1107 CoViD Facts and their Sources





I repeatedly hear about what I consider questionable advice, fake news and alternative ‘facts’ about CoViD and vaccinations, none of which I take on board. Instead I listen to experts in the fields of: 


public health

viral diseases

infectious diseases

virus infections

communicable diseases

epidemiology

immunology


So this is my CoViD vaccination mis-information defence, I watch the "mainstream" news every night and the first 15min generally are about CoViD ... other than the politicians of the hour, Gladys Berejiklian or ScoMo, as well as the Health Minister Greg Hunt, or the World Health Organisation (WHO) ...

 



 

... of most interest is the NSW Chief Health Officer doctor Kerry Chant, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Australia, Professor Paul Kelly and from the USA, doctor Anthony Faucithe Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President.

 

·       Chant is a public health physician, in her position since 2008.


·       She gained prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic providing regular public health advice for New South Wales, a contribution for which she was named the state's Woman of the Year in March 2021.


·       She attended the University of New South Wales where she completed a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery in 1987, a Master in Health Administration in 1991 and a Master of Public Health in 1995.


·       Chant has been with the New South Wales Health Department since 1991, working in the areas of virus infections, communicable diseases prevention and control and Indigenous health.


·       She is currently the Deputy Secretary, Population and Public Health and Chief Health Officer.


·       Prior to this, Chant was Director, Public Health Unit in Sydney South West Area Health Service.

 

So that is the person I listen to practically on a daily basis, when it comes to information regarding CoViD and vaccinations. The other Australian I listen to is Professor Paul Kelly:

 

·       Kelly is an Australian public health physician, epidemiologist and public servant who is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Australia.


·       Kelly is also the head of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and in that role an adviser to the National Cabinet of Australia created to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.


·       In the past, Kelly assumed a leadership role in th FluCAN project, a national system used to track people hospitalised with influenza, which helps to determine the efficacy of the flu vaccine.


·       Before that Kelly was Director, Health Protection and Deputy Chief Health Officer.

 

Furthermore, with a global view, I listen to doctor Anthony Fauci:

 

·      Fauci is an American physician-scientist and immunologist serving as the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President


·       As a physician with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Fauci has served the American public health sector in various capacities for more than fifty years and has acted as an advisor to every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan


·       Fauci became director of the NIAID in 1984 and made contributions to HIV/AIDS research and other immunodeficiency diseases, both as a research scientist and as the head of the NIAID.


·       From 1983 to 2002, Fauci was one of the world's most frequently-cited scientists across all scientific journals. 


·       In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded Fauci the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, for his work on the AIDS relief program.


·       During the COVID-19 pandemic, under President Donald Trump, he served as one of the lead members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. 


·       After Joe Biden took office, Fauci began serving as one of lead members of the White House COVID-19 Response Team. 


·       Fauci is additionally serving as Biden's chief medical advisor.


·       After completing his medical residency in 1968, Fauci joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a clinical associate in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases's (NIAID) Laboratory of Clinical Investigation (LCI).


·       He became head of the LCI's Clinical Physiology Section in 1974, and in 1980 was appointed chief of the NIAID's Laboratory of Immunoregulation. In 1984, he became director of the NIAID.


·       Fauci has been at the forefront of U.S. efforts to contend with viral diseases like HIV/AIDS, SARS, the Swine flu, MERS, Ebola, and COVID-19. 


·       He played a significant role in the early 2000s in creating the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and in driving development of biodefense drugs and vaccines following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


·       Fauci has been a visiting professor at many medical centers and has received numerous honorary doctorates from universities in the U.S. and abroad.

 

These people know infectious diseases, CoViD and vaccination, they have the necessary training and access to many more health experts they listen to, and they don't get side-tracked by dubious alternative facts and mis-information … 

which leads me to agree that we must get vaccinated as soon as possible.



_________________________


 

As an aside, this is what the ‘mainstream media’ say about some of the conspiracy theories around Dr. Fauci:

Sources: CNBCForbesBusiness InsiderVOX


 

     VOX ... is noted for its concept of explanatory journalism. 

 

"To understand the news, you have to understand the systems that shape society. Our reporters and editors spend hours finding data, doing research, and talking to experts to clearly explain these systems, including historical context, problems, and potential solutions. Our aim is to give people clear information that empowers them to shape the world in which they live."

 

 

·       The Fox News show “The Next Revolution,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci is responsible for the origins of the coronavirus … “the virus most likely came out of a lab in Wuhan, China, and, the question is who commissioned the work, who started the work that they were doing in that lab, and the answer … comes back right to here, to our country, to Dr. Fauci.” “Dr. Fauci is the leading proponent of a type of virus research called Gain of Function. The idea is to manipulate genetic information to make viruses as contagious as possible, so we can learn how to fight them.” 


    The conspiracy theory has been comprehensively debunked, but has become popular in Chinese and Russian disinformation circles.

 

·       In the Trump era there was a growing sentiment that Fauci is part of the “Deep State,” a term used by many of the President’s supports and other anti-government groups to represent what they see as a bias against Trump in the federal government. These conspiracy theorists claim that players in the Deep State have roles in the government that they exploit to actively work against the President’s agenda, stymieing his efforts to “drain the swamp” and work on behalf of the American people. Many believers of the Deep State theory, including supporters of QAnon theories, believe the Deep State is made up of disgruntled Democrats; but it’s been suggested there are plenty of Republicans in the Deep State as well. By virtue of his longtime public service, and his willingness to contradict the President, many of these conspiracy theorists see Fauci as a prime example of a Deep State advocate thwarting the President’s agenda.

 

·       Fauci directly rebutted critics who have accused him of reversing his views on the origins of the virus and on wearing masks to prevent transmission, along with a raft of conspiracy theories. Fauci lashed out at critics, blasting their “preposterous” and “painfully ridiculous” attacks and defending his record as a leading official battling the coronavirus pandemic. “A lot of what you’re seeing as attacks on me, quite frankly, are attacks on science, because all of the things that I have spoken about, consistently from the very beginning, have been fundamentally based on science."

 

·       Fauci pulled few punches as he directly rebutted critics who have attacked his prior remarks on the origins of the virus and on wearing masks to prevent transmission. “If you go through each and every one of them, you can explain and debunk it immediately,” Fauci said. “I mean, every single one.”

 

·       Fauci also flatly dismissed a conspiracy theory about him and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who emailed Fauci early on in the pandemic, inviting him to a Q&A video on the platform and outlining some ideas where the social media giant could work with the US government on the Covid response. It was claimed the emails between the two men showed that Fauci was trying to create a narrative “so that you would only know what they wanted you to know.”

 

·       Fauci maintained that his views on the origins of the coronavirus have not changed, even as the theory of a lab-leak pandemic has recently become more mainstream. Saying that a natural-origin scenario is more likely “doesn’t mean there is a closed mind to it being a leak,” Fauci said, “even though many people feel, myself included, that still the most likely origin is a natural one.” “I haven’t changed my mind,” Fauci said. “You want to keep an open mind. It’s a possibility. I believe it’s a highly unlikely possibility, and I believe that the most important one, that you look at what scientists feel, is very likely that it was a natural origin." He said he’s “very much in favor” of further investigation into Covid’s origins.

 

·       Bill Gates was “very surprised” when he and Dr. Anthony Fauci became the targets of “crazy” and “evil” conspiracy theories related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Gates told Reuters. The billionaire Microsoft co-founder and White House advisor Fauci have been frequent targets for baseless coronavirus conspiracy theories, including claims that falsely link the pair to the coronavirus’ origins in some way or another. Others have falsely claimed that Gates planned to use Covid-19 vaccines to implant monitoring microchips in billions of people. 


     “It’s almost hard to deny this stuff because it’s so stupid or strange that even to repeat it gives it credibility,” Gates said.

 

·       What the “Fauci Gate” emails tell us about Covid-19 and American politics; how social media has triggered conspiracy theories over Dr. Anthony Fauci’s emails. In March 2020, Dr. Anthony Fauci quickly became a character of contention whose audience was clearly split by political alignment. He was either known as a reliable source or a “disaster.” Much of the criticism he received was directly in line with the Trump administration’s scorn for health protocols and skepticism of safety measures like closed infrastructure and mandatory masking. A majority of Americans have received at least one vaccine dose and are ready to let all Covid-19-related news go. Through a Freedom of Information Act request filed by various news outlets, thousands of Fauci’s personal and work emails from as early as March 2020 were released to BuzzFeed and the Washington Post. Within hours of this release, #FauciLeaks and #FauciGate were trending on Twitter, in an onslaught of social media conspiracy theories from Covid-19 deniers using the emails as proof that they were right all along. 


     Apart from countless false claims about the virus and a habit of downplaying its public health risks, the Trump administration created a narrative in which everyday activities could and should continue. In October 2020, VOX wrote: “Not only is Trump’s rhetoric irresponsible, but the fact is, he’s holding rallies that make a mockery of social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines recommended by his own government. And these rallies appear to be actively making the pandemic worse by spreading the virus.” Even with Trump out of office, the country remains heavily polarized, and Trump’s influence on public discourse has proven long-lasting. According to the Washington Post, “to Trump supporters, Fauci was a contrarian who seemed to undermine the president at every turn, while others viewed him as a reassuring voice of reason.” This pent-up aggression is part of what made the email release such a big deal. 


     The email release gave conservatives an opportunity to get an inside look at the person they have made a scapegoat, and to cherrypick the fodder they needed to spread false information. Countless Trump-supporting Republican politicians have taken advantage of the moment to stoke resentment and fill their coffers. Among them, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been a leading figure in helping to spread misinformation about the Fauci emails. On June 3 he tweeted “FAUCI has been lying” and included a link to his fundraising website. This isn’t the first time social media has blown something Covid-19-related out of proportion or helped to spread misinformation. 


     So what did those emails actually say that conservatives have latched onto? Anti maskers have been looking for proof that masks don't work. One of the biggest points of contention throughout the pandemic, especially among right-leaning Americans, has been the mandate to wear masks. 


     One email that addresses this has been held up as evidence that Fauci knew that masks were ineffective and prescribed them anyway. In early February of 2020, Fauci received an email from a woman asking if she should wear a mask while traveling. He responded on February 5, “masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection. The typical mask you buy at a drugstore is not really effective in keeping out virus.” In February and early March of 2020, anything Covid-19-related was unclear even to health professionals, and a leading line of discourse was that Americans should not wear masks because they weren’t thought to be effective in screening out viral particles shed by others. While that information continues to be believed accurate - except in the case of hospital-grade masks, the N95 and KN95 face mask respirators, which have a much higher efficacy - it was eventually found that encouraging everyone to wear masks helped to prevent the actively infected from spreading the shed viral particles as easily to others. 


     There was also an effort to keep the panic-driven public from buying all available masks and putting health care workers at risk of running out of supplies. In an interview on June 12 with The Street, Fauci said, “the public health community - and many people were saying this - were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply.” During a June 3 CNN interview addressing the emails, Fauci reiterated that if he had all the information he had today, his advice from early in the pandemic would be drastically different, and that masks do in fact work. 


     But it doesn’t look like Fauci’s explanation will ease the backlash. After a year and a half of anti-mask protests, it’s being treated as an “I told you so” moment for conservative Americans, and they are making the most of it. There’s a bittersweet satisfaction in being right about this. As more and more Americans get vaccinated, there will be a decline in mask-wearing, but interestingly, it will likely remain a political symbol, “when people like Trump don’t wear masks and make wearing masks a political issue, their supporters are less likely to wear them.” It follows that when people like Fauci do wear a mask and are involved in suggesting rules about wearing them, these same people will be waiting for an opportunity to prove him wrong.


·     Fauci's emails don't prove a Wuhan conspiracy, but raise further questions. Why were U.S. scientists so quick to dismiss the possibility of bioengineering as the potential origin of the Covid-19 virus? “Some of the features (potentially) look engineered,” Andersen wrote in an email to Dr. Anthony Fauci, noting that he and other scientists “all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.” But, he added, “we have to look at this much more closely and there are still further analyses to be done, so those opinions could still change.” Change they did. Just four days later, Andersen gave feedback in advance of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine letter that was referenced in the prestigious Lancet medical journal to argue against the idea that the virus had been engineered and brand it a conspiracy theory. 


     Andersen called the ideas that the virus was engineered “crackpot theories,” writing, “engineering can mean many things and could be done for basic research or nefarious reasons, but the data conclusively show that neither was done.”

 

·       The Wuhan lab leak conspiracy theory: Trump infamously referred to Covid-19 as the “Chinese virus,” a statement which has led to more hate directed against Asian people. Sixty percent of all adults believe that discrimination against Asian Americans has increased compared to last year, according to an AP poll conducted between April 29 and May 3. Trump’s choice of wording has also led to false accusations, such as his claim that the coronavirus was created in China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology and intentionally spread to the rest of the world. Few reputable sources, Fauci included, believe this is likely. But if anything, this heightened reaction to one of the released emails, titled “Thank you for your public comments re COVID-19’s origins”. The email, from Peter Daszak, the CEO of a nonprofit called EcoHealth Alliance, which had been studying the origins of the coronavirus and had worked with the Wuhan viral lab in the past, reads, “I just wanted to say a personal thank you on behalf of our staff and collaborators, for publicly standing up and stating that the scientific evidence supports a natural origin for COVID-19 from a bat-to-human spillover, not a lab release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

 

·       Fauci also received an email from Kristian Andersen, a professor of immunology and microbiology at Scripps Research, which suggested that the virus could potentially be engineered. Anderson wrote: “The unusual features of the virus make up a really small part of the genome, so one has to look really closely at all the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered.”

 

·       Similar to the mask-related emails, these emails played into narratives that Republican politicians and their supporters had been perpetuating since the start of the pandemic. According to Politico, “Theories about a leak from the Wuhan virology lab became a consistent line of questioning for Republican lawmakers by last spring and soon turned into a mainstay of congressional hearings and increasingly contentious exchanges between Fauci and [Sen. Rand] Paul.”

 

·       In April 2020, Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, sent Fauci an email with the subject line “Conspiracy gains momentum.” Other than a link to an article about the possibilities of Covid-19 being created in a lab, the message is fully redacted. This specific email has become a lightning rod because of the redaction, and has spurred a belief among conspiracy theorists that Fauci may be under investigation. In fact, on June 4, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene(R-GA) sent a letter to President Joe Biden demanding an investigation into whether Fauci was involved in an alleged coverup of the virus’ potential origins.

 

·        In his CNN interview on June 3, Fauci restated that he still believes the most likely origin of Covid-19 is “a jumping of species,” but said he is committed to keeping an open mind, and recommended others do the same.

 

·       Conservative Americans want to discredit Fauci whether it makes sense or not. Amid all the confusion and frustration that the pandemic has prompted, many Americans are looking for someone to blame. Everyone has suffered, whether from losing a loved one to the virus, getting laid off, or simply a canceled trip.


·       While many liberals blame Trump’s erratic speeches and refusal to follow health guidelines for a failed response to the virus, these are the same people who are more likely to read the emails and feel bolstered in their support by the inside look at Fauci’s work.

 

·       On the other hand, for many conservatives, Fauci has been an obstruction, or worse, a villain set on upending the Trump agenda. His advice to stay at home, stay distanced, and wear a mask got in the way of Trump’s messaging about reopening the economy and getting back to normal.


·       Fauci’s emails, if anything, have affirmed how divided the country remains. On Sunday, CBS News released a poll in which 33 percent of Republicans, but just 10 percent of Democrats, say they won’t get the vaccine when it becomes available to them, a potential lingering influence of Trump’s rhetoric. Interestingly, according to the same poll, six in 10 of those who say they won’t get vaccinated also say that mask mandates and social distancing requirements aren’t effective in controlling the spread of the virus, which further aligns with this rhetoric.

 

·       Throughout his presidency, Trump ignored and downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic, and spread misinformation and disinformation about Covid-19. That in turn has contributed to distrust in the vaccine or beliefs that Covid-19 simply isn’t a serious issue among many of his supporters. Fauci’s released emails have garnered a lot of attention and criticism.


    The emails, then, are merely a retrospective glance back to the beginning of the pandemic, and not so much the “gotcha” moment that some believe. 
























 

 

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