Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Think Horses, Not Zebras; COVID-19 Lab Leak Origin Makes More and More Sense; Why America Needs a COVID Truth Commission, and other C-Virus related stories

Think horses, not zebras; COVID-19 lab leak origin makes more and more sense:
A YouTube segment of the Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" featuring Jon Stewart has gone viral. Stewart, the comedian appearing as a guest in June 2021, riffs about the origin of COVID-19: “The Wuhan Novel Respiratory Coronavirus Lab … the disease is the same name as the lab! That’s just a little too weird!” Colbert shifts uncomfortably in his seat as a wide-eyed Stewart becomes more and more animated that the “lab leak” hypothesis is correct, echoing sentiments of President Donald Trump and challenging the party line explanation that COVID-19’s origin was a natural occurrence.
Using humorous metaphor to make his point, Stewart goes on, “There’s been an outbreak of ‘chocolate goodness’ near Hershey, Pennsylvania, what do you think happened?” He sarcastically answers his own question, “I don’t know, maybe a steam shovel made it with a cocoa bean? Or is it the (expletive) chocolate factory!” Stewart then mocked the orthodox theory, “A pangolin kissed a turtle or a bat flew up the cloaca of a turkey and got into my chili?”
Whether he realized it or not, Stewart was echoing a medical diagnostic point my chief of surgery made long ago in teaching medical students. The students would try to stump him with an unusual medical case. And he would dissect the history, physical exam finding, and labs to come up with a diagnosis. He frequently made the point, “When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras.” In other words, common diseases occur commonly and rare diseases occur rarely. So which is more likely?
This wise phrase was not original with my chief of surgery. The saying is attributed to Dr. Theodore Woodward, a respected teacher at the University of Maryland and charter member of the Infectious Disease Society of America whose work advanced the care of many infectious diseases. The saying is well known to most physicians of my generation. It is appropriate to remember this aphorism in discussing the origin of the COVID.
A few weeks ago the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a report on the research that took place in China just before the first cases of SARS-CoV-2 in late 2019. In April 2021 I wrote an op-ed in the Des Moines Register on “Why we need to know the origin of COVID-19.” The IG’s report confirms my point that National Institutes of Health-funded research that EcoHealth Alliance was performing at the Wuhan Institute of Virology should have been more vigorously scrutinized. --->READ MORE HERE
AFP via Getty Images/THOMAS KIENZLE 
Why America needs a COVID truth commission:
When America faced the national tragedy of the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding in 1986, Congress created a commission with independent outside experts, including the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman. His iconic demonstration of a faulty O-ring made brittle in the cold as the cause of the Challenger disaster led to fundamental reforms at NASA.
The American people deserve a similar bipartisan, scientifically minded COVID-19 commission so the public-health disaster of the past three years is not repeated.
Due to insufficient protection of older people — whose COVID-mortality risk is more than 1,000-fold higher than that of the young — official counts attribute more than 1 million deaths to COVID in the United States and almost 7 million worldwide. Though people vehemently disagreed about the wisdom of lockdowns, school closures, vaccine mandates and discrimination, masks and so much else, there is near-universal agreement that what we did failed.
By early 2022, about 95% of Americans had contracted COVID despite the harsh countermeasures. A John Hopkins University meta-analysis concluded that lockdowns failed to contain the spread of COVID. At best, they temporarily protected the laptop class, who could work from home while being served by the working class.
The pandemic response itself has wrought tremendous collateral harm. There is now broad agreement that the school closures — in some states running a year or more — have set kids behind in ways that will lead them to worse outcomes as adults, including shorter, poorer lives.
One peer-reviewed paper estimated the spring 2020 closures alone may have cost American children millions of years in life expectancy. The damages are unequally distributed, with poor and minority children suffering the worst learning losses. Hundreds of thousands of kids never returned when schools finally opened. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

Paul O’Neill returning to Yankees booth after vaccine standoff

Canadian military orders podcaster to delete episodes with sniper who criticized vaccine mandates

USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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