Pam Barker | Director of TLB Europe Reloaded Project
Dr. Knut Wittkowski strikes again, giving us a retrospective on where we’re at with this non-event virus scare. He recently gave an interview to Spiked online magazine, which we’ve summarized below.
Wittkowski was head of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design at The Rockefeller University’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science for 20 years. We remind readers of an article we published on this doctor’s sensible, science-based perspective, titled Epidemiologist: Coronavirus could be ‘exterminated’ if lockdowns were lifted. The video from this article has been removed by Youtube, predictably, so we’re linking to it from a Facebook(!) page below. The transcript to this interview can be found at Perspectives on the Pandemic II by John Kirby, Libby Handros and Lee Davis.
LINK TO VIDEO: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=258992005297175
We’re also linking to this paper published by Dr. Wittkowski on the medRxiv site on March 28: The first three months of the COVID-19 epidemic: Epidemiological evidence for two separate strains of SARS-CoV-2 viruses spreading and implications for prevention strategies.
See a report from yesterday by the NY Post titled YouTube censors epidemiologist Knut Wittkowski for opposing lockdown.
A recurring theme in the interview is that, ‘very early on, we knew from China and we knew from South Korea that this is an epidemic that runs its course, and there was nothing special about it.’
Reiterating the well-known point that covid is only dangerous to those having ‘age-related severe comorbidities’, and that people in nursing homes are very vulnerable, he says that the virus is now over in China and South Korea. Further,
‘It is substantially down in most of Europe and down a bit everywhere, even in the UK. The UK and Belarus are latecomers, so you do not see exactly what you are seeing in continental Europe. But everywhere in Europe, the number of cases is substantially declining.’
Protecting the hospitals was completely misguided. The original reason given for the lockdown, he says, was to ‘prevent hospitals from become overloaded’ but he says that this couldn’t have happened anyway, irrespective of the approach taken. ‘Flattening the curve’, i.e. prolonging the epidemic, was only ever about spreading out the same number of cases ‘over a longer period of time because otherwise the hospitals would not have enough capacity,’ but the vast majority do not end up in hospital:
The ideal approach would [have been] to simply shut the door of the nursing homes and keep the personnel and the elderly locked in for a certain amount of time, and pay the staff overtime to stay there for 24 hours per day.
On herd immunity, studies done so far show ‘that we already have at least 25 per cent of the population who are immune… If 25 per cent of the population are already immune, we are very quickly getting to the 50 per cent that we need to have what is called herd immunity. We will actually get a bit higher than that…’ It wouldn’t actually be a problem to let the infection run its course because ‘we already have enough immune people in the population.’
On the newly-touted second spike by the MSM, he says ‘this is an invention to justify a policy that politicians are afraid of reversing.’
Social distancing? ‘No’:
People need to ask the government for an explanation. The government is restricting freedom. You do not have to ask me for justification. There is no justification.
Fingering our governments for listening to Neil Ferguson, ‘who has a history of coming up with projections that are a bit odd’, ‘the government did not convene a meeting with people who have different ideas, different projections, to discuss his projection. If it had done that, it could have seen where the fundamental flaw was…’, of assuming that one percent of all infected people would die. Neither in Wuhan nor South Korea ‘did one per cent of all people infected die… The South Korean government was extremely proud to have resisted pressure to drop the very basic concepts of democracy.’ He continues:
‘The epidemic in South Korea was over by March, the number of cases was down by 13 March. In Wuhan they also did not shut down the economy…We have seen, then, in Wuhan and South Korea, if you do not do anything, the epidemic is over in three weeks… one per cent of all people infected does not make any sense. And we had that evidence by mid-March.
On the situation in Italy, Wittkowski fingers the policy of shutting schools so that children, who are generally not affected by the virus, didn’t achieve immunity:
But then, Italy did an illogical thing. It closed schools so that the schoolchildren were isolated and did not get infected and did not become immune. Instead, the virus spread almost exclusively among the old, causing more deaths and a higher utilisation of hospitals. And that is mind-boggling.
Very early on, we knew from China and we knew from South Korea that this is an epidemic that runs its course, and there was nothing special about it. But when it hit Italy, we stopped thinking about it as an age-stratified problem, and instead lumped everyone all together. The idea that if we did not shut down the schools, the hospitals would have been overwhelmed does not make any sense. I frankly still cannot fully understand how our governments can be so stupid.
On the topic of certain scientists having the power to dispense strange advice to our governments, he claims the problem lies in scientists being dependent on government funding:
Scientists are in a very strange situation. They now depend on government funding, which is a trend that has developed over the past 40 years. Before that, when you were a professor at a university, you had your salary and you had your freedom. Now, the university gives you a desk and access to the library. And then you have to ask for government money and write grant applications. If you are known to criticise the government, what does that do to your chance of getting funded? It creates a huge conflict of interest. The people who are speaking out in Germany and Switzerland are all independent of government money because they are retired.
Sweden, he continues, generally took the right approach despite the heat they took for it, except for their large nursing homes, which were not closed and where the largest number of deaths took place:
They decided to keep society open and they forgot to close nursing homes. Remarkably, the politicians acknowledged that it was a mistake to extend that open concept to nursing homes. The nursing homes should have been isolated to protect the elderly who are at high risk.
So the US’ first death in a Seattle nursing home in February gave a strong indication of what was to come, plus Italy’s situation of deaths among the elderly, yet New York State recently ‘told the nursing homes that if they did not take in patients from hospitals, they would lose their funding. So they would have to import the virus from the hospitals.’ 20,000 deaths in the United States could have been prevented by just isolating the nursing homes. ‘After three or four weeks, they could have reopened and everybody would be happy.’
That would have been a reasonable strategy. But shutting down schools, driving the economy against the wall – there was no reason for it. The only reason that this nonsense now goes on and on, and people are inventing things like this ‘second wave’, which is going to force us to change society and never live again, is that the politicians are afraid of admitting an error.
And it’s not a matter of hindsight, either. The Wuhan and South Korean epidemics were over by mid-March, and the data had officially been collected and published on it.
The US peak in hospital visits due to Covid-19 occurred on 8 March, presented in a coronavirus presidential briefing at the White House by Robert Redfield on 17 April:
… on 8 April, the number of new infections was already down. In time for Easter, our governments should have acknowledged they were overly cautious… Two weeks’ shutdown would not have been the end of the world. We would not have what we have now – 30 million people unemployed in the United States, for example… We see more deaths and illness than we would otherwise have had.
‘So we could open up, and forget the whole thing.’
Full interview at Spiked online magazine
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