Sweden, a country which never imposed significant lockdown measures, has officially declared that the COVID-19 pandemic is “over” and announced that it will be lifting all remaining restrictions.
“As we know this pandemic, I would say it’s over,” Minister of Health Lena Hallengren told Dagens Nyheter. “It’s not over, but as we know it in terms of quick changes and restrictions it is.”
According to Reuters, these comments were as close as possible to the country “effectively declaring the pandemic over.”
From today, bars and restaurants are allowed to stay open beyond 11pm again and there are no limits on guest numbers.
Attendance limits for indoor venues and vaccine passports, which were temporarily introduced in response to the Omicron variant, have both been scrapped.
Most testing rules for COVID-19 have also been abolished.
Sweden being the first country to declare the pandemic a done deal will be sure to infuriate lockdown fanatics and mask zealots.
Despite being on the receiving end of an intense backlash, the country’s approach of refusing to impose harsh lockdown restrictions has been completely vindicated.
Unlike other Europeans countries such as France and Spain which imposed draconian lockdown rules, Sweden’s COVID-19 death rate is comparatively better and the country is exiting the pandemic while other nations are refusing to lift restrictions for at least months more.
The Scandinavian country did not enforce strict mask mandates, with senior epidemiologist Anders Tengell asserting that face coverings were in fact “dangerous” because they provided a false sense of security while failing to stop the spread of the virus.
As we highlighted in October 2020, Sweden again refused to follow other European countries by re-imposing lockdown rules, arguing that those beset by loneliness and misery of being isolated had suffered enough.
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Massive Peer-Reviewed Mask Study Shows ‘Little To No Difference’ In Preventing COVID, Flu Infection
A massive international research collaboration that analyzed several dozen rigorous studies focusing on “physical interventions” against COVID-19 and influenza found that they provide little to no protection against infection or illness rates.
The study, published in the peer-reviewed Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, is the strongest science to date refuting the basis for mask mandates worldwide.
And of course, the CDC still recommends masking in areas with “high” rates of transmission (fewer than 4% of US counties, as Just the News notes), along with indoor masking in areas with “medium” rates of transmission (27%).
Masks are still required in educational institutions in Democratic strongholds such as New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington and California, according to the Daily Mail. Boston Public Schools denied its “temporary masking protocol” in early January was a “mandate,” following a public letter against the policy by student Enrique Abud Evereteze.
South Korea is still requiring masks on public transport and in medical facilities after dropping COVID mandates in most indoor settings, including gyms, Monday, Reuters reported. -Just the News
According to the Cochrane study, which included the work of researchers at institutions in the U.K., Canada, Australia, Italy and Saudi Arabia, a total of 78 studies were analyzed. Most recent additions to the meta-analysis were 11 new randomized controlled trials.
As unlisted study author Carl Heneghan – who directs the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford noted on Twitter: “Wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of influenza‐like illness (ILI)/COVID‐19 like illness compared to not wearing masks.”
The Danish study had trouble finding a major journal willing to publish its controversial findings that wearing surgical masks had no statistically significant effect on infection rates, even among those who claimed to wear them “exactly as instructed.”
Mainstream media overlooked red flags in the Bangladeshi mask study, which found no effect for surgical masks under age 50 and a difference of only 20 infections between control and treatment groups among 342,000 adults. -JTN
Bottom line, mask wearing “probably makes little to no difference,” when it comes to influenza-like or COVID-like illnesses, regardless of type of mask used.
We’re sure the cult of Fauci will now start insisting peer-reviewed meta-analyses aren’t ‘the science.’This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
Australian Health Authorities Call For More COVID Boosters… But The Public Says No
Australia and New Zealand suffered some of the worst pandemic mandate conditions of any country in the western world, crossing the line into totalitarianism on a number of occasions.
Australian authorities restricted residents of larger cities to near house arrest, with people not being allowed to go more than 3 miles from their homes. Citizens were given curfew hours between 9pm and 5am. They were banned from public parks and beaches without a mask, even though it is nearly impossible to transmit a virus outdoors and UV light from the sun acts as a natural disinfectant.
In the worst examples, Australian citizens received visits from police and government officials for posting critical opinions about the mandates on social media. Some were even arrested for calling for protests against the lockdowns. In Australia and New Zealand, covid camps were built to detain people infected with covid. Some facilities were meant for those who had recently traveled, others were meant for anyone who stepped out of line.
As the fears over covid wane and the populace realizes that the true Infection Fatality Rate of the virus is incredibly small, restrictions are being abandoned and things seems to be going back to normal. It’s important, however, to never forget what happened and how many countries faced potentially permanent authoritarianism under the shadow of vaccine passports. If the passports rules had been successfully enforced, we would be living in a very different world today in the west.
Luckily, the passports were never implemented widely. Australian health authorities are once again calling for the public to take a fourth covid booster shot, but with very little response. Only 40% of citizens took the third booster, and new polling data shows that 30% are taking the fourth booster.
With an astonishing rise in excess deaths by heart failure in Australia coinciding exactly with the introduction of the covid mRNA vaccines, perhaps people are deciding to finally er on the side of caution. Why take the risk of an experimental vaccine over a virus that 99.8% of the population will easily survive?This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
NIH Failed To Monitor EcoHealth Alliance: Federal Watchdog
After an 18-month audit, a federal watchdog says that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) failed to adequately monitor and address problems involving EcoHealth Alliance, a New York City-based nonprofit that was used to offshore risky gain-of-function research to Wuhan, China after the Obama administration banned the practice in 2014.
According to the report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the “NIH did not effectively monitor or take timely action to address” compliance issues with EcoHealth.
In April 2020, after then-President Donald Trump claimed the SARS-CoV-2 virus could have come from the WIV lab, NIH terminated the EcoHealth grant with little explanation. That step was widely condemned by scientists, and OIG’s report now says NIH improperly executed the termination because it did not provide a valid reason or provide EcoHealth with required information for appealing the decision.
A few months later, NIH reinstated the award but immediately suspended it, setting conditions for resumption that EcoHealth said it could not meet. NIH permanently terminated the WIV subaward as of August 2022 for compliance issues, including WIV’s failure to provide NIH with laboratory notebooks related to the funded experiments. –Science
The audit examined the above grant, as well as two others from 2014 to 2021 which totaled $8 million, but largely focused on $600,000 of it which went to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The NIH faulted EcoHealth for failing to promptly report gain-of-function results in some experiments, however the company has blamed a computer glitch at NIH for the 2-year delay.
Digging into the report is US Right to Know’s Emily Kopp, who has broken down various aspects of the OIG report.
Meanwhile, the audit also found that the nonprofit billed NIH for $89,171 in disallowed costs, including expenses such as alcohol, and a staffer’s $3,285 trip to a conference that was miscoded, and should have instead been billed to a non-NIH grant.
The OIG recommends that the WIV (but not EcoHealth) be banned from receiving future NIH funds.
Meanwhile, EcoHealth just scored a fresh $3 million grant from the Department of Defense.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
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