1/ Time to talk about the #Covid spike in Europe, which has been coming for a while (see below).

Yesterday France reported 30,600 positive tests - a huge number, equal to 160,000 in the US. That’s double the number (per-capita) the US reported at the peak of the summer spike... Image
2/ What does this tell us? First and foremost, LOCKDOWNS DO NOT WORK. France had one of the world's harshest lockdowns during the spring. All it did was delay this second wave. And the death toll in France in the spring surpassed the US (at the time)...
3/ The virus can spread VERY FAST under the right conditions - basically that seems to be when people are spending more time indoors.

These numbers look comparable with an R (person-to-person transmission rate) over 3.
4/ National US and European numbers are not exactly comparable, because the US has had rolling regional surges. I think it is more accurate to compare the current European figures to the state figures from the Sunbelt. France is basically approaching the July Florida peak...
5/ Florida reported two days with over 14,000 cases (equal to over 40,000 in France). Florida's population is also quite old by US standards, roughly comparable to France's (8.5% of people over 75 in FL; 9.5% in France).

Assuming - and this is a big assumption...
6/ That testing policies are similar in France and Florida, France is not at too much danger from hospital overrun right now. Remember, despite the screeching of Team Apocalypse, the ICUs in Florida never got more than 85-86% full statewide. Everyone who needed care got it...
7/ That said, the hospitals are likely to be crowded for a while, and France and much of Europe will probably be reporting a significant number of deaths for the next two months (Florida is still working though its backlog of deaths)...
8/ NOTE THAT FRANCE IS NOT CLOSING ITS SCHOOLS OR BEGINNING A BROAD SECOND LOCKDOWN. It has learned the lessons of the Sunbelt and Sweden. The nighttime curfew looks like basically a backdoor effort to close bars, which isn't the worst idea as a temporary measure.
9/ Virus gonna virus. There is no magic bullet. And the vast majority of people who are infected with #SarsCov2 will be just fine.

We can accept that reality. Or destroy our societies.

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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.

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...

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?
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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