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Zero-COVID In China: Lockdowns Of Major Cities Continue

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After the controversial, two-months long coronavirus lockdown of Shanghai, China has once again placed a city of more than 20 million people under house arrest.

As Statista’s Katharina Buchholz details below, a coronavirus lockdown in Chengdu in Central China that had started on Thursday was prolonged Monday.

Mass tests are being carried out after the city saw 71 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday. While officials said the restrictions would continue until at least Wednesday, residents are uneasy due to similarities to the Shanghai lockdown, which was also announced in a piecemeal fashion. In April and May, almost 25 million people had been confined to their homes in Shanghai, with many suffering from inadequate food supply, lack of medical attention and psychological distress.

Infographic: Coronavirus in China: Lockdowns of Major Cities Continue | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

In Southern tech hub Shenzhen, a weekend lockdown was lifted while restrictions in some parts of the city continue. The announcement had led to panic buying Friday in the city that had been under a full lockdown for a week in March already and now fears a second confinement could happen. Shenzhen saw 87 new virus cases Sunday. In March, it was the biggest city China had locked down to-date after a surge in coronavirus cases not seen since the first wave of infections in early 2020 emerged there. The Southern tech hub and special economic zone is only about one hour away from Hong Kong, which also saw a record-breaking Covid outbreak around that time.

According to Our World in Data, China on Sunday recorded more than 3,000 new coronavirus cases. The highest-ever case count in the country occurred on April 14 of this year at around 29,500, almost double the 2020 high of 15,000 cases (February 13).

After the major lockdowns of Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province ended in late March and early April of 2020, China had successfully followed a zero-Covid strategy for most of 2020 and 2021. Ever since the more contagious Omicron variant emerged, however, it has challenged China’s approach of zero tolerance towards the disease.

This post originally appeared at Zero Hedge

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Massive Peer-Reviewed Mask Study Shows ‘Little To No Difference’ In Preventing COVID, Flu Infection

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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

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Australian Health Authorities Call For More COVID Boosters… But The Public Says No

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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

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NIH Failed To Monitor EcoHealth Alliance: Federal Watchdog

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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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