I was going to spare Dr. Spencer the embarrassment of taking apart his piece in detail, but since he has asked:

His errors, fallacies, and misleading statements are legion (and likely intentional, as he is too smart not to understand them)...
Throughout the piece, he compares #Covid to the original SARS and MERS, pointing out both those illnesses can have long-term impacts. SARS and MERS are caused by coronaviruses, so the comparison seems reasonable.

It isn't. SARS and MERS are far more dangerous than Sars-Cov-2...
How much more dangerous? The virus that causes MERS has a fatality rate more than 100 times that of Sars-Cov-2. Compared to those viruses, Sars-Cov-2 is more like the flu - or the coronaviruses that cause ordinary colds...
Throughout the piece, he elides the difference between the relative handful of patients who were put on ventilators and survived (likely fewer than 25,000 nationally since March, though I haven't seen a figure) or became very seriously ill with #Covid and everyone else...
Being put on a ventilator is a last resort (or should be); anyone who is on one for more than a few hours, for any reason, is likely to face an arduous recovery lasting weeks or months. That fact tells us NOTHING about the prognosis for the vast majority of #covid patients...
Nearly all of whom are never hospitalized. About 550,000 Americans have been hospitalized with #Covid since March, fewer than 1 percent of the total have been infected with #sars-cov-2 (remember, antibody tests show PCR tests understate infections by a factor of 10 or more)...
And most of those people are released quickly and do NOT return (at least within two weeks). In fact, the "long Covid" phenomenon that Dr. Spencer and other advocates are trying to create focuses not on the tiny number of people who became acutely ill from #SARSCoV2...
And who might be expected to need time to regain their strength, but a different group - millions of people who were not hospitalized, had only mild acute symptoms - and in many cases do not even have positive PCR or antibody tests - yet now self-report a malaise lasting months.
There are next to no independent diagnostic tests to support these self-reported symptoms - one of the few that Dr. Spencer mentions is a German heart study that has already been debunked - and many of them are frankly consistent with anxiety and other psychiatric malaise...
Nor has Dr. Spencer (or anyone else) ever explained why "long Covid" so overwhelmingly targets younger (often middle-class and white) women, when Covid itself is far more dangerous to older, poorer, minority men. Yet the "long Covid" demographic is immediately recognizable...
It's the same group that suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, gluten intolerance, and a host of other ill-defined conditions that tend to respond to exercise and anti-depressants better than anything else.

Coincidence, no doubt.

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More from @AlexBerenson

21 Oct
Here's a fun fact.

Ralph Baric - who worked closely with the Wuhan researchers at the lab where Sars-Cov-2 definitely didn't leak - actually PATENTED a chimeric (genetically engineered) spike protein for coronavirus in 2015.

patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Pa…
This doesn't mean Baric did anything wrong. It does mean he had a financial incentive to continue researching his patented protein, whatever the risks of doing so might be.
Baric also worked with @GileadSciences to research remdesivir (GS-5734) as a treatment for coronaviruses years before the emergence of #Sars-cov-2 - though he is not listed on the 2016 Gilead patent...

grantome.com/grant/NIH/R01-…
Read 5 tweets
20 Oct
1/ Remember in April when @washingtonpost accidentally did some investigative reporting and revealed the State Department had worried about the very Wuhan lab from which the virus DEFINITELY DIDN'T ESCAPE in 2018, long before it DEFINITELY DIDN'T ESCAPE?
washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/…
2/ And then scientists and reporters were like, oh, even though it would be bad for Chyyyna and make @realDonaldTrump super-duper happy, this is just one coincidence too many and it makes the theory that #sarscov2 went bat-civet-human BECAUSE SCIENCE even stupider?
3/ And then @nytimes @washingtonpost and other top outlets decided to investigate and @nature and other top journals did too, because the issue of the origins of #sarscov2 was just too important to allow the Chinese to steamroll the world? Even if the Orange Man would be pleased?
Read 5 tweets
19 Oct
Waaaaait six to 12 weeks! This is terrifying. It would be if @mtosterholm hadn’t been saying it since May, anyway...
Here’s @mtosterholm on August 3, warning that the then-daily US average of 1,200 deaths was about to get much, much worse. Conveniently enough, August 3/4 marked the summer peak - deaths have fallen 40% since then.
And here’s @mtosterholm in May, warning that “the darkest days are still ahead.” But of course they are! How far ahead, Dr. O?

“In late summer or early fall, we could have a very significant wave of activity that would OVERWHELM SOCIETY AS WE KNOW IT [emphasis added].”
Read 4 tweets
19 Oct
1/ Last week @mlipsitch - a Harvard epidemiologist - wrote a blistering @washingtonpost piece attacking any plan for herd immunity. Letting people at low risk for #Covid become infected “could kill millions,” he and other authors argued, because older people will also get sick...
2/ Now Lipsitch is smart, well-respected - a top public health expert. We should take what he says seriously.

But we all know #Covid has been deeply politicized. Which is why this piece from him in 2008 - before #sarscov2 was a gleam in a Chinese bat’s eye - is so fascinating...
3/ It’s called “Too Little Of A Good Thing: A Paradox Of Moderate Infection Control.” In it, @mlipsitch makes a persuasive case that for illnesses that are likely to spread widely, efforts to protect people at low risk will be COUNTERPRODUCTIVE. Why?
Read 5 tweets
19 Oct
1/ Are you a scientist or a sciencyist?

Here's how to tell!

If you insist studies without control arms are proof of anything, you may be a sciencyist.

If you ignore decades of data from randomized trials because they don't fit your thesis, you may be a sciencyist...
2/ If you refer to predictions that are generated exclusively from computer simulations as proof of anything, you are DEFINITELY a sciencyist.

If you regularly call people who disagree with you "conspiracy theorists" or "deniers," congratulations, you may be a sciencyist...
3/ If you make heavy use of your credentials to intimidate people, you are probably a sciencyist (though you may just be an arrogant scientist)...

If you block - in life or Twitter - people who disagree with you in good faith, you are a sciencyist for sure...
Read 4 tweets
18 Oct
If @realdonaldtrump suppressed a clinical trial showing masks were effective, every news outlet and scientist would be screaming over interference in science.

So why the silence on the Danish mask study? Where is the outrage that the scientists can’t find a journal to run it?
The presumption at this point must be that the paper shows either no or a NEGATIVE effect from mask use. Top journals have eagerly published much weaker papers showing that masks work; they would be desperate to run this one if it agreed.
And we already know that journals are suppressing other papers - on herd immunity, for example - that deviate from the preferred narrative. BUT THIS IS WORSE. This is not a model. It is a real-world trial with results that are crucially and immediately important.
Read 4 tweets

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