this category, only the “voluntary isolation of sick persons” was envisaged as the main measure at the time.

In 2009, however, the WHO deleted severity from its pandemic definition. Since then, in principle, every global wave of influenza can be declared a pandemic, as happened with the very mild “swine flu” of 2009/2010, for which vaccines worth around 18 billion dollars were sold.

The documentary TrustWHO (“Trust who?”), which deals with the dubious role of the WHO in the context of “swine flu”, was recently deleted by VIMEO.

Swiss chief physician Pietro Vernazza: Simple measures are sufficient

In his latest contribution, the Swiss chief physician of infectiology, Pietro Vernazza, uses the results of the German Robert Koch Institute and ETH Zurich to show that the Covid19 epidemic was already under control before the “lockdown” was even introduced:

“These results are explosive: Both studies show that simple measures such as the renunciation of major events and the introduction of hygiene measures are highly effective. The population is able to implement these recommendations well and the measures can almost bring the epidemic to a halt. In any case, the measures are sufficient to protect our health system in such a way that the hospitals are not overburdened”.

Reproduction rate in Switzerland (ETH/Vernazza)
Switzerland: Cumulative total mortality in the normal range

In Switzerland, cumulative total mortality in the first quarter (until April 5) was at the mean expected value and more than 1500 deaths below the upper expected value. Moreover, by the middle of April the total mortality rate was still more than 2000 deaths below the comparative value from the severe flu season of 2015 (see figure below).

Cumulative mortality compared to medium expected value 2010 to 2020 (BFS)
Sweden: Epidemic ending even without lockdown

The latest figures on patients and deaths show that the epidemic is coming to an end in Sweden. In Sweden, as in most other countries, excess mortality occurred mainly in nursing homes that were not protected well enough, the chief epidemiologist explained.

Compared to other countries, the Swedish population may now benefit from higher immunity to the Covid19 virus, which could better protect them from a possible “second wave” next winter.

It can be assumed that by the end of 2020, Covid19 will not be visible in the Swedish overall mortality. The Swedish example shows that “lockdowns” were medically unnecessary or even counterproductive as well as socially and economically devastating.

Video: Why lockdowns are the wrong policy – Swedish expert Professor Johan Giesecke

Test-positive deaths in Sweden (FOHM/Wikipedia; values may still change somewhat)
Anecdotes vs. evidence

In the face of a lack of scientific evidence, some media increasingly rely on gruesome anecdotes in order to maintain fear in the population. A typical example are “healthy children” who allegedly died of Covid19, but who later often turn out not to have died of Covid19, or who were seriously ill.

Austrian media recently reported about some divers who, six weeks after a Covid19 disease with lung involvement, still showed reduced performance and conspicuous imaging. One section speaks of “irreversible damage”, the next explains that this is “unclear and speculative”. It is not mentioned that divers should generally take a 6 to 12 month break after serious pneumonia.

Neurological effects such as the temporary loss of the sense of smell or taste are also often mentioned. Here too, it is usually not explained that this is a well-known effect of cold and flu viruses, and Covid19 is rather mild in this respect.

In other reports, possible effects on various organs such as kidneys, liver or brain are highlighted, without mentioning that many of the patients affected were already very old and had severe chronic pre-existing conditions.

Political updates
  • WOZ: When fear rules. “With drones, apps and demo bans: In the wake of the Corona crisis, fundamental freedoms are being eroded. If we don’t watch out, they will remain so even after the lockdown – but the extreme situation also offers reason for hope.” (German)
  • Multipolar: What is the agenda? “The government praises itself, spreads slogans of perseverance and at the same time slows down the collection of basic data that would allow the reliable measurement of the spread and danger of the virus. In contrast, the authorities are acting quickly and decisively in expanding questionable instruments, such as new “corona apps” for collective pulse measurement and contact tracing”. (German)
  • Professor Christian Piska, expert for public law and legal tech in Vienna: “Austria has changed. Very much so, even if most people seem to just accept it. Step by step, whether the economy is booming or not, we are suddenly living with police-state conditions and severe restrictions on our basic and human rights, which would be a perfect match for dictatorial regimes. () This is Pandora’s box, which once opened, may never be closed again.” (German)
  • More than 300 scientists from 26 countries warn of “unprecedented surveillance of society” by corona apps violating data protection. Several scientists and universities have already withdrawn from the European contact tracing project PEPP-PT due to a lack of transparency. Recently it became known that the Swiss company AGT is involved in the project, which had previously set up mass surveillance systems for Arab states.
  • In Israel, about 5000 people (with a distance of 2m each) demonstrated against the measures of the Netanyahu government: “They talk about an exponential increase of  corona cases, but the only thing that increases exponentially are the people who stand up to protect our country and our democracy”.
  • Madrid-based Irish journalist Jason O’Toole describes the situation in Spain: “With the military visible on the streets of Spain it’s hard not to describe the situation as martial law in all but name. George Orwell’s Big Brother is alive and well here, with the Spanish police monitoring everybody using CCTV or by flying drones overhead. A staggering 650,000 people were fined and 5,568 arrested during the first four weeks alone. () I was shocked when I watched one video clip of a cop using heavy force to arrest a mentally ill young man who was apparently just walking home with bread.”
  • OffGuardian: The disturbing developments in UK policing.
  • In a new article, US investigative journalist Whitney Webb writes on “How The US National Security State Is Using Coronavirus To Fulfill An Orwellian Vision”: “Last year, a government commission called for the US to adopt an AI-driven mass surveillance system far beyond that used in any other country in order to ensure American hegemony in artificial intelligence. Now, many of the “obstacles” they had cited as preventing its implementation are rapidly being removed under the guise of combating the coronavirus crisis.”
  • In a previous article, Whitney Webb already dealt with the central role of the “Center for Health Security” at Johns Hopkins University in the current pandemic management as well as its role in previous pandemic and bioweapons simulations and its close links to the US security apparatus.
  • The idea of using a pandemic to expand global surveillance and control instruments is not new. As early as 2010, the American Rockefeller Foundation described a “lock step scenario” in a working paper on future technological and social developments, in which current developments are anticipated with impressive accuracy (pages 18ff).
  • “The truth about Fauci”: In a new interview, US virologist Dr. Judy Mikovits talks about her experiences with Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is currently playing a major role in shaping the US government’s Covid19 measures.
  • Aid organisations warn that “far more people” will die from the economic consequences of the measures than from Covid-19 itself. Forecasts now predict that 35 to 65 million people will fall into absolute poverty, and many of them are threatened with starvation.
  • In Germany, 2.35 million people are predicted to be on short-time working in 2020, more than twice as many as after the financial crisis of 2008/2009.
People on short-time working in Germany (BfA)

April 18, 2020

Medical updates
  • A new serological study by Stanford University found antibodies in 50 to 85 times more people than previously thought in Santa Clara County, California, resulting in a Covid-19 lethality of 0.12% to 0.2% or even lower (i.e. in the range of severe influenza). Professor John Ioannidis explains the study in a new video.
  • In a new analysis, the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) at the University of Oxford argues that the lethality of covid19 (IFR) is between 0.1% and 0.36% (i.e. in the range of a severe influenza). In people over 70 years of age with no serious preconditions, the mortality rate is expected to be less than 1%. For people over 80 years of age, the mortality rate is between 3% and 15%, depending on whether deaths so far were mainly with or from by the disease. In contrast to influenza, child mortality is close to zero. With regard to the high mortality rate in Northern Italy, the research group points out that Italy has the highest antibiotic resistance in Europe. In fact, data from the Italian authorities show that around 80% of the deceased were treated with antibiotics, indicating bacterial superinfections.
  • The Finnish epidemiology professor Mikko Paunio from the University of Helsinki has evaluated several international studies in a working paper and comes to a Covid19 lethality (IFR) of 0.1% or less (i.e. in the area of seasonal influenza). According to Paunio, the impression of a higher lethality was created because the virus spread very quickly, especially in multi-generation households in Italy and Spain, but also in cities like New York. The “lockdown” measures had come too late and had not been effective.
  • UK: London’s temporary Nightingale hospital has remained largely empty, with just 19 patients being treated at the facility over the Easter weekend. London’s established hospitals have doubled their ICU capacity, and are so far coping with surge.
  • In Canada, 31 people died in a nursing home after “almost all nursing staff had left the facility in a hurry for fear of the corona virus spreading. Health authorities found the people in the home in Dorval near Montreal only days later – many of the survivors were dehydrated, malnourished and apathetic.” Similar tragedies were already reported from northern Italy, where Eastern European nurses left the country in a hurry when panic broke out and lockdown measures were announced.
  • A Scottish doctor who also looks after nursing homes writes: “What was the government strategy for nursing homes? The actions taken so far have made the situation much, much worse.”
  • In Switzerland, despite Covid19, total mortality in the first quarter of 2020 (until 5th April) was in the medium normal range. One reason for this could be the mild flu season due to the mild winter, which has now been partially “offset” by Covid19.
  • According to a report from April 14, Swiss hospitals and even intensive care units continue to be very under-utilized. This again raises the question of where and how exactly the test-positive deaths (average age 84) in Switzerland actually occur.
  • The President of the German Hospital Association has sounded the alarm: more than 50 percent of all planned operations throughout Germany have been cancelled, and the “operations backlog” is running into thousands. In addition, 30 to 40% fewer patients with heart attacks and strokes are treated because they no longer dare to go to the hospitals for fear of corona. There were 150,000 free hospital beds and 10,000 free intensive care beds nationwide. In Berlin, only 68 intensive care beds are occupied by corona patients, the emergency clinic with 1000 beds is currently not in use.
  • New data of German authorities show that in Germany, too, the reproduction rate of Covid19 had already fallen below the critical value of 1 before the lockdown. General hygiene measures were therefore sufficient to prevent the exponential spread. This had already been shown by the ETH Zurich for Switzerland as well.
  • On a French aircraft carrier 1081 soldiers tested positive. So far, almost 50% of them remained symptom-free and about 50% showed mild symptoms. 24 soldiers were hospitalized, one of them is in intensive care (previous illnesses unknown).
  • Leading German virologist Christian Drosten thinks it is possible that some people have already built up an effective so-called background immunity against the new corona virus through contact with normal common cold corona viruses.
  • Klaus Püschsel, a forensic doctor from Hamburg who has already examined numerous test positive deceased, explains in a new article: “The numbers do not justify the fear of corona”. His findings: “Corona is a relatively harmless viral disease. We have to deal with the fact that Corona is a normal infection and we have to learn to live with it without quarantine”. The fatalities he examined would all have had such serious pre-existing conditions that, “even if that sounds harsh, they would all have died in the course of this year. Püschel adds: “The time of the virologists is over. We should now ask others what is the right thing to do in the corona crisis, for example the intensive care doctors.”
  • A review on Medscape shows that common cold infections caused by coronaviruses typically decline at the end of April – with or without a lockdown.
  • Swiss magazine Infosperber writes: “Fewer corona cases? Just test less!” The daily number of “new cases” reported says little about the state of the epidemic. It was reckless to trigger fear with the curve of cumulative test-positive deaths, they argue.
  • OffGuardian: Eight more experts questioning the coronavirus panic.
  • Video: Why lockdowns are the wrong policy – Swedish expert Prof. Johan Giesecke Swedish epidemiology professor Johan Giesecke speaks of a “tsunami of a mild disease” and considers lockdowns to be counterproductive. The most important thing, he says, is to provide efficient protection for risk groups, especially nursing homes.
Reproduction number in Germany. Lockdown since March 22. Ban on events with more than 1000 people since March 9 (RKI).
Ventilation with Covid19

Other experts in Europe and the USA have expressed their opinion on the treatment of critical Covid19 patients and strongly advise against invasive ventilation (intubation). Covid19 patients do not suffer from acute respiratory failure (ARDS), but from oxygen deficiency, possibly caused by an oxygen diffusion problem triggered by the virus or the immune response to it.

Political updates

April 16, 2020

  • The London Times reports that up to 50% of current British excess mortality might not be caused by the coronavirus, but by the effects of the lockdown and general panic. This amounts to up to 3000 deaths per week. In fact, this figure could be even higher, as the British Covid19 definition also includes deaths with (rather than from) coronavirus as well as “suspected cases”. In addition, around 50% of “corona deaths” involve nursing homes, which are not protected any better by a general lockdown.
  • In Denmark, the lockdown is now regretted: “We should never have pressed the stop button. The Danish health care system had the situation under control. The total lockdown was a step too far,” argues Professor Jens Otto Lunde Jørgensen of Aarhus University Hospital. Denmark is currently ramping up school operations again.
  • Yale professor David Katz, who warned early on of the negative consequences of a lockdown, gave a detailed one-hour interview on the current situation.
  • German virologist Hendrik Streeck explains that no “smear infections” in supermarkets, restaurants or hairdressing salons have been detected so far.
  • New antibody data from the Italian community of Robbio in Lombardy shows that about ten times more people had the corona virus than originally thought, as they developed no or only mild symptoms. The actual immunization rate is 22%.
  • New data from the Swiss Canton of Zurich shows that about 50% of all Covid19-related deaths occurred in retirement or nursing homes. Nevertheless, even there about 40% of all test-positive people showed no symptoms. The median age of test-positive deaths in Switzerland is currently about 84 years.
  • Pietro Vernazza, the Swiss chief physician for infectiology, comments on the “live with the virus” strategy and recommends, among other things, individually optimised protection of persons at risk. The immunity of the general population is also a protection for people at risk, he says.
  • The new British website Lockdown Skeptics reports critically on Covid19, the measures taken and the general media coverage.
  • The Austrian civil society “Initiative for evidence-based corona information” provides an overview of studies and analyses on the new corona virus
  • Documentary: “The WHO – In the grip of the lobbyists” (ARTE, 2017, German)

April 15, 2020

Medical updates
  • In the British Telegraph, Professor Alexander Kekulé, one of Germany’s leading microbiologists and epidemiologists, calls for an end to the lockdown as it causes more damage than the virus itself. In people under 50 years of age, severe disease or death are “very, very unlikely”. The general population should develop rapid immunity, while risk groups should be protected. One cannot wait for a vaccine, which will take at least six to twelve months, but must find a way to live with the virus, Professor Kekulé said.
  • The German Network for Evidence-Based Medicine reports that the lethality of a severe seasonal influenza (flu) such as 2017/2018 is estimated by the German Robert Koch Institute to be 0.4% to 0.5%, and not only 0.1% as previously assumed. This would mean that the lethality of Covid19 could even be lower than that of a strong seasonal influenza, even though it may spread faster.
  • The Luxembourger Tageblatt reports that Sweden’s “relaxed strategy on Covid19 seems to work”. Despite minimal measures, the situation seems to be “clearly calming down at the moment”. A huge field hospital that was set up near Stockholm remains closed due to lack of demand. The number of patients in intensive care units remains constant at a low level or is even slightly declining. “There are many vacancies in intensive care units in all Stockholm hospitals. We are approaching the flattening of the illness curve,” explained a senior physician at the Karolinska Klinik. So far there have been about 900 deaths with Covid19 in Sweden.
  • A direct comparison between the UK (with lockdown) and Sweden (without lockdown) shows that the two countries are almost identical in terms of case numbers and deaths per population.
  • A letter to the New England Journal of Medicine reports that in a study of pregnant women, 88% of test-positive women showed no symptoms – a very high figure, but one that is consistent with earlier reports from China and Iceland.
  • Professor Dan Yamin, director of the Epidemiology Research Laboratory at Tel Aviv University, explains in an interview that the new corona virus is “hardly dangerous” for a large part of the population and that rapid natural immunity must be the goal. The money is better spent on extending a clinic than on paying for damages due to the lockdown, he said.
  • The president of the Israeli National Research Council, Professor Isaac Ben-Israel, argues that according to current findings, the corona epidemic is over in most countries after about 8 weeks, regardless of the measures taken. He therefore recommends to lift the “lockdown” immediately.
  • The British statistics professor David Spiegelhalter shows that the risk of death from Covid19 corresponds roughly to normal mortality and is visibly increased only for the age group between approx. 70 and 80 years (see the graph at the end of the linked article).
  • Professor Karin Moelling, emeritus director of the Institute of Virology at the University of Zurich and an early critic of excessive measures, stresses in a new interview the role of local special factors such as air pollution and population density.
  • The British Guardian pointed out in 2015 that extreme air pollution in Chinese cities kills 4000 people per day. This is more than China has so far reported in total Covid19 deaths.
  • The German virologist Hendrik Streeck has defended himself against criticism of his pilot study. Streeck found a lethality (based on cases) of 0.37% and a mortality (based on population) of 0.06%, which corresponds to a strong seasonal flu.
  • Austrian internal medicine specialists warn of “collateral damage”: Due to the coronavirus, control and operation dates are postponed and fewer patients with heart attack symptoms come to the hospitals.
  • A Swiss biophysicist has for the first time graphically depicted the rate of positive Covid19 tests in Switzerland since early March. The result shows that the positive rate oscillates between about 10% and 25% and that the “lockdown” has had no significant influence (see graph below). Interestingly, Swiss authorities and media have never shown this graph.
  • A Swiss researcher has analysed the latest Covid19 report of the Federal Office of Public Health and again comes to a critical assessment: “The situation report is unsuitable for politicians and competent decision making, is highly unspecific, incomplete and lacking in informative value”.
  • In a new article, the Swiss chief physician for infectiology, Dr. Pietro Vernazza, explains that the alleged lack of immunity formation in Covid19 is a matter of “rare individual cases or even just clues”, which “on closer inspection do not pose a problem”, but which are “exaggerated and hastily dished up as shocking news” by some media.
  • In France, there are more and more reports of suicides out of fear of the coronavirus or out of fear of having infected someone with the coronavirus.
  • The new French site Covid Infos critically examines Covid19 and media reporting.
Swiss positive test rate before and during lockdown (FS)
US and UK
  • On the US warship Theodore Roosevelt, 600 sailors tested positive for Covid19, and a first sailor has since died from or with Covid19. The warship will be a very important “case study” for the impact on the healthy general population below 65.
  • The emeritus British professor of pathology, Dr John Lee, argues that a robust and evidence-based debate is needed to avoid “big mistakes”. Many of the figures used by governments and the media have not been reliable, he says.
  • In the UK, 40% of hospital beds are currently unoccupied, four times more than usual. The reason for this is the sharp decline in general patient admissions. Intensive care beds, whose capacity has been increased, are on average 78% occupied. In addition, 10% of nurses are in quarantine.
  • The temporary corona hospitals of the US military near New York are “largely empty” so far. The hospitalization rate in New York was overestimated by a factor of seven.
  • A US study comes to the conclusion that the new corona virus has already spread much further than originally assumed, but causes no or only mild symptoms in most people, so that the lethality rate could be as low as 0.1%, which is roughly equivalent to seasonal flu. However, due to the fact that the disease is more easily transmitted, the cases of the disease in New York, for example, occurred in a shorter time than usual.
  • In a new document on the treatment of Covid19 patients, the chief of pneumology and intensive care at Eastern Virginia Medical School states: “It is important to recognize that COVID-19 does not cause your “typical ARDS” (lung failure) … this disease must be treated differently and it is likely we are exacerbating this situation by causing ventilator induced lung injury.”
  • In the US, a governor claimed an infant died “of Covid” as the world’s youngest victim. Family acquaintances, however, stated that the infant had suffocated in a tragic accident at home and subsequently tested positive in hospital. The responsible coroner did not declare a Covid death.
  • A doctor from the US state of Montana explained in a speech how death certificates for suspected Covid19 cases are being manipulated due to new guidelines.
Nursing homes
  • An analysis of data from five European countries shows that residents of nursing homes have so far accounted for between 42% and 57% of all “Covid19 deaths”. At the same time, three US studies show that up to 50% of all test positive nursing home residents did not (yet) show symptoms at the time of testing. Two conclusions can be drawn from this: On the one hand, the danger of the new coronavirus – as already suspected – seems to be concentrated on a small, very vulnerable population group that needs even better protection. On the other hand, it is conceivable that some of these people may not die, or not only die from the coronavirus, but also from the extreme stress associated with the current situation. Recent reports from Germany and Italy have already mentioned nursing home residents who died suddenly without symptoms.
  • A German palliative physician argues in a recent interview that in the treatment of Covid19 patients “very wrong priorities were set and all ethical principles were violated”. There is a “very one-sided orientation towards intensive care”, although “the balance between benefit and harm” is often not good. A new diagnosis (i.e. Covid19) would turn elderly patients who in the past had mostly been treated palliatively into intensive care patients and subject them to a painful but often hopeless treatment (i.e. artificial respiration). The treatment should always be based on the actual will of the patient, the specialist argued.
Covid19 deaths in nursing homes (LTC Covid)
Political developments
  • In Germany, a medical lawyer who filed a complaint against the corona measures with the Federal Constitutional Court and called for demonstrations, was arrested and sent to a prison psychiatric ward for two days. The public prosecutor is investigating for “public provocation to commit crimes”. Another lawyer asks in an open letter to the German Federal Chamber of Lawyers: “Lawyers sent to psychiatric hospital for protest? Is it that time again in Germany?”
  • In Switzerland, a “corona critical” doctor was arrested by a special police unit for alleged “threats against relatives and authorities” and sent to a psychiatric clinic. The family has since declared that there were no threats against relatives. The doctor also stated that he was not accused of “threats against authorities” during the interrogation. The police justified the deployment of the special unit by assuming that the doctor was in possession of a weapon – but this was the usual Swiss medical army pistol without ammunition. The transfer of the doctor to a psychiatric clinic was justified on the grounds of an alleged “incapacity to serve in prison” (as is the case of nursing patients) – this, too, may be seen as a pretext. Based on the current state of knowledge, it is therefore possible that the measure was indeed politically motivated. Former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has already drawn attention to the Swiss case.
  • Italy is now using European satellite data to monitor the population during lockdown.
  • The British police smashed in a resident’s door looking for “social gatherings”.
  • German constitutional law expert Professor Oliver Lepsius: “On the decline of fundamental rights in the corona pandemic”.

April 12, 2020

New studies
  • Stanford professor of medicine John Ioannidis concludes in a new study that the risk of death from Covid19 for people under 65 years of age, even in global “hotspots”, is equivalent to the risk of a fatal car accident for daily commuters driving between 9 and 400 miles.
  • In a serological pilot study, German virologist Hendrick Streeck comes to the interim result that the lethality of Covid19 is at 0.37% and the mortality (based on the total population) at 0.06%. These values are about ten times lower than those of the WHO and about five times lower than those of Johns Hopkins University.
  • A Danish study with 1500 blood donors found that the lethality of Covid19 is only 1.6 per thousand, i.e. more than 20 times lower than originally assumed by the WHO and thus in the range of a strong (pandemic) influenza. At the same time Denmark has decided to reopen schools and kindergartens next week.
  • A serological study in the US state of Colorado comes to the preliminary conclusion that the lethality of Covid19 has been overestimated by a factor of 5 to a factor of 20 and is likely to be in the range between normal and pandemic influenza.
  • A study conducted by the Medical University of Vienna concluded that the age and risk profile of Covid19 deaths is similar to normal mortality.
  • A study in the Journal of Medical Virology concludes that the internationally used coronavirus test is unreliable: In addition to the already known problem of false positive results, there is also a “potentially high” rate of false negative results, i.e. the test does not respond even in symptomatic individuals, while in other patients it does respond once  and then again not. This makes it more difficult to exclude other flu-like illnesses.
  • A Swiss biophysicist has for the first time evaluated and graphically displayed the rate of positive tests in the US, France, Germany and Switzerland. The result shows that the positive rate in these countries is increasing rather slowly and not exponentially.
  • Dr. Daniel Jeanmonod, emeritus Swiss professor of physiology and neurosurgery, recommends in an analysis: “Think deep, do good science, and do not panic!
  • US researchers conclude that local air pollution greatly increases the risk of death from Covid19. This confirms earlier studies from Italy and China.
  • The WHO concluded at the end of March that, contrary to earlier assumptions, Covid19 is not transmitted by aerosols (“through the air”). Transmission mainly takes place through direct contact or by droplet infection (coughing, sneezing).
  • The German-American epidemiology professor Knut Wittkowski argues in a new interview that the Covid19 epidemic is already declining or even “already over” in many countries. The curfews had come too late and had been counterproductive, Wittkowski argues.
European Mortality Monitoring

European mortality monitoring now shows a clear projected excess mortality in the over-65 age group in several European countries. In some countries, however, including Germany and Austria, mortality in this age group is still in the normal range (or even below).

The question remains open as to whether the partially increased mortality is due to the coronavirus alone or also due to the sometimes drastic measures taken (e.g. isolation, stress, cancelled operations, etc.), and whether mortality will still be increased in the annual view.

Among the age groups under 65 years, so far only in England there is a projected increase in mortality beyond earlier waves of influenza. The median age of test-positive deceased is 80 in Italy, 83 in Germany and 84 in Switzerland.

Switzerland
  • According to the latest report of the Federal Office of Public Health, the median age of test-positive deceased is now 84 years. The number of hospitalised patients remains constant.
  • A study by ETH Zurich found that the infection rate in Switzerland fell to a stable value of 1 several days before the “lockdown”, presumably due to general hygiene and everyday measures. If this result is correct, it would fundamentally question the sense of a “lockdown”. (About the study)
  • The Swiss magazine Infosperber criticizes the information policy of authorities and the media: “Instead of informing, authorities conduct a PR campaign“. Misleading figures and graphics are used to spread at least partly unjustified fear.
  • The Swiss consumer protection magazine Ktipp also criticises the information policy and media reporting: “Authorities provide misleading information“.
  • A Swiss researcher has analysed the latest Covid19 report of the Federal Office of Public Health and comes to a very critical conclusion: the report is “scientifically unbalanced, patronising and misleading”. In consideration of the facts, the measures taken by authorities are “irresponsible and inducing fear”.
  • In an open letter to the Swiss Minister of Health, Swiss doctors speak of a “discrepancy between the threat scenario, which has been fuelled above all by the media, and our reality. The Covid19 cases observed in the general population were few and mostly mild, but “anxiety disorders and panic attacks” are on the increase in the population and many patients no longer dare to come to important examination appointments. “And this in connection with a virus whose dangerous­ness, according to our perception, exists in Switzerland only in the media and in our heads.”
  • Due to the very low patient workload, several clinics in Switzerland and Germany have now had to announce short-time work. The decrease in patients is up to 80%.
  • The Swiss physician Dr. Paul Robert Vogt has written a highly shared article on Covid19. He criticizes a “sensationalistic press”, but also warns that this is not an “ordinary flu”. However, the physician is wrong in some points: lethality rate and median age are very much key variables, differentiation between with/by coronavirus is essential, respiratory masks and respirators are unsuitable in many cases (see below), and curfews are a questionable and possibly counterproductive measure.
Germany and Austria
  • In a new paper, German health experts criticise the crisis policy of the Federal Government. They speak of long-term damage to the population caused by the partial shutdown. The figures published by the RKI were “only of limited significance”.
  • In a statement, the Federal Association of German Pathologists demands that there must be autopsies of “corona deaths” (in order to determine the true cause of death) and thus explicitly contradicts “the recommendation of the Robert Koch Institute”, which spoke out against autopsies, allegedly because they were too dangerous.
  • Dr. Martin Sprenger resigned his position in the Corona Expert Council of the Austrian Ministry of Health in order to “regain his civil and scientific freedom of opinion”. Dr. Sprenger previously criticized, among other things, that the government did not sufficiently differentiate the risk of the virus for different population groups and took too sweeping measures: “We must be careful that the loss of healthy life years due to inadequate care for other acute and chronic diseases is not a factor of 10 times higher than the loss of healthy life years caused by COVID-19”.
  • In a German nursing home, an 84-year-old man tested positive for Covid19, after which the entire home was quarantined and mass tests were conducted. The initial test result later turned out to be false, however.
Scandinavia
  • The Norwegian Medical Association writes in an open letter to the Minister of Health that they are concerned that the measures taken could be more dangerous than the virus, as normal patients are no longer being examined and treated.
  • A Swedish author explains in the British Spectator: “It is not Sweden that is conducting a mass experiment. It is all other countries that are doing it.”
  • Professor Ansgar Lohse, Director at the Hamburg University Hospital, explains in an interview: “In my opinion, the Swedish measures are the most rational in the world. Of course, the question arises whether this can be kept up psychologically. Initially, the Swedes have to reckon with significantly more deaths, but in the medium to long term these will then be significantly reduced. The bill will be paid in a year – if the Swedes can hold out. Unfortunately, the fear of the virus often forces politicians to take actions that are not necessarily reasonable. Politics is driven also by the images in the media.”
  • According to Swedish chief epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, Stockholm may now have  reached a “plateau” with regard to Covid infections. (More news about Sweden)
US and Asia
  • In the US, the authorities now also recommend that all test-positive deaths and even suspect cases without a positive test result be registered as “Covid deaths”. An American physician and state senator from Minnesota declared that this was tantamount to manipulation. Furthermore, there would be financial incentives for hospitals to declare patients as Covid19 patients. (Some humour on this topic).
  • A Covid19 field hospital near Seattle in Washington State was closed after only three days without admitting any patients. This is reminiscent of the hospitals built at short notice near Wuhan, which were also mostly under-utilized or even empty and were then dismantled after a short time.
  • Numerous media reported on alleged “corona mass graves” on Hart Island near New York. These reports are misleading in two respects: firstly, Hart Island has long been one of the best-known “cemeteries of the poor” in the US, and secondly the mayor of New York declared that no mass graves are planned, but that “unclaimed” deceased (i.e. without relatives) are to be buried on Hart Island.
  • One of the leading Indian epidemiologists said that “We cannot run away to the moon“. He recommends the rapid development of a natural immunity in the population.
Northern Italy

Regarding northern Italy, several potential risk factors have recently been discussed.

It is true that two major vaccination campaigns against influenza and meningococcus were carried out in Lombardy in the months immediately preceding the outbreak of Covid19, notably in the later hotspots of Bergamo and Brescia. Although it is theoretically possible that such vaccinations could interact with coronavirus infections, such a possibility has not been established at present.

It is also true that a high asbestos exposure was present in northern Italy in the past, which increases the risk of cancerous lung disease. But here again, there is no direct connection with Covid19.

Nevertheless, in general it is true that the lung health of the population in northern Italy has been affected for a long time by high levels of air pollution and other detrimental factors, making it particularly susceptible to respiratory diseases.

Winter smog (NO2) in Northern Italy in February 2020 (ESA)
Swiss chief physician Pietro Vernazza

The Swiss chief physician of Infectiology, Professor Pietro Vernazza, has published four new articles on studies concerning Covid19.

  • The first article is about the fact that there has never been medical evidence for the efficacy of school closures, as children in general do not develop the Covid disease nor are they among the vectors of the virus (unlike with influenza).
  • The second article is about the fact that respiratory masks generally have no detectable effect, with one exception: sick people with symptoms (notably coughing) can reduce the spread of the virus. Otherwise the masks are rather symbolic or a “media hype”.
  • The third article deals with the question of mass testing. The conclusion of Professor Vernazza: “Anyone who has symptoms of a respiratory disease stays at home. The same applies to the flu. There is no added value in testing.”
  • The fourth article deals with the Covid19 risk groups. According to current knowledge, these include people with high blood pressure – it is suspected that the Covid19 virus uses cell receptors that are also responsible for regulating blood pressure. However, surprisingly, people with immunodeficiency and pregnant women (who naturally have a reduced immune system) are not at risk. On the contrary, the risk of Covid19 is often an overreaction of the immune system.
Intensive vs. palliative care

A German palliative physician explains in an interview that Covid19 is “not an intensive care disease”, as the severely affected people are typically people of old age who have multiple pre-existing conditions. When these people get pneumonia, they “have always been given palliative care (i.e. accompanying death)”. With a Covid19 diagnosis, however, this would now become an intensive care case, but “of course the patients still cannot be saved”.

The expert describes the current actions of many decision-makers as “panic mode”. At present, intensive care beds in Germany are still relatively empty. Respirators are free. For financial reasons, hospital managers may soon come up with the idea of admitting elderly people. “In 14 days, the wards will be full of unsalvageable, multimorbid old people. And once they are on the machines, the question arises as to who will switch them off again, as that would be a homicide.” An “ethical catastrophe” from greed may ensue, warns the physician.

Ventilation with Covid19

There has been and still is a worldwide rush for ventilators for Covid19 patients. This site was one of the first in the world to draw attention to the fact that invasive ventilation (intubation) may be counterproductive in many cases and may cause additional harm to patients.

Invasive ventilation was originally recommended because low oxygen levels led to the false conclusion of acute respiratory (lung) failure, and there was a fear that with more gentle, non-invasive techniques the virus could spread through aerosols.

In the meantime, several leading pulmonologists and intensive care physicians from the US and Europe have spoken out against invasive ventilation and recommend more gentle methods or indeed oxygen therapy, as already successfully used by South Korea.

Political developments
  • NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warns in a new interview that governments are using the coronavirus to build an “architecture of oppression“.
  • Apple and Google have announced that they will work with national authorities to incorporate a so-called “contact tracing” into their mobile operating systems, which will allow authorities to monitor contacts within the population.
  • German constitutional law expert Uwe Volkmann said on ARD that he knows “nobody” among his colleagues who considers the Corona measures to be in conformity with the constitution.
  • The Italian government has set up a “task force” to “eliminate” false reports about Covid on the Internet. However, freedom of expression remains “untouched”, it was said.
  • France has extended, due to Covid, the permitted pre-trial detention and suspended the examination by a judge. Complaints by lawyers’ associations were rejected.
  • Denmark introduced “unprecedentedly tough emergency laws” at the beginning of April: “The health authorities can now order compulsory tests, compulsory vaccinations and compulsory treatment, and use the military and private security services in addition to the police to enforce their orders.”
  • The police in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia are testing drones in “corona missions”, specifically to search for prohibited groups of people.
  • The German state of Saxony wants to put quarantine objectors in psychiatric hospitals.
  • A Swiss doctor critical of corona measures has been arrested and sent to psychiatry for “making threats against authorities and relatives”, the Swiss police said.
  • In Germany, an attorney in medical law has filed a constitutional complaint against the Corona measures and published an open letter on the subject, in which she warns against slipping into a police state and called for demonstrations. The public prosecutor’s office and the police then started investigations against the lawyer for “calling for a criminal offence”, and the lawyer’s website was temporarily shut down. The constitutional complaint has since been rejected.
  • In Austria, too, several lawyers have now lodged complaints against the Corona measures with the Constitutional Court. The lawyers argue that fundamental rights and separation of powers have been violated by the measures.
  • The mayor of Los Angeles promised a reward for “snitches” who report their neighbours to the authorities if they violate the curfews.
  • In the US, more than 16 million people are already unemployed due to the lockdown, which is about 10% of the working population. According to the International Labor Organization, 80% of the world’s 3.3 billion workers are currently affected by the measures, and 1.25 billion workers could be affected by “drastic or catastrophic” consequences.
Weekly new unemployment claims in the US.

April 7, 2020

  • The latest figures from a special report by the German Robert Koch Institute show that the so-called positive rate (i.e. the number of test positives per number of tests) is increasing much more slowly than the exponential curves shown by the media and was only around 10% at the end of March, a value that is rather typical for corona viruses. According to the magazine Multipolar, there can therefore be “no question of a dangerously rapid spread of the virus”.
  • Professor Klaus Püschel, head of forensic medicine in Hamburg, explains about Covid19: “This virus influences our lives in a completely excessive way. This is disproportionate to the danger posed by the virus. And the astronomical economic damage now being caused is not commensurate with the danger posed by the virus. I am convinced that the Corona mortality rate will not even show up as a peak in annual mortality.” In Hamburg, for example, “not a single person who was not previously ill” had died of the virus: “All those we have examined so far had cancer, a chronic lung disease, were heavy smokers or severely obese, suffered from diabetes or had a cardiovascular disease. The virus was the last straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. “Covid-19 is a fatal disease only in exceptional cases, but in most cases it is a predominantly harmless viral infection.”
    In addition, Dr. Püschel explains: “In quite a few cases, we have also found that the current corona infection has nothing whatsoever to do with the fatal outcome because other causes of death are present, for example a brain haemorrhage or a heart attack. Corona in itself is a “not particularly dangerous viral disease”, says the forensic scientist. He pleads for statistics based on concrete examination results. “All speculations about individual deaths that have not been expertly examined only fuel anxiety.” Contrary to the guidelines of the Robert Koch Institute, Hamburg had recently started to differentiate between deaths “with the” and “by the” coronavirus, which led to a decrease in Covid19 deaths.
  • The German virologist Hendrik Streeck is currently conducting a pilot study to determine the distribution and transmission routes of the Covid19 pathogen. In an interview he explains: “I took a closer look at the cases of 31 of the 40 people who died in the Heinsberg district – and was not very surprised that these people died. One of the deceased was older than 100 years, so even a common cold could have led to death.” Contrary to original assumptions, Streeck has not been able to prove transmission via door handles and the like (i.e. so-called smear infections).
  • The first Swiss hospitals have to announce short-time work due to the very low capacity utilization: “The staff in all departments has too little to do and has reduced overtime in a first step. Now short-time work is also being registered. The financial consequences are severe.” As a reminder, a study by ETH Zurich based on largely unrealistic assumptions predicted the first bottlenecks in Swiss clinics by April 2. So far this has not happened anywhere.
  • In Switzerland, there was a pronounced wave of influenza at the beginning of 2017. At that time, there were almost 1500 additional deaths in the over 65-year-old population in the first six weeks of the year. Normally, around 1300 people die in Switzerland every year as a result of pneumonia, 95% of whom are over 65 years old. By comparison, a total of 762 deaths with (not caused by) Covid19 are currently reported in Switzerland.
  • The managing director of a German environmental laboratory suspects that the inhabitants of the northern Italian region of Lombardy are particularly susceptible to viral infections such as Covid19 due to a notoriously high legionella contamination: “If the lungs are weakened by a viral infection, as in the current situation, bacteria have an easy job, can negatively influence the course of the disease and cause complications.” In Lombardy, regional pneumonia outbreaks had already occurred in the past due to evaporation cooling systems contaminated with legionella.
  • On the basis of information from China, medical protocols have been defined worldwide that rapidly provide invasive artificial respiration by intubation for test-positive intensive care patients. On the one hand, the protocols assume that a more gentle non-invasive ventilation through a mask is too weak, on the other hand there is the fear that the “dangerous virus” could otherwise spread through aerosols. As early as March, however, German physicians pointed out that intubation can lead to additional lung damage and has an overall poor chance of success. In the meantime, US physicians have also come forward who describe intubation as “more harm than good” for patients. Patients often do not suffer from acute lung failure, but rather from a kind of altitude sickness, which is made worse by artificial respiration with increased pressure. In February, South Korean physicians reported that critical Covid19 patients respond well to oxygen therapy without a ventilator. The US physician mentioned above warns that the use of ventilators must be urgently reconsidered in order not to cause additional damage.
  • The official US Covid19 projections so far have overestimated hospitalisations by a factor of 8, ICU beds needed by a factor of 6.4, and ventilators needed by a factor of 40.5.
  • Renowned US statistician Nate Silver explains why “coronavirus case counts are meaningless“, unless you know more about the number and way of testing.
Further notes
  • The website of Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, one of the earliest and internationally best known critics of the Covid19 panic, was deleted for a few hours today by the German provider Jimdo and only went online again after strong protests. It is not known whether the temporary deletion was due to general complaints or a political instruction.
  • The university email address of emeritus professor Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, who wrote an Open Letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel, was deactivated earlier, but was also reactivated after protests.
  • On April 2, the Danish Parliament adopted a new law that allows the authorities to block “fraudulent” websites on Covid19 without an initial court order and to impose a higher penalty on the operators. It is still unclear what this means for generally critical websites about Covid19 and government policy in this regard.
  • The German author and journalist Harald Wiesendanger writes in an article that his profession is completely failing in the current crisis: “How a profession that is supposed to control the powerful as an independent, critical, impartial Fourth Estate can succumb as quickly as lightning to the same collective hysteria as its audience, almost unanimously, and give itself over to court reporting, government propaganda and expert deification: It’s incomprehensible to me, it disgusts me, I’ve had enough of it, I dissociate myself from this unworthy performance with complete shame.
  • Currently, more than one third of humanity is in a “lockdown”, which is more people than lived during the Second World War.
  • In the US, applications for unemployment benefits have skyrocketed to over six million (see chart), a figure unparalleled since the Great Depression of 1929.
  • More than one hundred human rights and civil liberties organizations warn that the world is currently sleepwalking into a surveillance state. On Twitter, the hashtag #covid19 has been partially replaced by the hashtag #covid1984.
  • US geostrategist Henry Kissinger writes in the Wall Street Journal, “The coronavirus pandemic will forever alter the world order.” The U.S. must “protect” its citizens from disease while starting “the urgent work of planning for a new epoch”.

April 5, 2020

  • In a 40-minute interview, the internationally renowned epidemiology professor Knut Wittkowski from New York explains that the measures taken on Covid19 are all counterproductive. Instead of “social distancing”, school closures, “lock down”, mouth masks, mass tests and vaccinations, life must continue as undisturbed as possible and immunity must be built up in the population as quickly as possible. According to all findings to date, Covid-19 is no more dangerous than previous influenza epidemics. Isolation now would only cause a “second wave” later.
  • The British Medical Journal (BMJ) reports that, according to the latest data from China, 78% of new test-positive individuals show no symptoms. An Oxford epidemiologist said that these findings are “very, very important.” He added that if the results are representative, “then we have to ask, ‘What the hell are we locking down for?’”
  • Dr. Andreas Sönnichsen, head of the Department of General and Family Medicine at the Medical University of Vienna and chairman of the Network for Evidence-Based Medicine, considers the measures imposed so far to be “insane”. The whole state is being paralysed just to “protect the few it could affect”.
  • In a world first, the Swedish government has announced that it is going to officially distinguish between deaths “by” and deaths “with” the coronavirus, which should lead to a reduction in reported deaths. Meanwhile, for some reason, international pressure on Sweden to abandon its liberal strategy is steadily increasing.
  • The Hamburg health authority now has test-positive deaths examined by forensic medicine in order to count only “real” corona deaths. As a result, the number of deaths has already been reduced by up to 50% compared to the official figures of the Robert Koch Institute.
  • As early as 2018, the German Doctors Journal reported a “multitude of pneumonia cases” in northern Italy, which worried the authorities. At the time, contaminated drinking water was suspected to be one of the causes.
  • The German Pharmaceutical Newspaper points out that in the current situation, patients often “fall seriously ill, even die, without having developed respiratory symptoms beforehand”. Neurologists suspect in this regard that the corona viruses could also damage nerve cells. Another explanation, however, would be that these patients, who are often in need of care, die due to the very high stress.
  • According to the latest figures from Switzerland, the most common symptoms of test-positive patients in hospitals are fever, cough and breathing difficulties, while 43% or about 900 people have pneumonia. Even in these cases, however, it is not a priori clear whether it was caused by the coronavirus or by other pathogens. The median age of the test positive deceased is 83 years, the range reaches up to 101 years.
  • The British project “In Proportion” tracks mortality “with” Covid19 in comparison to influenza mortality and all-cause mortality, which in Great Britain is still in the normal range or below and is currently decreasing.
  • In the US state of Indiana, calls to the mental health and suicide hotline have increased by over 2000% from 1000 to 25,000 calls per day due to the lockdown and its economic impact.
  • The medical specialist portal Rxisk points out that various drugs can increase the risk of infection with corona viruses by up to 200% in some cases.
Further notes
  • The British journalist Peter Hitchens describes in an article entitled “We love Big Brother” how even previously critical people were “infected by fear” despite the lack of medical evidence. In an interview, he explains that criticism is “a moral duty” as fundamental rights are under threat
  • The German historian René Schlott writes about the “Rendezvous with the police state“: “Buying a book, sitting on a park bench, meeting up with friends – that is now forbidden, is controlled and denounced. The democratic safeguards seem to be blown. Where and how will it end?”
  • Several German law firms are preparing lawsuits against the measures and regulations that have been issued. A specialist in medical law writes in a press release: “The measures taken by the federal and state governments are blatantly unconstitutional and violate a multitude of basic rights of citizens in Germany to an unprecedented extent. This applies to all corona regulations of the 16 federal states. In particular, these measures are not justified by the Infection Protection Act, which was revised in no time at all just a few days ago. () Because the available figures and statistics show that corona infection is harmless in more than 95% of the population and therefore does not represent a serious danger to the general public.”
  • The Open Letter from Professor Sucharit Bhakdi to Chancellor Angela Merkel is now available in German, English, French, Spanish, Russian, Turkish, Dutch and Estonian, other languages will follow.
  • In a new interview, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warns that Covid19 is dangerous but temporary, while the destruction of fundamental rights is deadly and permanent.

Continue to previous updates →

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Swiss Policy Research, founded in 2016, is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit research group investigating geopolitical propaganda in Swiss and international media. SPR is composed of independent academics and receives no external funding. Our articles have been published or shared by numerous independent media outlets and journalists, among them Julian Assange, and have been translated into more than two dozen languages.

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One Response to “Facts about Covid-19”

  1. samir sardana says:

    People say that the COVID death rate is 0.40% ! This was circulated in several news channels also !

    Me Thinks the death rate is beyond 10%,on aggregate count,and for some nations it is way beyond.

    As per – https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries = there are 7.5 million cases and 420000 dead.Simple numerics place it at proximating 6%.

    Wrong me says ! dindooohindoo

    India,Brazil,Russia have seen a sharp rise in cases,in the last 30 days.40% of their cases came in the last 30 days,and for India,it will worsen exponentially.If you see the kill data of the RIB in the BRICS – it has increased sharply,in the last 30 days (which proves my thesis)

    People dying today,were in the quasi morgue (hospitals) 30-60 days ago.Let us take it,at 30 days.

    So we rewind to 30 days ago,and exclude the jump in RIB of BRICS,in the last 30 days. So we have say 4.5 million cases and the kill quant is 420,000

    Rate proximates 10% ! But that is also wrong,as the infected are NOT solely on RTPCR mode.Many nations cannot afford it and are doing antibody tests.An antibody positive may be RTPCR negative,and the vice versa is less likely. If you exclude these specimens from the infected tally,the % rises further.

    Also have to exclude the recovered cases – as those with immunity will recover in 30 days – AS THE VIRUS was DESIGNED THAT WAY.Unlike HIV and Cancer – where patients are NOT likely to recover- on a generic mode.But those who recover from COVID -WILL (in part) come back again,and then die.That will double count the infected cases.Hence,we exclude the recovered cases (which are 4 million,as per site stated above).

    These Johnnies who recouped,may have been infected,say 15 days ago – and if you rewind to 15 days ago,and deduct the spike in the RIBs of the BRICS – you will have an infected base of,say 6 million.If you remove the recovered (4 million),and then ratio it,to the dead of 420000 – then you have a kill ratio of 21% !

    Cannot compare the dead to the entire population – as of this instant – as it would include billions of aged,morbid and asymptomatics – who will get infected very soon.

    If we take a 1 year horizon – then post the 1 year – you could take the global population – as that by that time,the virus would have had enough time,to spread,evolve and mutate (across the latitudes and seasons).At that stage,a ratio w.r.t the population,would be a meaningful statistic – to benchmark intra and inter se,with other diseases.By that time the death rate will mature and the complete breakdown of the health infrastructure will be apparent (to explain the future geometric rise)

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