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Unfortunate timing… yet again October 22, 2020

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

The IT carried a piece on a letter written by what is described as ‘front-line’ doctors decrying the state’s approach to Covid-19. Unfortunately it appeared the same day as the announcement of further ‘lockdown’. But who are these folk? Amongst the 15 are… GP and ex-Donegal TD Jim McDaid..

…surgeon Martin Feeley, who resigned as clinical director of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group last month after criticising the country’s approach to tackling the virus; one-time contraception campaigner Dr Andrew Rynne, who spoke at an anti-lockdown and anti-mask march in Dublin earlier this month; and retired GP and Aontú councillor in Derry, Dr Anne McCloskey, who has compared using masks to stop the spread of the virus to “using a sheep fence to keep out mosquitoes”.

As was noted on here, the latter had to resign from a leadership position in that party and has relinquished her council seat over her stance. These are – I think it fair to say – somewhat marginal voices.

But what do they say and what do they suggest? They want a “roportionate de-escalation of the current exclusive focus on Covid-19 to the exclusion of all other health and wellbeing needs of our Irish society” and apparently they feel “we can effectively co-exist with the virus”.

Today, the situation is “completely different” as there is evidence for a “significant degree of established community immunity” to the virus, the authors state.

Where is the evidence for this? It’s perplexing in a time of rising numbers catching the virus to see this sort of stuff put out. And just to be clear this is an article which the health editor of the IT has written.

Then there’s this:

In criticising the “questionable accuracy” of testing methods, the letter claims only a “fraction” of daily reported cases are “clinically significant in terms of transmissibility or impact”.


Citing a recent paper by Prof John Ioannidis of Stanford University, the letter claims the infection fatality rate of Covid-19 is approximately 0.23-0.27 per cent, and only 0.05 per cent in people aged under 70 years.

Now I’m usually loath to go to the Daily Mail for a link, but in respect of that recent paper and others it’s not a bad idea to consider this appraisal.

At the very least one might imagine a certain caution might be evident in using such a paper as the basis for such opinions given quotes from other researchers whose work was by their own testament used in the paper in such a way that it apparently “gets the numbers wrong”, has “clear numeric errors remaining from previous versions of the study”, incorporates “new errors as well”, “using clearly inappropriate samples to estimate population prevalence” and consequently “[is a] fundamental flaw in the paper, and really something of a basic epidemiological mistake”.

Indeed given all that how they could come to the following conclusion is a bit of a mystery.

“Given this massive body of new evidence, we as doctors most strongly request that this discussion is opened up to a wider range of medical and scientific expert opinions.”

Perhaps a bigger mystery is why the IT hasn’t taken it upon itself to do some basic digging into the materials available in this area in order to discover what is literally a couple of clicks away.


1. gypsybhoy69 - October 26, 2020

Thanks to Gogglebox Martin Feeley brought new meaning to let it rip.


2. Projection and misinterpretation | The Cedar Lounge Revolution - October 26, 2020

[…] He references the following which has been questioned very critically by many including people whose work is referenced within it (as noted here): […]


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