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Is the 2019 Coronavirus Really a Pandemic?

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Coronavirus blood test result, blood infected with coronavirus in vacuum test tube in doctors hands with text Coronavirus in laboratory. Diagnosis, detection, analysis of Chinese coronavirus.Epidemic.

The information contained in this blog is from a chapter of a forthcoming book by David Crowe. The AVN has not verified the details within but is sharing it in the interests of balance.

Summary

The world is suffering from a massive delusion based on the belief that a test for RNA is a test for a deadly new virus, a virus that has emerged from wild bats or other animals in China, supported by the western assumption that Chinese people will eat anything that moves. If the virus exists, then it should be possible to purify viral particles. From these particles RNA can be extracted and should match the RNA used in this test. Until this is done it is possible that the RNA comes from another source, which could be the cells of the patient, bacteria, fungi etc. There might be an association with elevated levels of this RNA and illness, but that is not proof that the RNA is from a virus.

Without purification and characterization of virus particles, it cannot be accepted that an RNA test is proof that a virus is present. Definitions of important diseases are surprisingly loose, perhaps embarrassingly so. A couple of symptoms, maybe contact with a previous patient, and a test of unknown accuracy, is all you often need. While the definition of SARS, an earlier coronavirus panic, was self-limiting, the definition of the new coronavirus disease is open-ended, allowing the imaginary epidemic to grow. Putting aside the existence of the virus, if the coronavirus test has a problem with false positives (as all biological tests do) then testing an uninfected population will produce only false-positive tests, and the definition of the disease will allow the epidemic to go on forever.

COVID-19, has none of its own symptoms

This strange new disease, officially named COVID-19, has none of its own symptoms. Fever and cough, previously blamed on uncountable viruses and bacteria, as well as environmental contaminants, are most common, as well as abnormal lung images, despite those being found in healthy people. Yet, despite the fact that only a minority of people tested will test positive (often less than 5%), it is assumed that this disease is easily recognized. If that was truly the case, the majority of people selected for testing by doctors should be positive.

The coronavirus test is based on PCR, a DNA manufacturing technique. When used as a test it does not produce a positive/negative result, but simply the number of cycles required to detect sufficient material to beat the arbitrary cutoff between positive and negative. If positive means infected and negative means uninfected, then there are cases of people going from infected to uninfected and back to infected again in a couple of days. A lot of people say it is better to be safe than sorry. Better that some people are quarantined who are uninfected than risk a pandemic. But once people test positive, they are likely to be treated, with treatments similar to SARS.

Doctors faced with what they believe is a deadly virus treat for the future, for anticipated symptoms, not for what they see today. This leads to the use of invasive oxygenation, high dose corticosteroids, antiviral drugs and more. In this case, some populations of those diagnosed (e.g. in China) are older and sicker than the general population and much less able to withstand aggressive treatment. After the SARS panic had subsided doctors reviewed the evidence, and it showed that these treatments were often ineffective, and all had serious side effects, such as persistent neurologic deficit, joint replacements, scarring, pain and liver disease. As well as higher mortality.

Coronavirus scare is an epidemic of testing

The Coronavirus scare that emanated from Wuhan, China in December of 2019 is an epidemic of testing. There is no proof that a virus is being detected by the test and there is absolutely no concern about whether there are a significant number of false positives on the test. What is being published in medical journals is not science, every paper has the goal of enhancing the panic by interpreting the data only in ways that benefit the viral theory, even when the data is confusing or contradictory.

In other words, the medical papers are propaganda.

It is also an epidemic by definition. The definition, which assumes perfection from the test, does not have the safety valve that the definition of SARS did, thus the scare can go on until public health officials change the definition or realize that the test is not reliable.

What I learned from studying SARS, the previous big coronavirus scare, after the 2003 epidemic, was that nobody had proved a coronavirus existed, let alone was pathogenic. There was evidence against transmission, and afterwards, negative assessments of the extreme treatments that patients were subjected to, the nucleoside analog antiviral drug Ribavirin, high dose corticosteroids, invasive respiratory assistance, and sometimes oseltamivir (Tamiflu).

Virus Existence

Scientists are detecting novel RNA in multiple patients with influenza or pneumonia-like conditions, and are assuming that the detection of RNA (which is believed to be wrapped in proteins to form an RNA virus, as coronaviruses are believed to be) is equivalent to isolation of the virus. It is not, and one of the groups of scientists was honest enough to admit this:

“we did not perform tests for detecting infectious virus in blood”

But, despite this admission, earlier in the paper they repeatedly referred to the 41 cases (out of 59 similar cases) that tested positive for this RNA as, “41 patients… confirmed to be infected with 2019-nCoV.”

Another paper quietly admitted that: “our study does not fulfill Koch’s postulates”

Koch’s postulates, first stated by the great German bacteriologist Robert Koch in the late 1800s, can simply be stated as:

• Purify the pathogen (e.g. virus) from many cases with a particular illness.

• Expose susceptible animals (obviously not humans) to the pathogen.

• Verify that the same illness is produced.

• Some add that you should also re-purify the pathogen, just to be sure that it really is creating the illness.

A New Disease?

COVID-19, to use its formal name, is described as a distinct new disease. But it clearly is not. There are no distinctive symptoms, for a start. In a study of 41 early cases, the only symptoms found in more than half, were fever (98%) and cough (76%).

Ninety-eight percent had CT Scan imaging showing problems in both lungs (although it is possible to have shadowing on a CT scan without symptoms). The high percentage of cases with fever and shadowing in both lungs is an artefact of the disease definition, fever and “radiographic evidence of pneumonia” are two of the diagnostic criteria for a probable case. The low rate of people testing positive on the coronavirus test is further evidence that there are no obvious symptoms.

Transmission

There is lots of evidence that the virus is not as transmissible as is being implied.

A paper in Lancet made a big deal about the presumed first case of person-to-person contact in the USA, from a woman who had visited Wuhan in December 2019, to her husband, who had stayed in the United States. She got sick after returning, and later both her and her husband, who had not travelled to Wuhan, tested positive for the 15 coronavirus. Whether he had symptoms or not was impossible to tell because he had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, so had a cough and difficulty breathing all the time. What is more interesting is that authorities identified 372 contacts of this couple, and “were able to assess exposure risk and actively monitor symptoms for 347”. Not one of these people had an emergency room visit with respiratory symptoms within 14 days of contact with the couple. Forty-three did have some symptoms that could have been COVID-19, and became “Persons Under Investigation” (PUIs). Twenty six had had exposures to the couple classified as “medium risk or greater”. But despite the presence of symptoms, contact with the couple, and close monitoring, not one tested positive for the new coronavirus.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship was a perfect laboratory for watching a highly infectious pathogen in action. The first person who tested positive had symptoms before boarding the ship on January 20th. It was not until February 1st that they tested positive, and February 3rd when passengers were confined to their quarters, in some cases with someone who tested positive. Passengers had interactions with the crew, e.g. to obtain meals. Despite this, the rate of transmission was only 16.7%, meaning that 83.3% remained negative. Since almost half those who tested positive had no symptoms it was not possible to avoid contact with positive persons based on observing symptoms, and it meant that 92% emerged from quarantine without having experienced symptoms due to the coronavirus.

Fundamentally, this belief that it is contact that causes positive tests is necessary to preserve the infectious paradigm. Therefore, the slightest evidence of an association between an old case and a new case (such as having been in the same city at the same time) is taken as proof of transmission, when it is obviously not.

Treatment

Treatment for the putative novel coronavirus is following the same pattern as for SARS. Apart from standard treatment for respiratory conditions, there is a tendency 16 towards providing oxygen to patients more aggressively (e.g. intubation), the use of high dose corticosteroids (e.g. methylprednisolone) and a variety of antiviral medications.

For SARS the antiviral drug ribavirin was dominant, but for this new coronavirus, a wider variety have been proposed, starting with the Chinese at the beginning of the panic. The choice of drugs is a shot in the dark as, “No antiviral treatment for coronavirus infection has been proven to be effective”.

• Flu drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Use was described as “empirical”, based on intuition, not science.

• AIDS drug combination Kaletra, composed of protease inhibitors Lopinavir and Ritonavir, has been fairly widely used. A Chinese hospital noted that the choice was because the drug was “already available in the designated hospital”.

• Cytomegalovirus drug Ganciclovir (Cytovene) was also reported in China.

• Early in February the Chinese government announced a trial of Gilead’s Ebola antiviral Remdesivir, on the basis that it, “may have helped alleviate the symptoms of a 35-year-old male” diagnosed with a coronavirus infection in the US. The drug was going to be trialed on 270 people, although it is not clear whether there will be a placebo or comparison group. A Chinese 17 chemistry professor, Jiang Xuefeng, warned,

“No random, controlled, or blank samples were used in [its previous use in one American man]…The effectiveness of remdesivir cannot be determined by this single case…It can take years to fully understand the pharmacological and toxicological side effects of new drugs”.

• A Japanese hospital used the anti-influenza medication Avigan (Favipiravir) on one patient, and it was given to 70 patients in Shenzhen, China.

These drugs are sometimes described as “experimental”, but that is a misnomer, and disguises the fact that they are not used in the context of science. It is clearly not science when there is no placebo, no blinding, and no randomization. It is likely that sicker patients will be prescribed untested drugs, if they have a health decline it will be blamed on the virus, and nobody could know what would have happened if they had received standard medical treatment for their symptoms. If the patient survives it will likely be considered a success, and is worth millions, or more, in public relations to an antiviral drug that has not yet found a market.

Conclusions

The coronavirus panic is just that, an irrational panic, based on an unproven RNA test, that has never been connected to a virus. And which won’t be connected to a 19 virus unless the virus is purified. Furthermore, even if the test can detect a novel virus the presence of a virus is not proof that it is the cause of the severe symptoms that some people who test positive experience (but not all who test positive). Finally, even if the test can detect a virus, and it is dangerous, we do not know what the rate of false positives is. And even a 1% false positive rate could produce 100,000 false positive results just in a city the size of Wuhan and could mean that a significant fraction of the positive test results being found are false positives. The use of powerful drugs because doctors are convinced that they have a particularly potent virus on their hands, especially in older people, with pre-existing health conditions, is likely to lead to many deaths. As with SARS. There is very little science happening. There is a rush to explain everything that is happening in a way that does not question the viral paradigm, does not question the meaningfulness of test results, and that promotes the use of untested antiviral drugs. And, given enough time there will be a vaccine developed and, for some of the traumatized countries, it may become mandatory, even if developed after the epidemic has disappeared, so that proving that it reduces the risk of developing a positive test will be impossible.

Please see: Is the 2019 Coronavirus Really a Pandemic?  for complete article and references.

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