COVID19 update, October 1, 2020: interview with Scott Atlas; vitamin D recap; loss of faith in the media

(1) Around September 11, the Hoover Institute’s Uncommon Knowledge series had an interview with Stanford epidemiologist Scott Atlas MD, currently an advisor to the US President.

YouTube deleted the video as “misinformation” (a classic example of why tech monopolies need to be disrupted). At least they could not just ignore the Hoover Institute, and now (following two ‘corrections’ to the video) it is online again.

UPDATE: Victor Davis Hanson weighs in.

(2) Dr. John Campbell again on vitamin D, recapping the science, and the increasing evidence that deficiency is very strongly correlated with bad outcomes for COVID19 (as for respiratory infections more generally).

See also this preprint: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.08.20058578v4

He is not given to conspiracy theories, but does sarcastically note “there is no money in it, since vitamin D is dirt cheap”.

(3) I mentioned in a previous installment how the local outbreak that has pushed us into a second lockdown is primarily due to surges in the chareidi (“ultra-Orthodox”) and Arab sectors, the latter (and to a lesser degree the former) owing to mass indoor wedding celebrations acting as superspreader events.

A medical source in Belgium, apparently unaware of this aspect of the situation here, told me they have been seeing the same among the Turkish and Moroccan immigrant communities. (The first mass breakouts in Belgium — and parts of Germany — came from a different type of superspreader events, among the “native” population: indoor carnival celebrations. In Israel, it was Purim parties ).

(4) One of the greatest assets a public health authority has is the public’s trust: particularly the US public health authorities have been doing a great job of squandering that (through zig-zagging and mutually contradictory guidelines, plus ‘bait-and-switch’ like ‘two weeks to flatten the curve’), as Instapundit does not tire of reminding people.

But the media seem to be taking the cake in this regard. According to a recent Gallup poll, to the question “”How much do you trust the media?”, the answers were:

  • “A great deal”: 9% (nine percent!)
  • “A fair amount”: 31%
  • “Not very much”: 27%
  • “Not at all”: 33% (an all-time high)

If the two positive answers (“a great deal” and “a fair amount”) are added up and broken down by party affiliation, we get:

  • “Democrats”: 73%
  • “Republicans”: 10% (an all-time low)
  • Independents: 36% (again, an all-time low)

I know Russian immigrants who, when reading the US mainstream media, wonder if they are reading the Pravda or the Izvestia.

(5) Die Welt (in German) reports on how the reintroduction of returnee quarantine requirements is a body blow to the tourism and travel industry in Germany. Said industry instead proposes mandatory COVID19 testing upon arrival: this was nixed during the 1st wave, citing capacity limitations, but now there is about 20-25% spare testing capacity in the system.

(6) ScienceAlert reports claims that sniffer dogs at Helsinki Airport can detect COVID19 cases with nearly 100% accuracy. I have no difficulty whatsoever believing dogs can detect metabolic anomalies in humans…

One thought on “COVID19 update, October 1, 2020: interview with Scott Atlas; vitamin D recap; loss of faith in the media

  1. God help us all if a really bad flu or other pandemic happens in the next few years. The very people who would need to be acting to contain it, have squandered their credibility on the altar of OrangeManBad and soft Marxism.

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