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The UK’s National “Crisis”: Age-Adjusted Mortality Is at 2008 Levels

All over the world, populations have been locked up, have become fearful, and none of it can be justified. Looking at the UK, the overall death rate for 2020 is not unprecedented, and some of the increase in the death rate is likely the result of an incom

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All over the world, populations have been locked up, have become fearful, and none of it can be justified. Looking at the UK, the overall death rate for 2020 is not unprecedented, and some of the increase in the death rate is likely the result of an incomprehensibly bad covid policy.

Sometimes, a dam breaks, and reality intrudes on media and political narratives. Just such a break is the publication of the mortality rate for England and Wales by the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS). The report can be found here. The content that is of greatest interest is the total mortality and mortality rates over time. Below is figure 1 from the report. A red line has been added to give a sense of where mortality was in 2020 compared with the past. The figure shows mortality rates with no adjustments.

What is readily apparent is that there is, indeed, a jump in the mortality rate. However, if comparing the mortality rate with that of 1992, for example, we can see that it is not that high. In addition, the ONS provides a far more useful chart that shows age-standardized mortality rates. The report includes this discussion of the age-standardized statistics: “Age-standardised mortality rates (ASMRs) are a better measure of mortality than the number of deaths, as they account for the population size and age structure.” This is figure 3 from the report:

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The exact figures for 2020 are 1,236.7 males and 894.2 females.

For comparison, the mortality rates for 2009 are the closest: 1,229.7 males and 886.6 females.

As can be seen from the ONS statistics above, the mortality rate is very slightly higher than in 2009 and is lower than in 2008.

No reference or academic study is needed to point out that there was no health crisis in the UK in either 2008 nor 2009. Indeed, these were considered perfectly normal years. This is very worrying data if considered in relation to the pandemic response. There have been many criticisms of the most extreme measures such as lockdowns, but even these critiques have been predicated on the belief that the pandemic was going to result in massive increases in mortality. According to the ONS data, no such massive increase took place. Instead, there was an uptick leading to 2008–09 mortality rates.

Unfortunately, this is not the whole story. At the start of the UK’s response to the pandemic, the government ordered the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) to make room in hospitals by removing anyone from a hospital that could be removed. The policy was called COVID-19 Hospital Discharge Service Requirements (C19HDSR) and the policy document can be found here. The subtitle of the report is ‘Why Not Home, Why Not Today?’ and this captures the spirit of the policy. It details the conditions under which patients should be discharged and the roles of the various actors in the policy.

The first point of note in the C19HDSR is that it does not refer to testing requirements for covid before discharge. Annex A provides the conditions under which patients should not be discharged and being covid positive is not included in the criteria. The policy document states that care homes should be filled with discharged patients. There is even an additional document for patients to read when going into aged care (see here). There is no reference to requirements for testing before release into aged care homes.

Although the NHS bureaucracy denied that significant numbers of covid-positive patients were being discharged under C19HDSR without covid testing, this was later shown to be untrue in a later study by Healthwatch and the British Red Cross (see here). The study researchers surveyed and interviewed 590 patients discharged under C19HDSR, and included whether the patients were tested for covid before discharge and whether they received their results before discharge. The two figures below show the figures from their research (from pp. 28–29):

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Although the figures are from a sample of only 590 patients, they indicate that, at the very least, large numbers of patients were being forcibly discharged from hospitals without anyone knowing their covid status. The UK hospital ward system would be an ideal environment for the transmission of covid, with large numbers of people living close together in communal wards. At present, there is no further data on how many patients were discharged into aged care homes who were covid positive. However, given the data from Healthwatch and the British Red Cross, it would be reasonable to say that there must have been very many. In consideration that aged care homes are filled with the most covid-vulnerable populations, and involve considerable degrees of communal living, the policy likely very significantly contributed to the overall mortality rate in 2020.

When considering the ONS age-adjusted mortality statistics in conjunction with the policy of C19HDSR, it should be apparent that there is a big problem with the way that  covid has been characterized, at the very least in the UK. It is not possible to say how much of the uptick in mortality was government policy related, but this adds a further significant question mark about the narrative surrounding the lethality of covid.

As stated, this is just the case of the UK in 2020. Nevertheless, this is a modern Western country that is supposed to have been hard-hit by covid in 2020. There is no reason to believe that it is some special outlier.

The implications of this data are very difficult. Even for individuals that may be very cynical about government, the data suggests that governments have acted in the most extraordinary ways based on what can only be called a hysteria. This hysteria has, across much of the Western world, seen unprecedented losses of basic rights, convulsions in healthcare systems with potentially terrible long-term results, disruption of education, and misery, loneliness, and mental health problems. As for the negative economic consequences, they will be with everyone for years to come. The effects are macro and micro, for example, the massive extension of government borrowing, printing money, and the decimation of small businesses.

If the data from the UK is broadly representative, the only way to sum up what has taken place, and is still taking place, is that the world is experiencing the first-ever global hysteria. After all, 2008 was a perfectly normal year.

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Modified mRNA Demonstrates 10-Fold Protein Production

Scientists at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology came up with a technique to increase the efficiency and potentially the efficacy of mRNA therapeutics….

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Scientists at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology came up with a technique to increase the efficiency and potentially the efficacy of mRNA therapeutics. mRNA molecules have what is called a poly-A tail, which is basically a string of adenine nucleotides at one end. These researchers discovered that by replacing some of these nucleotides in the mRNA tail with cytidine, a cytosine base with a ribose sugar attached, that they could enhance the resulting protein production of the mRNA and increase its stability and life-span. The technique could lead to more effective mRNA therapies and vaccines, potentially enabling clinicians to achieve similar or better effects with smaller doses.

mRNA therapies have come a long way in just the last few years. The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled this approach from an emerging technology to a mainstay of our vaccine response. The concept is elegant – deliver mRNA strands to the patient, and allow their own cellular machinery to produce the relevant protein that the strands code for. So far, so good – the approach, once considered unrealistic because of the fragility of mRNA, has proven to work very well, at least for COVID-19 vaccines.  

However, there is always room for improvement. One of the issues with current mRNA therapies is that they can require multiple rounds of dosing to create enough of the therapeutic protein to achieve the desired effect. Think of the multiple injections required for the COVID-19 vaccines. Creating mRNA therapies that can induce our cells to produce more protein would certainly be beneficial.

To address this limitation, these researchers have found a way to modify the poly-A tail of synthetic mRNA strands. They found that by replacing some of the adenosine in the mRNA tail with cytidine, they could drastically increase the amount of protein the resulting strands ended up producing when applied to human cells and in mice. This translated to 3-10 times as much protein when compared with unmodified mRNA.

The researchers hope that the approach can enhance the effectiveness and required dosing schedules for mRNA therapies.

“Increasing the protein production of synthetic mRNA is generally beneficial to all mRNA drugs and vaccines,” said Becki Kuang, a researcher involved in the study. “In collaboration with Sun Yat-Sen University, our team is now exploring the use of optimized tails for mRNA cancer vaccines on animal. We are also looking forward to collaborating with pharmaceutical companies to transfer this invention onto mRNA therapeutics and vaccines’ development pipelines to benefit society.”

See a short animation about the technology below.

Study in journal Molecular Therapy – Nucleic Acids: Cytidine-containing tails robustly enhance and prolong protein production of synthetic mRNA in cell and in vivo

Via: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

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LIV Golf Expands to Courses Used By PGA Tour

LIV Golf announced three new venues to its 2023 calendar.
The post LIV Golf Expands to Courses Used By PGA Tour appeared first on Front Office Sports.

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LIV Golf is pushing further into the PGA Tour’s turf.

The Saudi Arabia-backed league announced three new venues for its 2023 season, all of which are used regularly by the PGA Tour or DP World Tour.

  • In February, LIV Golf will come to El Camaleón in Mexico’s Mayakoba resort area. The course, designed by Greg Norman prior to his role as LIV Golf CEO, was the PGA Tour’s first course in Latin America.
  • In April, LIV will travel to Sentosa in Singapore, which has hosted the Singapore Open.
  • In June, the tour will make its trip to Spain’s Real Club Valderrama, whose history includes the Ryder Cup and DP World Tour events.

LIV is also adding The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide, Australia, as it grows to 14 events next year.

The PGA Tour, which is under investigation by the Justice Department over antitrust concerns, hired lobbyist and major Republican fundraiser Jeff Miller to improve its standing in Washington.

PGA Tour Hires Top Republican Strategist Amid LIV Golf Clash

The PGA Tour could be seeking help on the antitrust front.
December 1, 2022

Bank Shots

LIV golfers Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia responded to Tiger Woods after the latter called for Norman’s ouster due to his pugilistic stance toward the PGA Tour.

“Greg Norman is our CEO, and we support him,” said Garcia. “We all wish we could come to an agreement. There are people who could have done wrong in both places, but it seems that there are only bad guys on one side.”

Mickelson responded to a comment by Woods that the PGA Tour had to take out a huge loan to survive past the pandemic by tweeting out financial information from the Tour’s public documents.

The post LIV Golf Expands to Courses Used By PGA Tour appeared first on Front Office Sports.

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XPeng stock rises 48% from a double-bottom pattern. Should you buy it?

Shares of XPeng Inc. (NYSE:XPEV) rose 48% on Thursday premarket after promising delivery outlook. XPeng posted 5,811 electric vehicle deliveries in November….

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Shares of XPeng Inc. (NYSE:XPEV) rose 48% on Thursday premarket after promising delivery outlook. XPeng posted 5,811 electric vehicle deliveries in November. Despite the number falling 63% from the prior year, it increased 14% from October. The increase in deliveries reflected the easing of Covid-19 rules, which have hit EV makers in China this year.

XPeng said it expects the deliveries to rise significantly in December 2022. The deliveries will be boosted by a ramp-up in the production of G9s. Analysts project up to 10,000 deliveries in December. The delivery outlook overshadowed a reported Q3 loss of $0.39. XPeng’s revenue, however, rose 19.3% to $959.2 million or £786 million. The positive stock market news and outlook boosted the outlook for XPEV, which is already down 80% YTD.

XPEV recovers above the MA amid a bullish RSI divergence

XPEV Chart by TradingView

On the daily chart, XPEV recovered above the 20-day and 50-day moving averages. It is for the first time that the stock is recovering above the moving averages since July. 

XPEV is also recovering from a double bottom that formed close to $6.2. A bullish RSI divergence also occurred towards $6.2. The level could prove to be the bottom price if XPEV maintains the recovery. The RSI reading of 60 indicates that XPEV is yet to reach overbought levels.

How attractive is XPEV?

This article finds investing in XPEV favourable in the short term. With the deliveries and outlook, XPEV could continue to rise. The levels around $12 and $14 should be watched.

It should be noted that Chinese car sales tend to pick up towards the end of the year. So, it is possible for XPEV to maintain gains in the medium term, with the expectation.

However, we consider the greater stock market risks still high. China also still needs to ease its strict Covid-19 policy further, and it could weigh the automakers.

The post XPeng stock rises 48% from a double-bottom pattern. Should you buy it? appeared first on Invezz.

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