AJ Kay Profile picture
Author/Writer/Research/Narrative • Media/Med/Science/Comm/Psych • Apolitical pragmatist • Mom to 4 • @pandata19 @Rational_Ground • Anti-Lockdown = Pro-Humanity
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28 Nov
I'll make a deal w/ all those saying that anti-lockdown folks should sign their rights to COVID-related healthcare away.

I'm game - as long as you sign away your right to use the schools we re-open or the industries we rebuild and refuse all jobs we create...
That way, we can both preserve what's most important to us:

You can keep your fear and we can keep our freedom.
(And I want to be clear that I’m saying this tongue-in-cheek. Denying people healthcare—possible exceptions being in specific cases of complex medical/ethical dilemmas —is morally reprehensible.)
Read 4 tweets
27 Nov
I hate to use such inflammatory language, but the new CDC report claiming underreported hospitalizations really is propaganda.

There's no other word for it.

It's intentional distortion & misrepresentation of data to support a predetermined narrative..

academic.oup.com/cid/advance-ar…
First, I have no issue with the claim of undercounted infections.

This isn't news.

The only question is the multiplier & nailing that down is only interesting in the context of studying herd immunity & possibly IFR (which we already know is far lower than once claimed)...
Re: the concurrent claim of "undercounted hospitalizations" & the assertion that 2.5X as many were hospitalized FOR Covid than counted...

It's laughable.

Hyperawareness of the disease, financial incentives for dx, mass mandated testing, & clinical dx render this claim absurd...
Read 10 tweets
25 Nov
Public health is has lost its way

The rampant public moralizing & growing stigma surrounding #covid19 is shocking & ‘anti-public health’ by all pre-2020 standards.

Add failures of transparency, Comm, & equity & it’s clear there’s an even bigger global crisis unfolding..(thread)
Co-signing mandated, non-evidence-based interventions like outdoor masks & using flawed metrics (PCR w/ high Cycle threshold, for example, which does not determine infectiousness but is still used to quarantine people) erodes public health’s credibility.

boston.com/news/coronavir…
Not to mention that the myopic focus on C19 to the exclusion of all other public health threats, like deteriorating mental health & harm caused to children due to school closures, for example, violates the fundamental PH principle of equity.

cdc.gov/chronicdisease…
Read 9 tweets
24 Nov
My autistic daughter’s private school — the one I transferred her to so she could resume the in-person instruction she so desperately needs — just closed for two weeks due to one reported case of #COVID19.

The whole school. One case.

Telling her last night was heartbreaking. 😢
They also recommended that “ALL students and staff self-quarantine” (emphasis mine) and “contact...[our] local health agency for further instructions and precautions.”

No.

We are not sick.

We are not vectors.

We are not at risk.

We will not play along.
And, as a single mom, I need to work to keep a roof over our heads.

As so many parents know—single or otherwise, w/ special needs kids or typical, whether you have 1 or 5, be they 6mo or 16yrs—
working while kids are at home is taxing in ideal circumstances...
Read 4 tweets
24 Nov
On the science of #COVID19:

We should not be so quick to assume Covid is the cause of all concurrently or subsequently reported sickness.

We are also experiencing unprecedented societal disruption, that could just as easily be contributing, or even causal, factors...

(thread)
In science, ‘confounding variables’ obscure which factors lead to which outcomes when you fail to recognize & account for them.

In other words, confounders inhibit the ability to ID a true cause—> effect relationship b/c it’s impossible to tell which factor caused the change...
For example, the story of “long-haulers” has gotten a lot of attn as “Covid causes this!” & is even used to justify lockdown.

But I’ve yet to see an article address how depression/anxiety/chronic fear (which we know have increased) cause many of the same symptoms...
Read 8 tweets
22 Nov
Hannah Arendt’s theory about the “banality of evil” describes the phenomenon due to which some of the most horrific events in human history are perpetrated—

—not by inherent maliciousness, but by a “thought-defying” disengagement from the reality of the perpetrated harm.
Read 10 tweets
17 Nov
Here's another contributing factor as to why reported hospitalizations have increased:

Per updated (10/6) HHS guidelines, patients occupying "Observation" beds (>8hrs) are now included in Hospital admission totals.

They were not counted as admissions in July's guidelines... ImageImage
In addition to the new reporting guidelines, CMS also issued new rules, including severe financial penalties for hospitals who fail to report all required data.

cms.gov/files/document…

npr.org/sections/healt…
Add this to the Remdesivir FDA approval on 10/22 which made it the first and only FDA approved #COVID tx (and requires a 3-10 day hospital stay--see tweet)

AND

CMS waiving the Utilization Review process which ensures medical necessity of admissions...

Image
Read 6 tweets
17 Nov
Keep the "Hosptializations from" vs. "Hospitalizations with" COVID data in mind when you see this headline circulating Twitter tomorrow: (Thread)

1/9
IA and ND are two states that delineate between hospitalizations "with" & "from" COVID.

If, like most states, they did not differentiate, each state's COVID hospitalizations would be overstated by 38% and 20%, respectively.

2/9

coronavirus.iowa.gov/pages/hospital…
health.nd.gov/diseases-condi…
Overstatements matter b/c hospitalization data is used in two ways:

1. as a measure of disease severity i.e. "the proportion sick enough with C19 to require hospital care"

2. to measure the threat of overwhelming hospitals.

Overstatements inflate the perception of both...

3/9
Read 10 tweets
14 Nov
The significance of C19 having spread undetected for months pre-2020 would be that our current “understanding” is predicated on false assumptions.

A lot of people were trying to call attention to this back in March/April, myself included...
There has been a deliberate campaign to stifle any suggestion that #COVID was present before the first official cases were announced.

And this is just my personal experience....👇
I agree with Alex this this is important, but I don’t think it’s a step toward “rewriting” history.

I think it’s a matter of allowing it to be written in the first place.

Critical inquiry is not currently tolerated...
Read 6 tweets
6 Nov
On 10/22, Remdesivir became the only FDA approved #COVID19 treatment. It requires a 5-day hospital stay for administration.

Additionally, the increased CMS reimbursement for C19 remains until the federal state of emergency is lifted, as does the utilization review waiver.
In other words, the only FDA approved treatment requires hospitalization, and the hospitals are paid at increased rates to administer it, with less oversight on who actually needs admission.

Hospitalizations will go up, even without a corresponding increase in Covid-like-illness
Read 4 tweets
30 Oct
This is incredibly important & apparently unknown to many.

The US media reports of "1000 people are dying per day!" are misleading

1000 deaths are being REPORTED per day. The deaths go back weeks, even months, as local health authorities comb through death certificates to...
...either cross-check for a pre-death positive PCR test or for a "missed" COVID classification based on clinical suspicion.

When they find either, they retroactively add them to the death counts, and then they are reported as a "new death"

This isn't "conspiracy". It's fact
This is a very important part of the work that #RationalGround does -- pro bono, mind you. We dig up the truth that the media ignores.

They want your clicks.

We want transparency.

AMA about this. I'll do my best to point you to the facts or the person who has them.
Read 4 tweets
27 Oct
This will be the final Thanksgiving for 2.8M (the annual all-cause death toll) fellow Americans.

It could be my last-or yours. That likelihood is significantly higher for our elderly loved ones, too many of whom will not have touched or hugged their family in 9 months...
1/9
...some of whom don't understand why.😢

The hard truth is that we do not know who will be around for Thanksgiving next November. What we do have is right now--this moment--today.

We aren't promised one moment more...



2/9
We've all seen some version of the CDC's Thanksgiving recommendations by now. Twitter is abuzz with our newly-christened ‘expert’ class pontificating on ‘safety’ (and morality), asserting that the "right" thing to do is to physically distance from one's family this year.

3/9
Read 13 tweets
23 Oct
Hard “No”.

This mission creep is untenable and it will cost significantly more lives and futures than #Covid_19 ever could...

(Thread)

(1)
It’s often said, “In life, you get what you tolerate.”

And people have been shockingly willing to give up their lives and turn on their neighbors in exchange for a feeling of safety.

What we need moving forward is a willinness to question whether our values truly align...

(2)
with the policies we support.

We need to acknowledge the harms caused by “mitigation” and say, “Wait a minute...It doesn’t make me a bad person to want kids safely in school/a funeral for my father/a future to look forward to/a reason to live.”

(3)
Read 8 tweets
21 Oct
Here's a prime example of misinformation & omission of context in COVID media coverage:

Today, @12News in AZ pushes a story that "These 4 graphs show Arizona is losing the fight against COVID-19"

A thread of the graphs and context:

(1)
(For the images below, I (quickly) positioned the 12News graphs above those from the AZDHS dashboard and used the black lines to draw down to the dates from which the 12News data was pulled, giving a fuller picture.)

(2)

12news.com/article/news/h…

azdhs.gov/preparedness/e…
GRAPH #1: "100% increase in the 7-day average number of cases since October 1st"

CONTEXT: Yes. But cases are down est. 500% from the peak in July, despite new inclusion of antigen tests from the universities starting mid-Sept. Also, "cases" don't = illness/transmissibility.

(3)
Read 14 tweets
20 Oct
Surprising to whom? Not anyone who has been paying attention to the data (and children’s needs.)

Maybe it’s time we stop allowing “expert fears” about what “may” happen to supersede what we know i.e. kids drive minimal transmission in schools...

1/8

nytimes.com/2020/10/19/nyr…
The most upsetting part of this article is the gaslighting.

1. Claims “fears...required... shutdown restrictions” (including schools)

Shutdown restrictions are not a required response to adults’ fears.

2/8
2. Suggests “the city’s efforts” should be upheld as an “influential model”, despite NYC repeatedly ignoring the data that schools were not significant sites of transmission.

3/8
Read 8 tweets
13 Oct
Don't think you are too small to make an impact.

This brief filed in support of an injunction by parents in CT presents a thorough argument as to why mandated masking of children in schools is harmful, non-evidence-based, w/o benefit & lacking in statutory authority...

1/5
Parents in Ohio filed a similar lawsuit against the Ohio Health Department Director for his mandate imposing masks on K12 students.

2/5

cincinnati.com/story/news/202…
Parents in Florida have also sued to end mandated masking in schools.

3/5

news-press.com/story/news/edu…
Read 5 tweets
6 Oct
There is SO much more to this situation. @ianmSC, @kylamb8, @Hold2LLC, and I could never get the AZDHS hospitalization data to reconcile. Here's just the first piece of the puzzle as to why:

Because almost 3000 of those admissions did not exist...

(1/4)
This is the most important part of the press release:

"Recently, public health experts determined that a large healthcare provider was reporting an admission date for COVID-19 cases when these individuals were not actually hospitalized.”
...

(2/4)
Banner Health, "a large healthcare provider", collected at least $660M in CARES Act funding, including roughly 40% of the total High Impact funding for all hospitals in the state

"High Impact" requires a high number of COVID admissions & payed out $50K per patient...

(3/4)
Read 4 tweets
17 Sep
I have been MIA on Twitter (& publishing), in large part b/c I am a single mom who is trying to both work and homeschool 3 kids, one w/ autism.

Our local district is offering online-only ed at least through Oct & that doesn't work for our fam. So I'm figuring it out..

(1/14)
...We are fortunate. We have a safe home, ample food, reliable transportation, and supportive friends...and we are still struggling.

All 4 of my girls (one is in college) are stressed, anxious, moody, & tearful. They want to know when this will end & I can't tell them..

(2/14)
It's difficult to combat the message that they'll kill someone if they get too close & that their mere presence in public threatens ppl.

Things they've looked forward to for so long: friends, sports, parties, proms, graduation have evaporated & been replaced by a life...

(3/14)
Read 14 tweets
8 Sep
I was initially so struck by this gross error that I failed to address the rest of the article, which has even more misrepresentations, uses biased verbiage, and is lacking in context. Here's are my criticisms of the rest of the article:

1. Dismisses Dr. Atlas’s MD & public health expertise based on political affiliation
2. Characterizes a study analyzing France’s COVID cases up through May & the Diamond Princess cruise ship as “the most sophisticated estimates” of IFR & favors them over current CDC data
3. Biased, emotional language e.g. "virus-laden gobs of spit”, "lifelong illness", "wreaking havoc"
4. Cites a study finding 3/6 asymptomatic patients (out of 215 participants), ages 56-61, w/ lung findings w/i 12 days of testing +, as evidence of "long-term" abnormalities
Read 12 tweets
7 Sep
This is what passes for journalism these days and it took two seconds to identify this glaring misinformation:

The @TheAtlantic posts this story and the media and the “experts” (and the masses) run with it to justify keeping faces masked and schools closed...(1/4)
Right off the bat, in the second paragraph, they make this curious claim which goes against what anyone who has been breaking down the data knows to be true...(2/4)
So I popped the link they cite for the figure.

This is what the article they cite actually says:

3/4
Read 6 tweets
4 Sep
“Bracing for grim” is all many people have been able to do for 6 months (& counting) as they live the devastation of these mitigation measures, including:

* hunger
* non-Covid disease progression
* suicide
* poverty
* domestic violence
* child abuse...

(stay with me here..1/7)
* civil unrest
* lost livelihoods
* unemployment
* deaths of despair
* interrupted childhood development
* evications/loss of shelter
* debt accrual
* economic instability
* loss of trust in gov’t/public health
* social isolation
* shuttered businesses

(2/7)
* people forced to die alone
* people unable to be w/ loved ones as they died
* no funerals
* supply chain disruptions/impaired access to staples/medications
* deterioration of mental health
* unmanageable anxiety
* somatic manifestations of stress
* delayed healthcare

(3/7)
Read 7 tweets