1/ This is the definition of a straw man argument. The question is not whether #sarscov2 was “manufactured” by China, but whether it might be a modified version of a bat coronavirus called RaTG13 that the Wuhan lab is known to have had in its possession...
2/ The modifications could have occurred through what virologists call “gain-of-function” research and don’t necessarily require explicit genetic insertions - @mlipsitch’s excellent discussion of (and argument against) the practice is here: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P…
3/ I have avoided talking about Dr. Li because both her claims and the politics around her are complicated. But she is far from the only virologist raising the issue. Check out @Ayjchan for a more nuanced perspective. (Or don’t - if you’d prefer to keep your head in the sand.)

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More from @AlexBerenson

11 Sep
1/ The fight over HCQ makes me wary of discussing other cheap potential #Covid drug treatments (Team Apocalypse HATES those), but this trial of a vitamin D analogue should have received more attention. It is small, but an RCT, and the results are striking.
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/P…
2/ 76 patients at a major hospital in Spain were randomized prospectively 2-1 to the drug (calcifediol) or placebo; only 1 of the 50 who received calcifediol required ICU admission, compared to 13 of the 26 who did not. That's a huge gap...
3/ And it reaches statistical significance despite the small size of the trial, and even after accounting for confounders (the arms were relatively balanced, but more in the placebo arm had hypertension). Obviously, the usual caveats apply - this is small and single-site...
Read 4 tweets
8 Sep
1/ Yep, the early/hard lockdown countries are at the leading edge of their second wave: Spain with 78 deaths today (equivalent of 550 in the US) and 9,000 cases (63,000 in US). The question is how many deaths they’ll see this time.
2/ Based on non-lockdown localities like Sweden and Arizona, the best guess is that in advanced countries the virus burns out naturally after 500-700 deaths per million (with variation for age of population, comorbidities, and quality of care - i.e. Switzerland was very low)...
3/ However, hard lockdowns appear iatrogenic unless they are imposed before ANY community transmission occurs; they cause panic and health system strain; and in conjunction with population density and nursing home collapse they can cause severe short-term spikes...
Read 6 tweets
8 Sep
So will @JoeBiden do anything about the fact that @zekeemanuel - who is part of his coronavirus task force - also is the principal in a company that profits by selling advice about Covid to "film and television entertainment companies [and] tech industry innovators?"
And will any other reporters ask Biden about the conflict of interest here? For that matter, will they ask Dr. Emanuel about it during the interviews they have with him?

And will @WHO continue to allow him to serve as a "special advisor"?
Another fun fact about Dr. Emanuel: he has no medical license in Pennsylvania (where he has run the "Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy" at UPenn since 2011), only Massachusetts.

True story: states grant medical licenses. Without one you can't legally see patients...
Read 5 tweets
8 Sep
1/ Real question: Dr. Anthony Fauci will be 80 in about three months. He looks to be in good shape and cognitively intact, but is it possible at this point he only has the bandwidth for one aspect of this crisis, and that bandwidth is media appearances for Dr. Anthony Fauci?
2/ What I mean is - is it possible he just hasn't thought through what's happened in the Sunbelt/Sweden, the problems with the tests, the lack of evidence for masks, the futility of tracing, etc?

I know this NEJM article he wrote is a strong counter...
nejm.org/doi/full/10.10…
3/ "This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza..."
Read 4 tweets
6 Sep
1/ Wasn’t careful lol, all we heard from Team Apocalypse for three months was that Europe had locked down long enough to crush the curve and get test-and-trace in place and that’s why it could reopen schools when the US couldn’t.
2/ Here’s what is happening in Spain - and may well happen in France and Italy. They had VERY localized and severe epidemics - around Madrid and in northern Italy. They locked down VERY hard and relatively early. But not early enough.
3/ So they wound up with the worst of both worlds - lots of deaths (they all had severe problems with nursing homes, too) - but no herd immunity. The Spanish national study came in around 6%, shockingly low - much lower then Sweden, for example.
Read 5 tweets
5 Sep
Granting anonymity to the people making these allegations against @realDonaldTrump is very problematic journalistically. Here's why.

1: These are not whistleblowers trying to expose illegal or potentially illegal activity. The allegations are simple character assassination...
2: They don't even have any temporal urgency - meaning Trump didn't do this yesterday, these (alleged) incidents are years old. So the people reporting them have an obligation to disclose as much as possible about the people making them to let readers judge motivation themselves.
3: On top of that, all the usual caveats apply - the interactions are basically hearsay, no emails or other documentation exist, and so people should know whether the person who is reporting them heard what Trump said first-, second-, or third-hand.
Read 4 tweets

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