It is a year since we embarked on an untried, untested, unscientific, draconian and frankly mad medical, social, economic and psychological experiment on millions of people. On the day we were thrust into this folly I wrote, “So that seems to be that. The end of Britain as we knew it.” All that has taken place since has, I believe, confirmed that, and my only surprise is that millions of people still cling to the bizarre idea that Lockdowns were based on science, that they were necessary, that they have been effective, and that we have a benevolent Government whose aim has been to keep us all safe. None of these things are true.
A Brief Recap of What Has Taken Place
You will search in vain for pre-2020 medical and scientific literature advocating the mass quarantining of healthy people as an appropriate response to a pandemic. In fact, after a panicked Mexican Government flirted with the idea for five whole days during the 2009 Swine Flu outbreak (ending it once it was realised how devastating it would be), the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) at the time, Dr Margaret Chan, explicitly warned against such destructive measures being used:
“In this regard, let me make a strong plea to countries to refrain from introducing measures that are economically and socially disruptive, yet have no scientific justification and bring no clear public health benefit.”
So this disruptive, unscientific measure, with no clear public health benefit was quietly buried and forgotten about. Until, that it is, it was implemented in January 2020, in the Chinese province of Hubei, on the orders of Xi Jinping, leader of one of the most totalitarian regimes on the planet, as the lawyer Michael Sanger details in great depth here.
One might have expected the WHO to take the same line as Dr. Chan in 2009, yet by February it had inexplicably changed its pandemic response guidance, on the flimsiest and most unreliable evidence, bringing it into line with the Wuhan decree.
One might then have expected Western countries to reject this tyrannical approach, but shockingly they did not. In Britain, the perfectly sensible Pandemic Preparedness Strategy the Government had had in place since 2011, which stressed the absolute importance of ensuring minimal disruption to society, even during a virus outbreak that might take 315,000 lives in a 15 week period, was binned. Why? That is the single most important question to which we need answers, but I think that Professor Neil Ferguson gave us a big clue in his interview with The Times in December:
“They [the Chinese] claimed to have flattened the curve. I was skeptical at first. I thought it was a massive cover-up by the Chinese. But as the data accrued it became clear it was an effective policy. But it’s a communist one-party state, we said. We couldn’t get away with it in Europe, we thought. And then Italy did it. And we realized we could.”
His claim of flattening the curve is a red-herring. His comment that they realised they could get away with implementing the tactics of a despotic regime is not.
Having been failed by the WHO and the Government, surely the British people would not fall for something so self-evidently absurd as prohibiting millions of perfectly healthy people from coming into contact with other healthy people? Surely the spirit that had made this country one of the freest nations on earth would kick in?
Sadly, and bafflingly, no. The British people, through a combination of being bombarded with fear, hysteria and outright lies on an unprecedented scale, meekly submitted to these despotic decrees, believing them to be something to do with being kept safe.
The Lie of Asymptomatic Transmission and the Myth of Half a Million Deaths
The biggest lie by far is that of asymptomatic transmission. Indeed, it may one day become known as the biggest lie, told to the largest number of people, in the shortest space of time. The claim was based chiefly on an incident in Germany, where a Chinese lady, who was thought to have been asymptomatic, was said to have spread the illness. However, it subsequently turned out that she did in fact have symptoms, but had suppressed them with medication. Yet that was scarcely reported on, and by that time the myth that this was some kind of new, mystical disease that could be spread by people with no symptoms had been born, and with it the basis for the Lockdowns, masks, and the myriad of other bizarre, dystopian restrictions placed upon us. Later in the year, a huge study of 10 million people in Wuhan showed zero cases of asymptomatic spread, but as you can probably guess this was entirely ignored by Governments and media around the world.
What of Professor Ferguson’s claim of 510,000 deaths? This remains the basis for the claim of Lockdown supporters that there would have been hundreds of thousands more deaths had we not locked down. Apart from the fact that the UK is currently fifth on the worldwide deaths per million table having had the third most stringent Lockdown on planet earth, according to the University of Oxford, and that countries who did not lock down have fared no worse, is there anything else that we can point to, to show the fallacy of Professor Ferguson’s doomsday prophecy?
Why yes there is, and it is in fact contained within Professor Ferguson’s report itself. He arrived at his figure of 510,000 dead for a “no-restrictions” scenario by estimating that 81% of the population would become infected, and by assuming an Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) of Covid-19 at 0.9%. However, in October, arguably the world’s foremost epidemiologist, John Ioannidis, of Stanford University, California, published a definitive study into the IFR of Covid-19. He calculated that the median rate was 0.23%, not 0.9%, as Ferguson had assumed, and his work was accepted and approved by the WHO.
This is very important: If Ferguson had used the IFR number of 0.23%, rather than 0.9%, guess what number of deaths he would have arrived at? The answer is around 127,000. Which is mighty interesting, since the total number of “official” deaths from Covid-19, at the time of writing, is 126,172. In other words, if Ferguson had used the correct IFR, the number of deaths he would have predicted in a scenario with no Lockdown would have been the same number of official deaths that we’ve actually had with the 3rd most stringent Lockdown on earth. Of course, I’m well aware that those 126,000 or so deaths were not all from Covid-19, but Lockdown supporters claim they were and so it’s for them to explain how this number is currently the same as Ferguson’s study would have predicted for a non-Lockdown situation, had he used the correct IFR.
That Lockdowns have not saved lives ought to be obvious. The virus was known since early March 2020 to overwhelmingly kill the elderly with comorbidities, and so resources could and should have been targeted to protect such people. Yet the scattergun approach that was taken of quarantining everyone is not — by definition — a targeted approach. And so the irony is that with all the absurd calls for healthy people to change their whole way of life to protect the vulnerable, what actually happened is the healthy had their lives utterly overturned, and the vulnerable were left to die.
The Destructive Power of Lockdowns
So much for the futility of Lockdowns to do good, what about their destructive power? This cannot be overstated. They are destroying lives. They are destroying livelihoods. They are destroying jobs. They are destroying businesses. They are destroying education. They are destroying churches. They are destroying trust. They are destroying mental health. They are destroying marriages. They are destroying relationships. They are destroying communities. They are destroying the idea that the police serve the people. They are destroying the rule of law. They are destroying free Britain.
Time and space will not suffice to tell of the destruction to the delicate balances of life in the medical sphere (especially weakened immune systems), the social sphere, the psychological sphere and the economic sphere, or the slide to a Transhumanist future brought about by the incessant calls for humans to stay away from other humans, and the bizarre ritual of covering the human face — the most immediate and important physical manifestation of the Imago Dei — with useless bits of cloth.
To those who have acquiesced in this, I would just ask this: Do you still not see what you have done? Do you still not see what it is you have supported?
The Britain that existed prior to March 2020, or which many of us thought existed, is gone. The Britain, in which we took freedom for granted, is gone. We have entered a very different future, and what is more, the vast majority of people seem to have welcomed it. Worse than this, we are being ushered into a Transhumanist Technocracy, where we are not seen as human, made in the image of God, but merely as potential virus carriers, digital ID numbers, drones fit to be tracked and traced, fit to be watched and ordered about by the dystopian technocrats who are building their Medical Despotism around us, but not considered worthy to live quiet and peaceful lives, going about our lawful business, living life without interfering overlords meddling in every aspect of it.
Why has this happened?
For the first few months I hedged my bets between the idea that the continuance of these measures was down to politicians trying to cover up for a monumental blunder, or that it was part of something far more nefarious. And whilst I am still unclear on the origins, for me the “covering up for a big mistake” possibility became untenable in October, with the release of The Great Barrington Declaration. This was a scientifically sound, medically robust, intellectually credible way out of the crisis that had been created. It was an open door for the British Government, along with others around the world, to walk through and save face. But what actually happened is they either ignored it or, in the case of Comrade Hancock, actively ridiculed it.
I think it obvious by now that there is something far more nefarious going on. But how to explain it? Some imagine that this must require some Dr Evil character, pulling the strings and making his puppets all dance to the same tune. I don’t believe this to be so. Anyone who has even the most cursory knowledge of politics over the past two decades must have noticed that almost all the people who rise to the top have broadly the same ideology. They think the same things. They mouth the same platitudes. They walk the same walk. And if you don’t think, speak or walk like them, why you’ll never be invited to the party. It is fairly obvious that many of these people have seen Covid-19 as an opportunity to increase their power, to control people, and to remake society in their own hideous image.
But that’s not all. I have seen endless disquieting comments – echoing my own thoughts – from both Christians and non-Christians, that the inexplicably bizarre reaction to what happened was as if millions of people have been put under some kind of spell. On this, it would be well to remember that there are things that go on which are well beyond our ability to explain by purely human reason and human actions:
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:1).
Looking to the Future
Having been lulled and propagandised into the acceptance of measures that are not only futile in and of themselves, but which have destroyed the idea of what we might call normal life, millions have now been lulled into the idea that rushed, untried, untested “vaccines”, which are not due to finish their clinical trials until 2023 (see links to Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna trials), are some sort of salvation and way back to normal. But as the news in recent days has shown, they are in for a big disappointment. Your overlords do not want to let you return to normal. They have the bit between their teeth, and I don’t think they are about to let this opportunity go.
What we are seeing is far bigger, far more comprehensive, far more awful than most of us can comprehend. As Naomi Wolf summed up in a fantastic commentary on the situation recently:
“But this time we do not just face a war on freedom. This time we face a war on human beings, and on all that makes us human.”
Indeed. From Lockdowns to social distancing to masks, humanity and what it means to be human is under attack. There is but one peaceful way out of this Transhumanist Technocratic future: individuals, churches and nations need to repent before God, and having repented they need to plead with Him for deliverance from this judgement, and that he will re-establish truth, reality, and what it actually means to be human, in a world that has forgotten these things. The hour is late. The need really is urgent.
Monkeypox cases are rising. Should we be worried?
The World Health Organization has said the current outbreak of monkeypox is the largest ever recorded outside sub-Saharan
The post Monkeypox cases are…
The World Health Organization has said the current outbreak of monkeypox is the largest ever recorded outside sub-Saharan Africa, with cases rising above the 100-mark a few days ago and the UK top of the table with 56 as of yesterday.
Top of the list of concerns is how the virus – which does not spread easily between humans and requires skin-to-skin contact – is spreading so quickly in so many countries in Europe, the Americas and Australia where the disease is not endemic.
There is speculation that monkeypox may be being spread between sexual partners, even though it is not normally considered a sexually-transmitted infection. Thankfully, there have been no deaths reported so far, although the WHO notes monkeypox has a fatality rate of between 3% and 6%.
While health authorities are on alert, the WHO said it thinks the outbreak can be contained and that the overall risk to the population remains low. It also stressed there is no evidence that a viral mutation is responsible for the unusual pattern of infections.
Monkeypox is considered less likely to mutate quickly because it is a DNA virus rather than an RNA virus like influenza or COVID-19.
Several countries including Belgium and the UK are already advising a three-week quarantine period for anyone who contracts the virus and their close contacts.
The increasing case numbers in the current monkeypox outbreak are certainly concerning,” commented Dr Charlotte Hammer, an expert in emerging infectious diseases based at the University of Cambridge in the UK.
“It is very unusual to see community transmission in Europe – previous monkeypox cases have been in returning travellers with limited ongoing spread. However, based on the number of cases that were already discovered across Europe and the UK in the previous days, it is not unexpected that additional cases are now being and will be found, especially with the contact tracing that is now happening.”
Vaccines and drugs are available
Meanwhile, attention is now being turned to other measures to control the outbreak, including the use of vaccines against smallpox – a related virus – in a ‘ring vaccination’ approach designed to control the spread among contacts.
Vaccines used during the smallpox eradication programme can provide around 85% protection against monkeypox, according to the WHO, which notes that one newer vaccine – Bavarian Nordic’s Jyneos – has been approved by the FDA for prevention against both viruses.
There’s also a licensed antiviral drug for monkeypox. SIGA Technologies’ oral drug Tpoxx (tecovirimat) is approved for smallpox, monkeypox and cowpox in Europe, and in the US and Canada for smallpox, although it can be used off-label for the other disease. The US FDA also approved a new intravenous form of the drug last week.
The WHO says there is no need for widespread vaccination, as other control measures like isolation of patients should be enough to curb the spread and in any case supplies of vaccines are limited.
Monkeypox causes symptoms similar to but milder than smallpox, typically beginning with fever, headache, muscle aches and exhaustion. It is transmitted to people from various wild animals, such as rodents and primates, and is usually a self-limited disease with symptoms lasting from two to four weeks.
In 2003, the US experienced an outbreak of monkeypox, which was the first time human monkeypox was reported outside of Africa. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is making some Jyneos vaccine reserves available for close contact inoculations, including healthcare workers tending to patients.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said yesterday it had identified 36 additional cases of monkeypox in England, and that vaccination of high-risk contacts of cases is already underway.
“A notable proportion of recent cases in the UK and Europe have been found in gay and bisexual men so we are particularly encouraging these men to be alert to the symptoms,” said the agency’s chief medical advisor Dr Susan Hopkins.
“Because the virus spreads through close contact, we are urging everyone to be aware of any unusual rashes or lesions and to contact a sexual health service if they have any symptoms.”
The post Monkeypox cases are rising. Should we be worried? appeared first on .cdc disease control covid-19 vaccine fda rna dna spread deaths quarantine transmission africa canada europe uk world health organization
What does good cybersecurity look like in 2022?
The pharma industry is becoming an increasingly hot commodity for cybercriminals. In recent years, digital adoption has accelerated
The post What does…
The pharma industry is becoming an increasingly hot commodity for cybercriminals. In recent years, digital adoption has accelerated at a rapid pace, with companies racing to integrate cloud-based platforms and telehealth services to expand the delivery of modern healthcare. Combined with the sudden arrival of COVID-19, this perfect storm of events handed cybercriminals an opportunity to exploit weaknesses in fledging systems and processes.
Pharma companies hold masses of vital data sets, from classified intellectual property to proprietary information about drugs and clinical trial developments. The value of such data is not lost on cybercriminals. This was illustrated in 2021, amid growing awareness of the pharma industries’ efforts to develop and distribute COVID-19 vaccines. According to cybersecurity firm Critical Insights, the number of cybersecurity breaches in healthcare reached an all-time high in 2021, exposing an unprecedented amount of protected health information.
Cyber attacks can be highly damaging, both financially and to a company’s reputation. Therefore, it is essential that necessary steps are taken, both at a company and individual level, to understand and prevent the risk of cyber threats. But what does good cybersecurity actually look like? To help navigate the complex world of digital crime, Adarma’s threat consultant Mike Varley, KnowBe4 lead security awareness advocate Javvad Malik, CEO and founder of CyberSmart Jamie Akhtar, and senior engineer at Trend Micro Simon Walsh offer their insights into key trends and best practises for pharma companies.
Why is the healthcare industry a particular target for cyberattacks?
Javvad Malik (JM): Historically cybercriminals were after money, so they often ignored healthcare providers. However, with increasing sophistication within the criminal economies and the ability to monetise data through ransomware, other means of extortion, or resale, healthcare providers have become an almost ideal target for criminals.
Simon Walsh (SW): Despite statements from would-be attackers to the contrary, the healthcare and pharma industries became prime targets during the COVID pandemic, particularly for ransomware operators, as we saw during the breach of the Irish Healthcare Service Executive in May 2021.
There are several reasons for this: they’re seen as easy targets because of their relative lack of security maturity; the COVID pandemic-induced strain they’re already under makes them more likely to pay the ransom; and the fact that the data they hold – patient records – is extremely valuable and opens additional paths to extortion.
Jamie Akhtar (JA): Many healthcare providers have weak or limited defences. These range from poor staff awareness of threats to creaking, outdated operating systems and tech, but whatever the reason, cybercriminals are aware that many healthcare providers make for easy pickings.
Mike Varley (MV): We can expect to see a rising number of ransomware attacks on the healthcare sector. Healthcare is recognised as national critical infrastructure, which makes it an attractive target to malicious foreign entities looking to create chaos and harm. Similarly, when human life is put at risk by an attack, organisations are more likely to pay up, so attackers often view these structures as a quick pay-day.
Where do you see the most mistakes being made in healthcare when it comes to addressing cyber threats?
JM: Perhaps the biggest mistakes or challenges healthcare faces when addressing cyber threats are having outdated or unpatched software running, being too quick to purchase or adopt internet-connected devices without demanding rigorous security testing, and, finally, the lack of security awareness and training amongst IT staff.
SW: Security maturity and the ability to successfully detect and withstand attacks comes from understanding cyber risk and building and developing a cyber security strategy around that understanding. This of course needs to be adopted and driven by the board and C-level executives and too often this is not the case, with a lack of understanding and investment resulting in a weakened security posture.
Over-reliance on security technology without adequate human oversight further weakens this posture. The Irish hospitals who successfully prevented the attack in May 2021 were those who not just detected stages of the attack but also understood what those detections meant and acted as a result.
Developing a human oversight function – for example a Security Operations Centre – in house is costly, difficult, and takes time. So, for many in the healthcare/pharma industry, the quickest route to success on this front is working with the correct partner who will provide that function.
JA: There are two areas in which most organisations, not just healthcare providers, could be doing better. Many aren’t doing the simple things that can thwart most cyber-attacks. For example, regularly updating software and operating systems, using strong passwords and MFA, developing clear policies for staff to follow, and ensuring security tools are configured properly.
On top of this, employee awareness of cyber threats just isn’t widespread enough. An organisation can have the best cybersecurity software around but, if an employee doesn’t know what a phishing email looks like and clicks a malicious link, it’ll be hacked just the same. The way to counter this is basic cybersecurity training. It doesn’t have to be comprehensive, just enough to help your people make informed choices.
What trends are you seeing in cybersecurity at the moment?
JA: The most worrying trend is the rise in supply chain attacks. Cybercriminals have worked out that the best way to target large enterprises with solid defences, is to attack a smaller, less well-defended supplier who can give them a backdoor in. As a result, we’re seeing more major attacks originate in this way.
Alongside this, phishing continues to be the single most common form of attack. Due to the general lack of awareness in the working population, many organisations are still struggling to contain the threat.
MV: Increasingly I think we will see healthcare sector organisations turning to managed security service providers who have the expertise, capability, and technology to deal with an increasingly complex and harmful cyber landscape.
The healthcare sector is expected to provide an elevated level of cyber protection and with a shortage of cyber talent and the prohibitive cost of establishing a Security Operations Centre internally, organisations will need a trusted security partner that can provide that level of proactive protection.
What advice would you give to companies looking to improve their cybersecurity policies, both on a company-wide scale and individual basis?
JA: Above all, make them clear and easy to follow. Avoid technical jargon, where possible, as this will only disengage people. And, explain why the company has adopted the policies it has; your staff will find it much easier to follow them if they know why. Also, store them somewhere that’s easy to access from anywhere. There’s little use in a policy if it’s buried deep in a shared drive where nobody reads it.
MV: Cybersecurity policies should be informed by a threat-led approach. Regular threat modelling will highlight what threats you are facing and how adversaries are likely to target your organisation. With this information on areas of commonality, your security teams can focus on implementing layered security and monitoring.
Your policy should consider asset awareness. As basic as it sounds, it can be easy for a small handful of assets to fall under the radar within vast enterprises, which leads to out-of-date operating systems and software.
JM: Organisations should look to take a data-driven approach. That means, that in addition to following what is occurring externally in terms of attacks, they should look through a year or two worth of internal security logs to see what was the root cause of the incidents during this time period.
Once the root causes have been identified, they should be prioritised, and then controls be put in place to address those specific root causes. Those should inform the cybersecurity policies and tailor them to the specific risks the organisation is facing.
SW: For companies, start at the top and ensure that the board and C-level executives are capable of understanding and assessing risk. This will drive investment in cyber strategy and improve your chances of mitigating that risk. Human oversight of security-related activity in the organisation is also fundamental.
For individuals, heightened awareness and ongoing education are key. We all have a role to play in cyber-security as 100% reliance on technology is unfortunately never enough.
The post What does good cybersecurity look like in 2022? appeared first on .link pandemic covid-19 testing
CDC Now Recommends COVID Testing For All Domestic Air Travel, Including The Vaccinated
CDC Now Recommends COVID Testing For All Domestic Air Travel, Including The Vaccinated
Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times,
In an update on the agency’s website, anyone traveling within the United States may want to consider “getting tested as close to the time of departure as possible,” and no more than three days before a flight. It previously only recommended testing for people who have not received COVID-19 vaccines or up-to-date booster shots.
The CDC update is also recommending that people take a test before or after a trip if they went to crowded spaces “while not wearing a well-fitting mask or respirator.”
In April, a Florida federal judge struck down the CDC mandate that required people to wear masks inside airports or on airplanes. Justice Department officials have signaled they will challenge the rule, implemented after President Joe Biden took office in early 2021, in court.
A spokesperson for the agency told AFAR Magazine on May 19 that “COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing severe disease and death,” but added, “since vaccines are not 100 percent effective at preventing infection, some people who are up to date can still get COVID-19.”
“People who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines may feel well and not have symptoms but still can be infected and spread the virus to others,” the spokesperson said.
In January of this year, the CDC also implemented a change to its international travel rule, requiring plane passengers aged 2 and older to show a negative COVID-19 test from no more than a day before boarding a flight or proof of recovery from COVID-19 within the previous 90 days. Foreign nationals have to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination as well.
Neither the CDC nor the White House has given any public indication of when the mandatory testing rule for international travelers will be relaxed. Travel groups have pushed for that rule to be removed for months now.
In a letter to the White House, a group representing more than 250 organizations called for an end to the rule, saying it’s only caused “slow economic recovery of the business and international travel sectors.”
After the federal judge’s order was handed down last month, the CDC issued a new recommendation that people inside airports and airplanes wear masks, despite nearly all major airliners having scrapped enforcement.
And during a news briefing last week, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, who has been criticized for her agency’s messaging during the COVID-19 pandemic, said that people living in counties that the agency deems to have high COVID-19 transmission should wear masks in indoor settings.
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