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Open mike 24/06/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 24th, 2021 - 134 comments
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Open mike is your post.

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Step up to the mike …

134 comments on “Open mike 24/06/2021 ”

  1. Ad 1

    Fair enough to worry about ourselves, but the Fiji outbreak is now 150 a day and climbing.

    • Jimmy 1.1

      We don't seem to hear much about Fiji on the news. How are their hospitals coping as they seem to have 150 new cases a day but I have never heard how many have had to be hospitalised.

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        from today:

        https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/world/covid-outbreak-has-fijis-infrastructure-brink-collapse

        "What we already know – and officials are saying – it's going to get worse, and the reason that they know that is because people who are turning up positive come from really crowded settlements and so there is this huge fear, and rightly so, that there's just so many more people who are infected," she said.

        Targeted containment areas have been put in place in lieu of strict lockdown measures.

        Dreaver said many of the medical authorities have been infected with Covid-19 and the hospital "is a Covid centre," with New Zealand and Australian teams deployed to provide aid.

        "I am seriously worried about Fiji, as is everybody."

        She added that while 45 per cent of the population have received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, both doses must be taken to be effective.

        Dreaver called for stronger leadership, with Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama "missing in action", leaving Health Secretary Dr James Fong to front the crisis.

        "I think the medical authorities there are fighting a losing battle and they're doing the best they can."

        • McFlock 1.1.1.1

          I'd be in favour of NZ sending some of our vaccines to Fiji. They have a pretty serious need over there.

          • Forget now 1.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, but Fiji is bigger than just Suva – so the temperature controlled infrastructure may not be there for the Pfizer vaccine. Weren't there other candidate vaccines that were being distributed to neighbouring pacific islands? Targeting those to Fiji on a priority basis might achieve more than disrupting our own distribution organisation,

            • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1.1

              All true.

              I just reckon that if it's practical to do, I wouldn't be opposed to NZ making the offer. Shoot, we're ahead of schedule anyway.

              • Forget now

                On Fiji, Bloomfield says it's not for him to say if Fiji will be able to get its Covid-19 outbreak under control.

                "I think it will be a challenge for them and a big focus … is vaccination. We're working as fast as possible to ensure that our approval of AstraZeneca goes through and that we're expecting over the coming weeks, and we're able to then get deliveries of AstraZeneca into the country, and able to on-donate them to Fiji and other countries."

                Hipkins says Australia is helping with vaccine supply for Fiji in the interim.

                https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/445439/covid-19-no-cases-in-the-community-after-nearly-7000-tests-chris-hipkins

                So why does NZ need to approve the AstraZeneca vaccine to on-donate it? If Fiji is willing to take the risk, then I'd say that's up to them. At least it only needs fridge temperature storage.

                • Andre

                  I'd be kinda queasy about the idea of donating stuff we hadn't yet approved as being good enough to use on our own population. To me, it would kinda feel like sending pet food to alleviate a famine.

                  • McFlock

                    ISTR several years ago the local hospital got rid of their old-style wooden crutches (the ones that go up to your armpits) because they cause nerve damage, and replaced them with the ones with the ring that goes around your upper arm and all the weight is on the handgrip.

                    Folks suggested we donate the old ones to developing nations. The DHB said they weren't going to dump harmful items onto developing nations, and trashed the old ones. Which seemed fair enough. "Here, have some nerve damage to salve my conscience" seems a bit odd.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  According to the Aussies, Astra Zeneca vaccine for over 60s only.

                  Australians aged under 60 will no longer receive first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to the rare risk of a serious blood clotting disorder among people aged 50 to 59.

                  The government has accepted the advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), which recommends those aged under 60 now receive the Pfizer vaccine. It previously recommended Pfizer to those aged under 50.

                  The change is based on the advisory group’s assessment of the risks of the clotting disorder, called thrombosis and thrombocytopenia syndrome or TTS, versus benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in protecting against COVID-19.

                  While the risk of TTS is still very low overall, it is more common in younger age groups. And younger people are less likely to die or become seriously ill from COVID-19.

            • gsays 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Surely the infrastructure (freezers) needed for the virus can be transported with a decent generator…

          • Sabine 1.1.1.1.2

            We first have to have vaccines to send, do you not think?

            • McFlock 1.1.1.1.2.1

              We have our delivery schedule for millions of people. We can on-ship a couple of deliveries.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 1.2

      Daily new cases in the UK are at their highest level in four months.

      Indonesia and South Africa (among others) face new Covid waves – meanwhile, Morning Report's Susie Ferguson refers to "chaos as the capital city tries to clear itself of mā te [?] corona".

      RNZ – Covid-19: Chaos in Wellington after virus scare
      "Ah I don't really care, and that, as long as I get what I want."

      "Chaos" people! Keep it together World, and keep it together Team of Five Million – Fiji has an outbreak; Sydney has an outbreak – Wellington has a potential outbreak.

      • greywarshark 1.2.1

        If I was there and trying to get to work and plan my life, my life would be in chaos. NZ has been getting along comfortably, now worries, and the health authorities have to sharpen us up FTTT, and this variant is just the latest and greatest!

        • Drowsy M. Kram 1.2.1.1

          Chaos ("complete disorder and confusion") just sounds so alarmist, so over-the-top, at least to me. If chaos is an accurate/representative descriptor for what's occurring in Wellington now, then how best to describe what Peru (!), Belgium, Italy, the UK, USA, Brazil, India et al. have been through – extreme chaos?

          Hear/use 'chaos' often enough and belief may make it so. This will sound very presumptuous, but I believe what most Wellingtonians are currently experiencing is not chaos, nor catastrophe, but rather a mild-to-moderate inconvenience associated with the precautionary move to Covid alert level 2; we've all been there.

          Just my opinion, as always. I really hope that Wellington, Kapiti Coast and the Wairarapa get back to level 1 ASAP.

  2. Incognito 2

    Okay, so Chris Hipkins is responsible – isn’t he a busy boy?

    Hipkins told Newsroom the Government’s third Partnership plan had been developed before he took the open government portion of the portfolio from Clare Curran, and he felt the document could have been more ambitious.

    So far, so good.

    While the initiatives around the flow of information had generally gone well, there was more work to be done on participatory democracy.

    “Open government isn't just about telling people what you're doing, it's also about actually being more inclusive and involving people more in the decision-making process.”

    Yup, agree 100% with that.

    The complications of Covid-19 and alert level restrictions had “accelerated massively” progress on digital inclusion, Hipkins said.

    “Take Zoom: I don't think we would be using Zoom and video-conferencing as extensively in parliamentary proceedings now, had it not been for Covid-19 …

    “It makes it more accessible to the public, because once upon a time, if you were hearing a bill and you wanted to make a submission, and you were in Tauranga, you might be lucky if the committee came to Auckland and you'd have to drive to Auckland to do it … whereas video-conferencing means that you can actually be there in person without having to leave your living room.”

    While this is true, it has also shown the limitations of online meetings. Nothing yet replaces direct face-to-face contact of being in the same room at the same time and have a coffee or lunch break, to get to know each other.

    Inclusion, be it digital or real-life, is a necessary but not sufficient step towards truly open government and we’re some way off still, obviously.

    Please do better, Mr Hipkins, than pointing to pathetic things such as Zoom meetings.

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/openness-fundamental-to-democracy

    • greywarshark 2.1

      Sounds good – now does it include politicians having done a short course in people management, project management, priorities in decision making and social anthropologyabout what human society is, and needs to have a healthy-minded civilisation. Perhaps Hipkins and others can concentragte on this while they are thinking about better government. And we could look at having a second house of citizens who have also done that course and done a test to show that they can make intelligent choices and devise ways to meet the needs of the country and improve conditions and make good choices putting practical first, and theoretical second, so that things chosen will be done in the most appropriate way for good outcomes. Whew. That's a lot of advancement for NZ. I don't think we are up to that yet, or will ever be.

  3. Pat 3

    "A draft of the IPCC report apparently from early this year was leaked to Agence France-Presse, which reported on its findings on Thursday. The draft warns of a series of thresholds beyond which recovery from climate breakdown may become impossible. It warns: “Life on Earth can recover from a drastic climate shift by evolving into new species and creating new ecosystems … humans cannot.”"

    You wouldn't know it by the distinct lack of urgency being displayed anywhere

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jun/23/climate-change-dangerous-thresholds-un-report

  4. Anker 4
    • On a completely different note……Yah we won the cricket World Cup. Well deserved! Heartiest congratulations to Kane and the guys!
    • Ad 4.1

      Best Cricket team we've ever had.

    • AB 4.2

      Yep – one of those rare alignments of the stars when our shallow player base produces a really good team (with a bit of help this time from the South African talent diaspora). It's happened before – the 1949 team to England, the 1985 team that crushed Australia at the Gabba, and again in 2021. A neat 36-year gap between each one.

  5. RedBaronCV 5

    Surely mainstream news outlets should use correct facts. Both these articles reference population projections for Wellington that were always at the top end of any projected range and have been modified when challenged

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/22-06-2021/wellington-city-councillors-need-to-ask-themselves-who-are-you-really-serving/

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wellington/125471532/wellington-a-city-divided-as-spatial-plan-thriller-plays-out-beneath-bureaucracys-lights

    • Pat 5.1

      All these population growth projections and yet our fertility rate is below replacement level…….go figure.

      • Sabine 5.1.1

        Again, who wants to have kids if you can't even afford to house them? But then, we can always import some cheap labour to man our hospitals, our old folk homes, wash our dishes, cook our food etc, while our young be economic migrants in England or so. The wheel keeps on turning.

    • Sabine 5.2

      Maybe the government should roll the cost of housing homeless over to the towns. I wonder how long it would take for the motels to be empty, the parks to be full and the nimby’s to be pooping their pants? Same of course counts for a great many places that are too good to be build up.

      • RedBaronCV 5.2.1

        Around Wellington those excessive population projections plus Labour rolling out "one size fits all" transport plans demanding building around hubs have raised huge issues that go beyond nimbyism.

        Unlikely that that amount of intensification will ever be needed but

        The pipes won't take extra intensification except in four areas.

        Earthquakes are a real hazard and some areas have ground that is too soft to intensify easily and/or the insurance premiums are going to be massive.

        Plus with too dense a housing an earthquake would render even more people homeless than the 17000 or so that are currently in high rise.

        The lack of existing green spaces would be even more of an issue.

        demanding houses next to transport guts any discussion on retirement housing that is needed and doesn't have the same transport impact. The northern suburbs could be intensified for retirement and get people out of bigger houses.

        What I really don't understand though is why labour are so keen on shooting themselves in the foot ( or is it the Greens they are targeting?) with the intensification over such narrow footprints in the existing city. Wellington is a high labour greens voting area and there have been a number of thoughtful contributions put forward by the various suburbs to increase housing supply and have workable transport.

        If it had started with engaging locals with realistic population increases then we are likely to have less division and more solutions. Nor has labour done anything to push back at unused or lights out housing, overseas ownership or

        As to awful rental housing – some of it at least demands health/ building inspection and the filing with the tenancy tribunal of any notices to upgrade. And here I think councils do have a role – it is the dwelling that needs fixing not the tenants being moved on.

        • Sabine 5.2.1.1

          Next time i will add a s/ tag. I forgot. My bad.

          but in saying that, if the towns had to via their rates to pay for the upkeep of the people they can't or won't house then maybe they could find alternatives that suits them.

  6. Anne 6

    This infuriates me. Not only because it is crap but it is so dangerous if taken internally.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/hanmer-springs-healthcare-clinic-handing-out-anti-vaccine-material/GTTI3EY7ZILUARV5T5RC2ILQOM/

    Can someone tell me why the media outlets won't name the bastards responsible? Name them and shame them. It might stop others from doing it. If we didn't have so many gullible souls it wouldn't matter but unfortunately we do.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 6.1

      A small glossy flyer appeared in my (Palmerston North) letterbox about a week ago.

      8 IMPORTANT COVID VACCINE FACTS you probably haven't heard
      [unrepeatable rubbish]
      WILL YOU TAKE THE RISK?
      [and, on the other side]
      Because we believe in backing up our claims…
      LEARN THE TRUTH ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE

      The 'organisation' behind this flyer is the so-called 'Voices for Freedom', but I reckon this 'voice' about sums them up:

      "Ah I don't really care, and that, as long as I get what I want."

      Absolute trash (which is where it's going now; only kept it in case others posted about similar misinformation – thanks Anne). The 'minds' behind such campaigns are intent on pushing NZers under the 'Covid bus' to get their way – in a word; disgusting.

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/444644/deeply-misleading-covid-19-leaflets-cause-distress-to-at-risk-resident

      Ussher said these flyers undermined trust in the vaccine which put New Zealand’s future in jeopardy as borders slowly reopened, inevitably bringing the virus back into the community.
      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-coronavirus-schools-being-targeted-by-anti-vaxxers/7TLKB7UFD7U7Y6AHI4J45UWLHY/ [18 June 2021]

      https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

      http://www.healthdata.org/special-analysis/estimation-excess-mortality-due-covid-19-and-scalars-reported-covid-19-deaths

      • Rosemary McDonald 6.1.1

        And a few more facts about the Pfizer vaccine can be found here. Its a pdf so just click on the Risk Management Plan link.

        All information contained therein is Medsafe approved. Including…

        Important identified risks

        Anaphylaxis

        Important potential risks

        Vaccine-associated enhanced disease (VAED) including vaccine-
        associated enhanced respiratory disease (VAERD)

        Missing information

        Use in pregnancy and while breast feeding
        Use in immunocompromised patients
        Use in frail patients with co-morbidities (eg, chronic obstructive
        pulmonary disease [COPD], diabetes, chronic neurological disease,
        cardiovascular disorders)
        Use in patients with autoimmune or inflammatory disorders
        Interaction with other vaccines
        Long-term safety data

        • Drowsy M. Kram 6.1.1.1

          Rosemary, thanks for that list of potential risks – if I experience those or any other side-effects I'll post details here, unless the vaccine polishes me off first. At least I survived this year’s batch of influenza vaccine laugh

          As to the missing information, the reason I'm able to get the Pfizer vaccine now is because of my autoimmune disorders, so that's something to be thankful for.

          And yes, it's regrettable that long-term safety data is necessarily missing, but frankly some countries just couldn't wait.

          Coronavirus Cases: 180,370,780
          Deaths: 3,907,592
          https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

          With 2.8 billion doses administered so far, I reckon there'll be a big dataset of side effects, and I'm happy to contribute to that data set – no pussyfooting around for this lad.

          Anyone hesitant about the Covid-19 vaccine may choose not to get vaccinated – but don't worry, someone else will be lining up for your doses.

          Why am I choosing to be given COMIRNATY?

          COMIRNATY is a vaccine given to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in adults and adolescents from 12 years of age and older. COMIRNATY contains the active ingredient BNT162b2 [mRNA].

          COMIRNATY works by triggering/training your immune system to produce antibodies and blood cells that work against the virus, to protect against COVID-19 disease.

          Average risk of death from COVID-19 infection without vaccination: 2%. Your choice.

    • KSaysHi 6.2

      I don’t like the approach they have taken. Completely inappropriate and confusing..that said..

      I don't want to aggravate anyone but the evidence for Ivermectin is not going away at this point, and has been available since around Aug/Sept 2020. Unless you focus on studies that have been deliberately designed to make it look ineffective (eg by waiting until just before death to dose someone with it, they die and therefore the conclusion is that Ivermectin is useless) there is no reason not to approve this drug for Covid treatment. If proper public debate were permitted perhaps medical doctors that agree Ivermectin works and is safe could have made their point logically, the way science used to be done.

      Ivermectin can be taken at home therefore saving hospital costs and risks of transmission. It would be well worth the MoH's time to conduct a proper look at Ivermecting which they either haven't done, or they only looked at studies guiding them to a specific outcome.

      This NZ Doctor speaks about Ivermectin, thus putting his career on the line because he has assessed the information and has a medical opinion that is contrary to the government line, I guess with the intention that things could change and lives would be saved by the use of this drug (approved in NZ for human use, just not for Covid btw) https://odysee.com/@NZDSOS:2/Dr-Shelton:5

      Instead of treating doctors not following the status quo we seek to punish for speaking out when really they are stating a medical opinion, a right they earned when they completed training and began practicing medicine. Where is the respect? And does anyone honestly think NZ can afford to loose all the doctors and nurses who signed the open letter critising NZ's response? It's madness.

      • Forget now 6.2.1

        There is a larger study including Ivermectin happening in the UK, that should help resolve the question of its efficacy. It makes sense that while testing one proposed treatment against a control group, you may as well test other treatments against the same control. At least it's safer than synthetic quinine.

        Led by the University of Oxford, PRINCIPLE is investigating treatments for people at more risk of serious illness from COVID-19 which can speed up recovery, reduce the severity of symptoms and prevent the need for hospital admission. The study has so far recruited more than 5,000 volunteers from across the UK…

        Following a screening questionnaire to confirm eligibility, participants enrolled in the study will be randomly assigned to receive a three-day course of oral ivermectin treatment. They will be followed-up for 28 days and will be compared with participants who have been assigned to receive the usual standard of NHS care only. People aged 18 to 64 with certain underlying health conditions or shortness of breath from COVID-19, or aged over 65, are eligible to join the trial within the first 14 days of experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or receiving a positive test.

        https://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/article/undoctored/ivermectin-be-investigated-adults-aged-18-possible-treatment-covid-19-principle

        Of the six other drugs in the Principle study of Covid treatments to be taken at home, only one – inhaled steroid budesonide – has so far proved effective.

        Although, sister project the Recovery trial, of treatments for hospital patients, also discovered another steroid, dexamethasone, could treat Covid, which has been credited with saving more than 20,000 lives in the UK.

        https://www.bbc.com/news/health-57570377

        https://www.thelancet.com/article/S2213-2600(21)00160-0/fulltext

        • Brigid 6.2.1.1

          I hardly think that dexamethasone has just been discovered as an effective treatment. It's been used for yonks as an anti-inflammatory medication for a myriad of conditions from asthma to brain inflammation.

          • Forget now 6.2.1.1.1

            Approved for treatment of COVID19 in UK hospitals, rather than discovered as a new substance, Brigid. Likewise; Ivermectin, is widely used to treat lice and other parasites, but not as yet reached the evidential threshold for domestic mild COVID19 treatment. People do need to feel they are doing something though, so it is used fairly frequently for that purpose in places where there are no other options. The results from those ad-hoc uncontrolled experiments have been mixed.

        • mauī 6.2.1.2

          Hmm.. Its taken long enough, I wonder why they're only doing this study now when there have been reports for a year or more that there was success with this drug, (see the FLCCC Alliance for example).

          • Drowsy M. Kram 6.2.1.2.1

            "Deliberately undermine.., does make no sense." – Maui @9:31 PM

            Maui, the 'Voices for Freedom' flyer that I read is unquestionably aimed at deliberately undermining the vaccine roll out in NZ.

            Imho, 'Voices for Freedom' is acting much like a fifth column in NZ's fight against Covid-19. They are traitors to their country and their fellow citizens – their aim is to sabotage the public health vaccination programme by undermining public confidence in the most effective long-term 'weapon' NZ has for combatting the spread and severity of symptoms of Covid-19, including long-Covid.

            Whether 'Voices for Freedom' and their ilk are sincere in their beliefs makes no difference – their contemptible actions condemn them.

            Otago Faculty of Law Professor Andrew Geddis, who researches constitutional and public law, said that while “people do have a right to believe and say manifestly wrong things – it shouldn’t be illegal to go around telling everyone that the world is flat, for instance… the difference here is that if these anti-vax messages get currency, they could undermine our vaccination effort and this will hurt us all collectively in a way that some people believing the earth is flat will not.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claire_Deeks

            Imho the only redeeming feature of the proselytising anti-vax brigade is that, by not getting vaccinated themselves, they will free up much-needed vaccine doses for others. If they develop a serious vaccine-preventable Covid-related illness, they will of course be entitled to the best treatment our excellent but highly stressed universal public health system can provide. Such selfish and thoughtless behaviour is reprehensible and indefensible, and should be called out at every opportunity.

            • mauī 6.2.1.2.1.1

              I've also read the flyer, and though I probably wouldnt agree with the wording of it. They back up each claim with references, some of the references are from experienced people in the field too. You have written them off as conspiracy theorists, and I think that's wrong as some, but maybe not all of their concerns are valid.

                • Anne

                  From the link:

                  Bee said Voices for Freedom has "many doctors, nurses and medical professionals reaching out to us".

                  "We also are in contact with scientists, epidemiologists, virologists, molecular biologists, psychiatrists, and legal teams from within New Zealand and around the world. We see these voices and opinions as just as valid as those that regularly appear in NZ news stories."

                  Liar.

                  They remind me of the Climate Deniers. They used to make similar claims about their supporters. 97% of Climate Scientists and Meteorologists around the world advocated urgent action against CC for decades. Only 3% were against – for ideological and religious reasons – yet the deniers made grossly exaggerated claims they had lots of scientists on their side.

                • mauī

                  Neither the Science Educator or the Vaccinologist "experts" in your link directly address the concerns and research raised by the group. But that is hardly surprising.. they're too busy giving their own opinion.

                  • Incognito

                    Huh? They debunk every single claim and you deny that!? You sound desperate to defend them. You have a forum here at your disposal to debate any concerns you have and state your arguments. So far, only hand waving.

                    Experts give their expert opinion and put their credentials and professional trust on the line in MSM. That’s how it works: argument vs. counter-argument, claim vs. debunk.

                    • mauī

                      We may have different ideas about what debunking means… For instance from the Newshub article let's take, "Claim #6: "It is unknown if the vaccine will cause cancer, sterility or mutate cells.""

                      The response by Dr Petousis-Harris is that no previous vaccine has caused these harms before.. therefore we are to believe that this one is fine too even though it's a completely different tech to older vaccines.

                      Followed by a strange statement about fairies in the garden, that seems to indicate that they can't guarantee what future effects a vaccine might have.

                      Now after all that.. would you say Claim #6 really is debunked??

                    • Incognito []

                      I see what you did there 🙁

                      “Deliberately misleading,” said Dr Campbell. “Because the mRNA in the vaccine can’t enter the nucleus, let alone integrate with DNA, then changes in DNA (i.e. mutation) can’t happen.”

                      Dr Campbell said on the other hand, there is evidence the SARS-CoV-2 virus – which causes COVID-19 – can affect male fertility.

                      So, yes, Claim #6 has been debunked as “[d]eliberately misleading”.

                      You’re grasping at straws.

                      Next.

                    • RedLogix

                      When the inventor of mRNA vaccines expresses his reservations – maybe it's not all tin-foil hattery after all.

                      But by now everyone has formed up into neat little tribes and the science be damned.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                'Voices for Freedom' is a 5th column group deliberately undermining confidence in public health vaccination strategies designed to protect all NZers, imho.

                https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/medicines/c/comirnaty-covid-19-vaccine/

                I will feel (a lot) safer once I've been vaccinated. Only 4 more days until my first dose of the Comirnaty vaccine – super excited.

                Against my better judgement, I followed the link to evidence purporting to support VfF ‘fact’ 1: “Deaths and cases of serious injury are being reported around the world at an alarming rate!

                That link took me to an article on the Children's Health Defense website.

                Children's Health Defense is an American activist group mainly known for anti-vaccine activities and has been identified as one of the main sources of misinformation on vaccines. It was founded and is chaired by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Established under the name World Mercury Project in 2016, it has been campaigning against various public health programs, such as vaccination and fluoridation of drinking water. The group has been contributing to vaccine hesitancy in the United States, encouraging citizens and legislators to support anti-vaccine regulations and legislation. Arguments against vaccination are contradicted by overwhelming scientific consensus about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

                On May 8, 2019, while some areas in the United States were struggling with a resurgence of measles due to low vaccination rates, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Joseph P. Kennedy and Maeve Kennedy McKean publicly stated that while their relative Robert has championed many admirable causes, he "has helped to spread dangerous misinformation over social media and is complicit in sowing distrust of the science behind vaccines."

                VfF are anti-vaxxers par-excellence; Andrew Wakefield would be proud.

                The Herculean efforts of so many researchers during COVID-19 have been marred by a few individuals going well beyond their areas of expertise and endorsing outlandish hypotheses.

                • RedLogix

                  Conflating anti-vaxxers with people who have legitimate concerns about this particular new mRNA technology, in the novel context we are using it in – is a dirty trick.

                  Personally I've got a little yellow booklet with my vax record full up to the wazoo – but that doesn't mean I have to turn my critical faculties off and line up like a good little sheep for my dose without asking some crucial questions.

                  And good luck with your shot. Personally where I work I watched two healthy individuals take many days of work very sick afterwards. Well past any 'normal' reaction.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    …people who have legitimate concerns about this particular new mRNA technology, in the novel context we are using it in…

                    What are some of the “legitimate concerns” of these people?

                    And good luck with your shot. Personally where I work I watched two healthy individuals take many days of work very sick afterwards. Well past any 'normal' reaction.

                    Thanks for those kind words of comfort RL – great bedside manner. Will report back on Thursday, if I can rise from my deathbed laugh

                    https://covid19.govt.nz/covid-19-vaccines/

                    22.6% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
                    2.8 billion doses have been administered globally, and 41.2 million are now administered each day.
                    Only 0.9% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.
                    https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

                    Coronavirus Cases: 181,558,149
                    Deaths: 3,932,963
                    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

      • Rosemary McDonald 6.2.2

        The primary reason for the bewildering antithesis towards Ivermectin (and other existing drugs) is that the Emergency Use Authorisation under which the novel Covid 19 vaccines are allowed to be used in the US is dependent on there being No Alternatives.

        Sadly, and for reasons I cannot explain, most of the world seems to follow the USA in these matters.

        I would provide links to some very sound research and meta analyses of research and studies that point to the very safe and widely used Ivermectin as being a potential preventative as well as a treatment for Covid 19 and its variants, but I won't because the usual mob will indulge in another 'you're just a dirty anti-vaxxer' pile on.

        The fight back against any treatment for Covid has been rabid from day one…and I find it peculiar that so many people have bought into the "a vaccine is our only hope!!!" narrative.

        • joe90 6.2.2.1

          Meanwhile, therapies other than an antiparasitic are being rolled out.

          REGEN-COV is available for free from the U.S. government to treat patients aged 12 years or older with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death.

          https://www.healio.com/news/infectious-disease/20210607/fda-authorizes-lower-dose-of-regeneron-antibody-cocktail-for-covid19

          BRUSSELS, June 3 (Reuters) – The European Union has secured about 55,000 doses of a potential treatment for COVID-19 based on a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies developed by U.S. drugmaker Regeneron (REGN.O) and Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche (ROG.S), an EU spokesman said.

          https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/europe-secures-55000-doses-roche-regeneron-covid-drug-hope-2021-06-03/

          At AIG Hospitals in Hyderabad, 50 patients with mild to moderate Covid-19 were, in the last three weeks, given a dose of Regen-Cov, a cocktail of two monoclonal antibodies designed by American biotech firm Regeneron. Symptoms in all the patients subsided within 24 to 48 hours of being administered the therapy.

          https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/antibody-cocktail-treatment-held-up-as-potential-game-changer-in-indias-fight

        • Forget now 6.2.2.2

          Budesonide & dexamethasone have been demonstrated to be non-vaccine treatments for mild COVID, and were approved after rigorous trials. Ivermectin has some mixed results thus far (positive and negative) so is undergoing further testing before any definitive conclusion can be reached. But it's cheap and; if not exactly risk-free, better than drinking bleach. Vitamin D is a better placebo to my mind, because it might do you some good for other things while it's doing nothing about the virus.

          But the most important thing is that treatments, even if effective (in mild cases), only treat symptoms. Vaccines not only prevent you (well okay – probably not you; RMcD) from developing symptoms requiring treatment in the first place, they also prevent you from infecting others.

          • Rosemary McDonald 6.2.2.2.1

            Vaccines not only prevent you … from developing symptoms requiring treatment in the first place,

            Err…that's not exactly true…https://www.bbc.com/news/health-57525891

            As of 14 June, there have been 73 deaths in England of people who were confirmed as having the Delta variant and who died within 28 days of a positive test, and of these:

            • 34 (47%) were unvaccinated
            • 10 (14%) were more than 21 days after their first dose of vaccine
            • 26 (36%) were more than 14 days after their second dose

            Vaccines are not the magic bullet. They are just one tool in the toolbox.

            • Forget now 6.2.2.2.1.1

              The text preceding your quote:

              Of 806 people infected with the Delta variant who ended up hospital in England between 1 February and 14 June 2021:

              • 527 (65%) people were unvaccinated
              • 135 (17%) were more than 21 days after their first dose of vaccine
              • 84 (10%) were more than 14 days after their second dose

              But the Delta variant does seem to be more resistant to the Astrazeneca vaccine that was developed against the Alpha (or prior) variant. The UK vaccination program means that more people are now vaccinated than not, yet the unvaccinated disproportionately lead the death statistics, if not so disproportionately as hospital admissions:

              So far, more than 43 million people have had a first vaccine dose – about 80% of the adult population – and over 31 million have had a second…

              Public Health England has estimated that 14,000 deaths have been averted in people aged 60 years or older in England up to 30 May 2021, as a direct effect of being vaccinated.

              https://www.bbc.com/news/health-55274833

              • Andre

                I'm kinda curious how many of the vaccinated that ended up getting covid and were hospitalised, were immunocompromised in some way.

                For the US, the rough numbers I've seen are that about 10 million, or 3% of the population, are expected to be sufficiently immunocompromised that the vaccine is unlikely to do them much good. It seems likely UK numbers are similar.

                Those highish numbers of immunocompromised, coupled with the known lower efficacy of the AZ vaccine, make it at least plausible that what could be happening is a substantial portion of those hospitalised and dying are immunocompromised people paying the entirely predictable horrific price of antisocial anti-vax arseholes refusing to to be reasonable and responsible members of the community and do their bit to try to get to herd immunity.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  Those highish numbers of immunocompromised, coupled with the known lower efficacy of the AZ vaccine, make it at least plausible that what could be happening is a substantial portion of those hospitalised and dying are immunocompromised people paying the entirely predictable horrific price of antisocial anti-vax arseholes refusing to to be reasonable and responsible members of the community and do their bit to try to get to herd immunity.

                  Right on cue, and everso predicable. Andre theorizes, guesses, surmises and opines with no attempt to provide links to research or actual medical advice.

                  The slurs Andre casts say more about him than the people he is accusing of causing the deaths of the fully vaccinated.

                  We have addressed the issue of the immunocompromised and work is being done already.

                  I guess if such a person died from Norovirus it would be the fault of a sociopathic anti- vaxxer?

                  Vaccines are not a magic bullet for all ills. I don't know how many times this needs to be said.

                  I guess its much easier, simpler, to blame "antisocial anti-vax arseholes".

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Rosemary, if anyone chooses not to be vaccinated, that's entirely up to them – NZers can't be forced to protect their health, and the health of others, by choosing to get vaccinated.

                    The proselytising activities of anti-vax groups, such as 'Voices of Freedom', aim to deliberately undermine public health initiatives, and during an on-going global pandemic that just makes no sense to me – it's nonsense. But then I’m naturally risk-adverse.

                    “With infection, you don’t know how bad it’s going to be. By not getting vaccinated, you’re rolling the dice. You may become severely ill. You may have to be hospitalized. You may die,” Klein added.
                    https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/immunity-from-infection-or-covid-19-vaccine-which-one-lasts-longer-101624366027633.html

                    • mauī

                      Deliberately undermine.., does make no sense. Perhaps a group like Voices for Freedom would go to all that effort because… they think they have an alternative and an alternate viewpoint that is worthy of being shared?

                      Interesting that the medical facists out there find this so threatening.

                    • McFlock

                      they think they have an alternative and an alternate viewpoint that is worthy of being shared?

                      Obviously they think that.

                      A bit like Ender's Game, where (spoilers) the kid thought it was a simulation and he wasn't actually killing millions.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Oops – risk-averse!

              • McFlock

                Mashing all those numbers together, looks to me like unvaccinated folk are hospitalised at 18 times the rate and die at almost 4 times the rate as folk who have received both jabs.

                yup.

        • solkta 6.2.2.3

          I would provide a link to some sound research, but i won't because it's bollocks.

          Thanks for the belly laugh.

        • KJT 6.2.2.4

          People against vaccines want to use Ivermecton.

          Which has much worse potential side effects rates than a vaccine.

          https://www.drugs.com/sfx/ivermectin-side-effects.html
          Noting that it has been used on much less people than any vaccine.

          ?????

          Not to mention all those “natural” remedies.

          There is always bleach, I suppose. Chlorine occurs “Naturally”.

          • Rosemary McDonald 6.2.2.4.1

            It has been very interesting watching how Science has been done since Te Virus hit. How Science is presented in and by MSM, and how history seems to have simply ceased to exist.

            In the Beforetimes…Ivermectin was described as a Wonderdrug.

            That paper is from 2011.

            There are few drugs that can seriously lay claim to the title of ‘Wonder drug’, penicillin and aspirin being two that have perhaps had greatest beneficial impact on the health and wellbeing of Mankind. But ivermectin can also be considered alongside those worthy contenders, based on its versatility, safety and the beneficial impact that it has had, and continues to have, worldwide—especially on hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest people.

            and another…https://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0006020#pntd.0006020.ref005

            The very basic approach to the use of IVM consists in its distribution to entire communities through annual or biannual mass drug administration (MDA) campaigns provided its excellent safety profile [4], whose only significant severe adverse reaction has been determined by its use in Loa loa infected individuals due to the life-threatening adverse events in this group [5].

            and another…https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26954318/

            Although the broad-spectrum anti-parasitic effects of the avermectin derivative ivermectin are well documented, its anti-inflammatory activity has only recently been demonstrated. For over 25 years, ivermectin has been used to treat parasitic infections in mammals, with a good safety profile that may be attributed to its high affinity to invertebrate neuronal ion channels and its inability to cross the blood-brain barrier in humans and other mammals. Numerous studies report low rates of adverse events, as an oral treatment for parasitic infections, scabies and head lice. Ivermectin has been used off-label to treat diseases associated with Demodex mites, such as blepharitis and demodicidosis. New evidence has linked Demodex mites to rosacea, a chronic inflammatory disease. Ivermectin has recently received FDA and EU approval for the treatment of adult patients with inflammatory lesions of rosacea, a disease in which this agent has been shown to be well tolerated. After more than 25 years of use, ivermectin continues to provide a high margin of safety for a growing number of indications based on its anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory activities.

            There's more…and many only accessible though downloading the pdf.

            I would suggest hopping into the Time Machine and reading some papers from before Ivermectin became politicised. There's even a 2016 paper from our friends at the WHO who were seriously considering a mass roll out of Ivermectin to help prevent malaria…again mentions the very good safety profile.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 6.2.2.4.1.1

              Rosemary, if you're concerned that you and yours may fall victim to the next outbreak of COVID-19, then maybe consider purchasing Ivermectin tablets?

              No prior doctors consultation is offered online. We assume you are [sic] consulted with your doctor before using this medication.
              http://www.schickersunichem.co.nz/buy-stromectol-in-nz.html

              Not for everyone though – I'm plumping for te vaccine; only 5 days to go!

              https://covid19.govt.nz/covid-19-vaccines

              • Rosemary McDonald

                FFS. And sorry to shout, but I'm kind of over this assumption that I am "anti-vax". I'm not, but I am most definitely hesitant about these very rushed, experimental and poorly tested mRNA jabs.

                The source of this hesitancy is the fact that from just about day one of the pandemic being declared, the official narrative has been that there is no treatment for those seriously affected by Covid 19. The only hope was a vaccine.

                And the only hope for these vaccines to gain that vital EUA from the FDA is that there were no alternate treatments.

                And when Youtube and Facebook are busy removing posts and sometimes entire pages that dare to discuss treatments or prophylaxis for Covid or goddess forbid they discuss some of the scarier side effects of the vaccines… my 'there's shit going on here' radar goes off.

                KJT's comment on the (very recent) safety report for Ivermectin is a case in point.

                Ivermectin has a very good safety profile…or it did until doctors started using it to treat Covid. With some success.

                Then, all of a sudden, this drug used by millions with a very high degree of safety over four decades, " has much worse potential side effects rates than a vaccine. "

                Pointing this out to others, and providing links to a couple of papers who may be interested in facts, does not make me anti-vaccine.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Rosemary, can you pinpoint why my reply gave you the impression that I assume you're "anti-vax"? It's true that some of your past comments gave me that impression, but no longer.

                  The source of this hesitancy is the fact that from just about day one of the pandemic being declared, the official narrative has been that there is no treatment for those seriously affected by Covid 19. The only hope was a vaccine.

                  The fact is that from just about day one of the pandemic being declared, there has been a MASSIVE amount of research focussed on identifying any effective treatment and strategy to combat the spread of COVID-19 and to treat the life-threatening symptoms of infection.

                  The expert medical consensus is that (mass) vaccination offers the most efficient and effective means of minimising the spread and severity of COVID-19 infections – when you think about it, that's not surprising. As for the rush to use effective vaccines, there's a good reason:

                  Coronavirus Cases: 180,780,233
                  Deaths: 3,916,349

                  You have your reasons to mistrust expert medical consensus on the pandemic and public health initiatives, but I don't (genuinely, I just don't), and that's why I'm plumping for te vaccine. Just 5 days and counting – excited!

                  Ivermectin and Covid-19: how a cheap antiparasitic became political [19April 2021]
                  The drug’s manufacturer, pharma giant MSD, also warned that its analysis of ivermectin identified “no scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect against Covid-19 from pre-clinical studies”, “no meaningful evidence for clinical activity or clinical efficacy in patients with Covid-19 disease” and “a concerning lack of safety data” in most studies.

                  Oxford University adds ivermectin to PRINCIPLE trial for Covid-19 [23 June 2021]
                  Participants will be given a three-day ivermectin course and followed up for 28 days. The trial will compare the drug to the usual standard of NHS care.

                  Individuals aged 18 to 64 years with some underlying health conditions or shortness of breath from Covid-19, or those aged above 65 years, can participate in the trial.

                  The trial will enrol subjects within the initial 14 days of Covid-19 symptoms or a positive test.

                  However, individuals with severe liver disease who are taking the blood-thinning drug warfarin, or other therapies known to interact with ivermectin, will not be eligible.

                  Ivermectin is the seventh therapy to be evaluated in the PRINCIPLE study, along with the influenza antiviral favipiravir.

            • KJT 6.2.2.4.1.2

              "high margin of safety" NOT, absolute safety.

              I started looking at the journal articles for "alternative" treatments when friends, some of which are of the woo persuasion, starting advocating for them.

              Just about everyone they cited as an authority, have no idea how vaccines work, how statistical probability works and how the adverse effects reporting systems work. If they weren't verifiably, lying. So don't expect me to take them seriously.

              Ivermectin’s margin of safety is way below that of the Pfizer vaccine.

              Which has now been administered safely to millions. After being tested on 43 000 volunteers. Many times the number that tested ivermectin, and indeed most other medications. 800 or even less is a more normal trial number. The idea that covid vaccines have been "rushed and poorly tested" is totally false.

              Vaccines effects and side effects, even for new types, are well understood.

              We have been using them for a long time now.

              If the people who go on about vaccines being dangerous were correct, we would be hiding tens of millions of vaccine damaged people worldwide. Secret hospitals full of vaccine injuries on the desert road? Hell they couldn't even hide the effects of thalidomide for too long, when things were much less rigorous. The variants of the polio vaccine that did have a greater rate of side effects, were figured out by medical statisticians in the 50's.

            • KJT 6.2.2.4.1.3

              Ten reasons we got Covid-19 vaccines so quickly without 'cutting corners' | Adam Finn | The Guardian

              Pretty much agrees with the research papers.

              The reason behind preferring vaccines is that they have been our most effective agent against virus since Jenner 1796 and earlier. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Jenner

            • Incognito 6.2.2.4.1.4

              Hi Rosemary,

              You are correct that ivermectin has a known and good safety profile. However, this only applies to the approved indications such as parasitic infections in mammals. It does not necessarily follow from this that it also has a good safety profile in Covid-19 patients who may also receive other concomitant treatments. Only safety trials can test this in the appropriate patient population.

              The second point is efficacy. There is very little point, in fact it is unethical, in giving Covid-19 patients ivermectin if it has not treatment benefits.

              HTH

              • Rosemary McDonald

                There is very little point, in fact it is unethical, in giving Covid-19 patients ivermectin if it has not treatment benefits.

                Hot off the press.

                https://journals.lww.com/americantherapeutics/Abstract/9000/Ivermectin_for_Prevention_and_Treatment_of.98040.aspx

                Ivermectin is a well-known medicine that is
                approved as an antiparasitic by the World Health
                Organization and the US Food and Drug Administra-
                tion. It is widely used in low- and middle-income
                countries (LMICs) to treat worm infections. 2,3 Also
                used for the treatment of scabies and lice, it is one of
                the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicines. 4
                With total doses of ivermectin distributed apparently
                equaling one-third of the present world population, 5
                ivermectin at the usual doses (0.2–0.4 mg/kg) is con-
                sidered extremely safe for use in humans. 6,7 In addi-
                tion to its antiparasitic activity, it has been noted to
                have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

                Developing new medications can take years; there-
                fore, identifying existing drugs that can be repurposed
                against COVID-19 that already have an established
                safety profile through decades of use could play a crit-
                ical role in suppressing or even ending the SARS-CoV-
                2 pandemic. Using repurposed medications may be
                especially important because it could take months,
                possibly years, for much of the world’s population to
                get vaccinated, particularly among LMIC populations.
                Currently, ivermectin is commercially available and
                affordable in many countries globally. 6 A 2018 appli-
                cation for ivermectin use for scabies gives a direct cost
                of $2.90 for 100 12-mg tablets. 22 A recent estimate from
                Bangladesh 23 reports a cost of US$0.60—US$1.80 for a
                5-day course of ivermectin. For these reasons, the
                exploration of ivermectin’s potential effectiveness
                against SARS-CoV-2 may be of particular importance in setting with limited resources.

                27 pages of fine print, lots of graphs and charts and references for Africa… Fill your booties.

                • Incognito

                  What you conclude from it?

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Moderate-certainty evidence finds that large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin. Using ivermectin early in the clinical course may reduce numbers progressing to severe disease. The apparent safety and low cost suggest that ivermectin is likely to have a significant impact on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic globally.

                  Fair enough Rosemary, and even hotter off the 'press':

                  Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, take 2
                  "This basically shows that without those two studies, the analysis demonstrates no benefit for ivermectin at all compared to placebo, with a confidence interval that includes everything from a big benefit to a large harm from the drug. Interestingly, the between-study heterogeneity also reduces when you do this from about 50% to 6.6%, which is lower than the value the authors give in their sensitivity analysis in the paper.

                  What this means is that, if you exclude some of the low-quality research on ivermectin, the paper goes from showing a massive benefit to no benefit at all. On top of this, there’s an interesting point — even if you don’t agree with these assessments, taking the only three studies that the authors of the meta-analysis considered to be at a “low risk of bias” (i.e. high-quality), you find that these high-quality studies have failed to find any benefit for ivermectin."

                  This is, of course, what those of us who’ve questioned whether ivermectin works for COVID-19 have been saying all along. The few existing higher quality clinical trials testing ivermectin against the disease uniformly have failed to find a positive result. It’s only the smaller, lower-quality trials that have been positive. This is a good indication that the drug probably doesn’t work.

                  Tbh, I doubt any amount of evidence will convince believers that ivermectin isn't the latest wonder drug in the fight against COVID-19. I for one will be very pleased if evidence from high-quality clinical trials, such as the Oxford University PRINCIPLE trial for Covid-19, demonstrates ivermectin's efficacy.

                  In the meantime, however, a higher effective preventative treatment is being made available in NZ – marvellous.

                  https://covid19.govt.nz/covid-19-vaccines

                  • Incognito

                    You spoil all the fun 🙁

                  • RedLogix

                    I took the time to read that article you quoted. It's pretty typical of this sort of 'debunking' effort – looks impressive until you look for something past the handwaving and smearing.

                    Basically it relies on two dead on arrival arguments. One is that the proven effectiveness of Ivermectin in the petri dish was done with dose rates unachievable in live humans. It's one of those handwaving tricks that depends on people not understanding that the pharmokinetics of the two cases – lab vs live – are almost certainly going to be totally different.

                    Secondly it makes the old claim that the only valid means to progress medical science is the large double blind RCT study. Which of course is a nonsense as almost all progress in medicine originates from observation and clinical trial. Insisting that RCT's that cost a minimum of many tens of millions of dollars to run are the only valid form of evidence of course hands the entire field over to either governments or big pharma – who can readily tilt matters to suit their interests and the outcomes they want.

                    Then there is all the twitter quotes – again typical – and I just treat them as red flags and ignore them. But that's just me and my obdurate refusal to engage with anything from twitter at all.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Respect your opinion RL – let's agree to disagree, OK?

                      Again, I concede that it is possible that ivermectin has clinically relevant in vivo antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. Based on current evidence, however, it seems unlikely that it does, when pharmacokinetics considerations are taken into account. As I routinely used to say when discussing hydroxychloroquine, I’d be happy to change my mind if compelling scientific evidence for ivermectin were published. It’s just that neither of these reviews qualify, nor do any of the clinical trials I’ve seen thus far. That’s why I agree that ivermectin shouldn’t be used to treat COVID-19 outside of the context of a well-designed clinical trial with a strong scientific rationale. [David Gorski (PhD, MD, and Rosemary's "at best a fuckwit")]

                      Consider the possibilty that Gorski has a bit more hands-on experience of applied pharmacokinetics than either of us.

                • gsays

                  Thanks again Rosemary for your mahi around being wary of the vaccines.

                  It takes courage to maintain a view, despite the column inches, ad campaigns etc to not be persuaded because TINA!, and not bite at the 'anti-vax' baits that are put out.

                  I am confident there are many reading these exchanges with interest.

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    Appreciate the shot in the arm, gsays. wink I check, recheck and check again references and articles that I come across. Hanging around here has taught me that so many folk simply don't do that. If it's in the MSM on on a govenrnment website it must be true. I would have thought a bunch of political commentators would be more inquiring.

                    I guess its fear. Its the mind-killer. The little death that brings total obliteration.

                    • Incognito

                      You’re not the only one here who checks, rechecks and checks again references and articles that you come across.

                      Hanging around here has taught me that so many folk simply don’t do that.

                      Indeed, so why don’t you be their role model and read the link provided by Drowsy M. Kram in their reply to you late last night?

                      https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/ivermectin-is-the-new-hydroxychloroquine-take-2

                      Any open-minded intelligent person who values evidence-based information would appreciate that critical piece for what it is. Fill your booties.

                    • Rosemary McDonald

                      @Incognito… reply button expired.

                      I did follow DMK's link… even though I had already read it. Very unfortunate that in the minds of some of the 'experts' Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine seem to be in the same stable.

                      Hydroxychloroquine shall forever be associated with Trump…sadly… but to use this association to bolster a derisory piece about another drug is just plain gutter stuff. It is not research…its opinion.

                      And someone who begins a piece about Ivermectin with referencing it as a ‘veterinary wormer’ (as if it has not been safely prescribed to literally millions of humans for over thirty years) is at best a fuckwit. At worst its appalling dishonest.

                    • Incognito []

                      Indeed, an opinion based on knowledge, expertise, and evidence in hand, with well-laid out arguments and counter-arguments.

                      Again, I concede that it is possible that ivermectin has clinically relevant in vivo antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. Based on current evidence, however, it seems unlikely that it does, when pharmacokinetics considerations are taken into account. As I routinely used to say when discussing hydroxychloroquine, I’d be happy to change my mind if compelling scientific evidence for ivermectin were published. It’s just that neither of these reviews qualify, nor do any of the clinical trials I’ve seen thus far. That’s why I agree that ivermectin shouldn’t be used to treat COVID-19 outside of the context of a well-designed clinical trial with a strong scientific rationale.

                      Certainly, the conspiracy mongering by Bret Weinstein, Pierre Kory, and their fans are not leading me to reconsider that opinion.

                      You seem to have missed, or ignored, the similarities between the advocacy, or faith rather, for ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.

                      I don’t see why you feel the need to bolster any links with Trump; he’s mentioned only once in the linked piece, which is quite long, may I add. A red herring and a strawman, IMO, to suit your narrative, no doubt.

                      You consider David Gorski an appallingly dishonest fuckwit because he states a well-known fact? You wrote essentially the same thing above (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-24-06-2021/#comment-1799883):

                      For over 25 years, ivermectin has been used to treat parasitic infections in mammals, with a good safety profile that may be attributed to its high affinity to invertebrate neuronal ion channels and its inability to cross the blood-brain barrier in humans and other mammals.

                      I thought you were open-minded and keen to discuss this in good faith, but obviously you’re neither 🙁

                      Frankly, I cannot take seriously any longer your selective quoting (AKA lying by omission) and character assassinations to make your points. Of course, you will continue peddling your misguided opinions just like Historian Pete does.

                      In the meantime:

                      Can hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin be used to treat COVID-19?
                      Medsafe has not received any applications for approval of these medicines for treatment of COVID-19. Refer to the medicine’s data sheet for the approved indications.

                      https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/COVID-19/q-and-a.asp#medicines [Revised 20 April 2021]

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      It is not research…its opinion.

                      We're all entitled to our opinions, although I'd hazard a guess that if I declared someone commenting on The Standard to be "at best a fuckwit", then I might cop a bit of flak – and rightly so, imho. Let's have a read of what the "fuckwit" wrote – remember, Rosemary's already read this:

                      Again, I concede that it is possible that ivermectin has clinically relevant in vivo antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. Based on current evidence, however, it seems unlikely that it does, when pharmacokinetics considerations are taken into account. As I routinely used to say when discussing hydroxychloroquine, I’d be happy to change my mind if compelling scientific evidence for ivermectin were published. It’s just that neither of these reviews qualify, nor do any of the clinical trials I’ve seen thus far. That’s why I agree that ivermectin shouldn’t be used to treat COVID-19 outside of the context of a well-designed clinical trial with a strong scientific rationale.

                      Fwiw, I found a couple of comments under breast cancer surgeon David Gorski’s (PhD, MD, and Rosemary's "at best a fuckwit") article "Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, take 2" (on the Science-Based Medicine website) helpful, but science isn't everyone's cup of tea.

                      Once again, fear and the need for control. They're afraid of the vaccine. They're afraid of the virus, whether they admit it or not. They HAVE to believe that their health is under their own control, and that people who die of COVID are just too weak, stupid or deluded to do the "right things."

                      Eat the right foods, take the right vitamins, take the right magic pill that Big Pharma and the other conspiracies don't want you to know about, and bam! COVID is nothing to be afraid of.

                      It's wrong, it's harmful, and it's downright cruel to the people who suffer and die while trying to be healthy.

                      Andy Kessler’s excellent “Follow Michael Crichton’s Rule” (Inside View, Nov. 4) on the dumbing down of “science, the data and the studies” brings to mind the great Nobel physicist Richard Feynman’s 1974 Caltech commencement address entitled “Cargo Cult Science.” Feynman’s instructive words to the students (many of them future scientists) echoes strongly today: “For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid—not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked—to make sure the other fellow can tell they’ve been eliminated. Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can—if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong—to explain it. . . . In summary, the idea is to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution [theory]; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.

                    • KJT

                      It is unfortunate that most research, even research that the public has paid for, is published in pay walled journals. A whole another issue.

                      Which members of the general public cannot easily access, making them reliant on “science” and other “Journalists” who often have an incomplete understanding of the science they are reporting.

                      Even worse when “Journalists” these days seem to consider that “the news” is their own opinion.

        • RedLogix 6.2.2.5

          I would provide links to some very sound research and meta analyses of research and studies that point to the very safe and widely used Ivermectin as being a potential preventative as well as a treatment for Covid 19 and its variants

          Well here is the most recent one.

          I don't care about the pile on crowd – so far they've proven wrong at every point.

          • Rosemary McDonald 6.2.2.5.1

            I stumbled across the Xmas Senate Hearing on Youtube shortly after the title had been 'edited' to the one I've linked to. Kory was suitably apoplectic after being labeled thus by crusty old guy. I watched because I had heard about ivermectin being on the list of possible therapeutics mid last year. And of course who (and WHO) hasn't heard about it's exemplary efficacy and safety?

            I get that folks are scared about the virus, and I kinda get that they'll cling to what they have decided is the safe and true. And many here think the sun rises and sets on the Current Incumbents. (No surprises that I have little faith in Governments and even less trust in our Ministry of Health.) What concerns me a little is that Later, when the dust has settled and the critical faculties have be restored, we're all supposed to get along again. Going to require a big dose of grace and forgiveness to get past the slurs and the name calling and the derision and the cheerfully spoken desire to see those not willing to be guinea pigs (or worse, allowing their children to be test subjects) cast into the dark margins. Losing jobs and access to healthcare and education….

            • RedLogix 6.2.2.5.1.1

              Wise words. Typing on my phone is conducive to brevity, but yes to everything you've said so far.

          • Drowsy M. Kram 6.2.2.5.2

            I don't care about the pile on crowd – so far they've proven wrong at every point.

            In your opinion?

            Don't really care about chloroquine, vitamin D and ivermectin snake oil merchants, or the anti-vax humbugs – they've been wrong at every point, imho.

            Clinical Trials
            Ivermectin As a COVID-19 Therapy
            I think that WHO page does a solid job of evaluating the literature to that point, and overall, the better the quality of the evidence, the more it tends to show little or no effect of ivermectin. [Derek Lowe (PhD)]

            Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, take 2
            This is, of course, what those of us who’ve questioned whether ivermectin works for COVID-19 have been saying all along. The few existing higher quality clinical trials testing ivermectin against the disease uniformly have failed to find a positive result. It’s only the smaller, lower-quality trials that have been positive. This is a good indication that the drug probably doesn’t work.

            Again, I concede that it is possible that ivermectin has clinically relevant in vivo antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. Based on current evidence, however, it seems unlikely that it does, when pharmacokinetics considerations are taken into account. As I routinely used to say when discussing hydroxychloroquine, I’d be happy to change my mind if compelling scientific evidence for ivermectin were published. It’s just that neither of these reviews qualify, nor do any of the clinical trials I’ve seen thus far. That’s why I agree that ivermectin shouldn’t be used to treat COVID-19 outside of the context of a well-designed clinical trial with a strong scientific rationale. [David Gorski (PhD, MD, and Rosemary's "at best a fuckwit")]

            RL, I don't understand (really, I don't) why intelligent people who clearly have much valuable expertise across a wide range of areas are so confident that the considered consensus of medical and academic experts on a range of treatments for COVID-19 must be wrong. I wouldn't second guess my surgeon on the safest way to achieve the best outcome of an operation, or, for that matter, my excellent anaesthetist on what and how much anaesthetic to use – I trust them.

            Nor would I challenge an oncologist on the most appropriate treatments and dosing regimes to shrink and inoperable tumour, although if I was really frightened I might seek a second opinion.

            And yet, when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the best ways to minimise its tragic impact on human health, suddenly expert medical consensus counts for squat. Doesn't that seem bizarre to you? I just don't get it.

            Another example; Rosemary's characterisation of Helen Petousis-Harris (PhD) as a dogmatic egotist who enjoys basking in the media spotlight – simply bizarre; how to make sense of it?

            • Rosemary McDonald 6.2.2.5.2.1

              I wouldn't second guess my surgeon

              ….or my anaesthetist.

              A little light reading for you DMK.

              (Some seriously nasty experiences in the healthcare system led me to that particular site some years ago. Very disturbing to read that our very distressing near death experiences were at the low end of the shit-gets-real spectrum. Peter didn't die.)

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                You and Peter have my sympathies Rosemary – when our healthcare system makes a mistake, the consequences can be dire.

                No healthcare system will ever be perfect, and yet with (very) few exceptions NZ healthcare staff do their best for us all. Maybe I've been unusually lucky in regard to my six general anaesthetic procedures in NZ (starting with a tonsillectomy, and including a life-saving operation) spread over 60 years.

                And thanks for the link, but at first glance it looks like a catalogue of woe. I believe that a positive pre-operative attitude helps to reduce post-operative pain, so won't be delving any further. Not the best pre-op approach for everyone, of course, but sometimes ignorance really can be bliss.

                Psychological and psychosocial predictors of chronic postsurgical pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis
                By contrast, the meta-analyses showed that state anxiety, trait anxiety, mental health, depression, catastrophizing and, to a lesser extent, kinesiophobia and self-efficacy have a weak but significant association with chronic postsurgical pain.

                • gsays

                  I think part of what is being described "…I don't understand (really, I don't) why intelligent people who clearly have much valuable expertise across a wide range of areas are so confident that the considered consensus of medical and academic experts on a range of treatments for COVID-19 must be wrong."

                  It isn't so much they are wrong, more that they can be slow to see that someone is also right, for different reasons.

                  Most of the experts we are talking about are conservative by nature. By conservative I mean resistant to change and are not comfortable outside of the consensus. After all they have degrees and masters which reinforces how correct they must be.

                  None of this is to denigrate said experts, just to point out they are not the sole keepers of truth.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Yes, experts "are not the sole keepers of truth", but don't outcomes (and logic) suggest that they tend to be right about matters relating to their area(s) of expertise more often than non-experts? Various expert consensuses on COVID have developed and continue to evolve rapidly.

                    COVID-19 genome sequencing and epidemiological analyses, development and evaluation of vaccines and other treatments for COVID-19, advising on strategies to limit virus transmission and how best to communicate these strategies, etc. etc. All just common sense?

                    None of this is to denigrate the essential role of the general public in combatting this pandemic, just to point out that good pandemic outcomes are heavily dependent on expertise – it’s a partnership.

                    The idea of being (overly) reliant on (pushy, know-it-all) experts will generate some psychological pushback, akin to concerns that your car mechanic might be ripping you off. Are we all COVID experts now?

                    Covid-19: Health experts push for compulsory mask wearing in alert level

                    Too few vaccinated and Delta variant 'hyper infectious', warns expert Dr Rawiri Taonui

                    Institutions that can manage disease risks vital, says expert

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivermectin#COVID-19_misinformation

                    • gsays

                      No beef with any of that.

                      What I would point out is commerce underpins and funds most experts and that touches on one of the points Rosemary is making; Ivermectin endorsements are frowned upon because it would bring into doubt TINA, "…the only hope for these vaccines to gain that vital EUA from the FDA is that there were no alternate treatments."

                    • Incognito []

                      Ivermectin endorsements are frowned upon because it would bring into doubt TINA

                      Nope, because its effectivity is not yet proven in this setting and clinical trials are underway to test this hypothesis.

                    • gsays

                      Reply to Incognito:

                      "Nope, because its effectivity is not yet proven in this setting and clinical trials are underway to test this hypothesis."

                      To deny the influence of commerce in this is naive.

                    • Incognito []

                      Just as well I didn’t then.

            • Molly 6.2.2.5.2.2

              "I wouldn't second guess my surgeon on the safest way to achieve the best outcome of an operation, or, for that matter, my excellent anaesthetist on what and how much anaesthetic to use – I trust them.

              Nor would I challenge an oncologist on the most appropriate treatments and dosing regimes to shrink and inoperable tumour, although if I was really frightened I might seek a second opinion."

              You are in a comfortable position. Good for you.

              Now, try to encompass the idea that others in the same system have had direct experience of harm and lies, and acknowledge they are justifiably critical and no longer take the word of every health practitioner at face value.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Molly, don't know about "comfortable" (good for me!), but thanks anyway.

                Having encompassed the idea that negative personal experiences due to mistakes can colour perceptions of NZ's health services, I'd hope this wouldn't lead to an impression that causing harm and lying are commonplace – healthcare workers are under enough stress as it is. We depend on them, and they are there for us – to the best to their abilities.

                We Need to Prioritize Mental Health for Healthcare Workers

                • Between 35 and 54 percent of nurses and doctors were already experiencing burnout before the pandemic.
                • During the pandemic, healthcare workers had to work with a lack of protective equipment and faced many instances of moral injury on the job.
                • Roughly 3 in 10 healthcare workers have weighed leaving their profession. Some fear stigma or losing licensure by seeking mental health care.
                • Removing stigma can be a first step toward getting healthcare workers the mental health support they need.
                • Molly

                  There is a difference between colouring perceptions, and actually realising there are some harmful aspects to our health system.

                  Health practitioners have egos and biases and institutional conditioning just like anyone else. If the health system does not focus on the patient – like ours – these human aspects can, and do, cause harm.

                  Consider yourself privileged that you have not be on the receiving end, but try not to dismiss others knowledge and experience as perception. There have been many reports of the failures of our health system. Criticism and cynicism is often valid.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Health practitioners have egos and biases and institutional conditioning just like anyone else.

                    I guess "just like anyone else" is where I'm coming from Molly. The people who we depend on to make the health system work (or not work) for us are only human.

                    You say/think 'privileged', I say/think 'lucky' (there but for the grace of God…) – either way NZers are, on average, better off thanks to the efforts of nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals. Naturally, it may be difficult to some who have personally experienced a serious failure of our healthcare system to acknowledge the truth that for every failure there might be – what? – five successes, 10, 20?

                    If not the aspirational "first do no harm", then at least "do more good than harm". Each year in NZ tens of thousands of people die while under the care of nurses and doctors – only some of those deaths are due to medical misadventure/negligence, and even fewer are down to deliberate harm, imho.

                    There have been many reports of the failures of our health system. Criticism and cynicism is often valid.

                    Indeed, “failures of our health system” are reported much more often than its successes. Valid criticism is usually helpful, as is having realistic expectations. Not sure about ‘valid cynicism’ – maybe useful as a coping mechanism?

                    A Scoping Review of Research into the Origins of Cynicism Among Medical Trainees [June 2021]
                    From Kopelman’s perspective, the presence of cynicism verifies that students’ ideals are still alive because they recognize that things could be better and are disappointed that they are not; cynicism may be preferable to despair. This review revealed that trainees have not suffered a death of their ideals, but a burial. Corrective action may be able to excavate what was lost—an idealistic approach to medical training.

                    Only human, like the rest of us.

    • KSaysHi 6.3

      Anne – NZ Skeptics have been naming a few via their free newsletter. They do that think where they link people by association too.

  7. Forget now 7

    Does anyone have the context for this?

    Westpac Group chief executive Peter King said a demerger of the New Zealand business would not be in the best interests of shareholders.

    He said the bank will also be looking to replace the New Zealand chief executive, David McLean, who retires tomorrow.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/445421/westpac-banks-will-stay-linked-to-australian-parent

    I knew that Westpac (are they still the government bank? or whatever the jargon is) were looking at moving out of Aotearoa. But the coincident timing of this announcement alongside the apparently sudden resignation of McLean suggests that there is a bigger story under the surface here.

    • alwyn 7.1

      McLean's retirement is hardly sudden, or a surprise. He is 61 and has been in the job for 7 years.

    • RedBaronCV 7.2

      Westpac where going to float the NZ business on the stock exchange weren't they/ Yes I do wonder what changed their mind. Too much profit from New Zealand no doubt? IMHO though it's high time the reserve bank attached a whole host of service conditions to a banking licence – before we wind up with services available only to the favoured few high net profit people.

      • alwyn 7.2.1

        "Westpac where going to float the NZ business on the stock exchange weren't they/Yes …/".

        Perhaps you can provide a link to where they said they were going to do that? I have never seen anything as definitive as the claim you make.

        The strongest statement I ever saw was back in March when they advised the Stock Exchange that

        “Westpac is also assessing the appropriate structure for its New Zealand business and whether a demerger would be in the best interests of shareholders. Westpac is in the very early stage of this assessment and no decisions have been made"

        Westpac are required to tell the Stock Exchange, and the investing public anything like this that could have an effect on the value of the firm. They were considering it, along with the entire structure of the Bank and its activities outside Australia. That is a vastly different thing from saying they were going to actually do it.

        • RedBaronCV 7.2.1.1

          The / was meant to be a ?, as I was uncertain whether Westpac was looking at a stock market listing or whether it was someone else's suggestion. Happy to be advised by you of course.

  8. Historian Pete 8

    Incognito:A few thoughts in my final post in the standard. I feel I am casting pearls before swine anyway- so my banning is timely!

    Between 1967-1970 I was involved in the struggle with the neo-fascist right in New Zealand , along with others on the left, to bring about free speech . Many of us were arrested, some jailed, and beaten by Police. But we were successful. Now 50 years later all we achieved has been destroyed by the woke left. Like you see on the standard. Left blog sites are exclusive rather than inclusive .Moderators who are like Political Commissars from the Soviet Union, act like political high priests , pontificating on what is considered a heresy .Freedom of speech is no longer with us, nor does it appear on TV, radio, or web sites such as Twitter, Facebook,, Utube. All enabled by our woke left in Western countries. And for the benefit of Giant corporations owned and controlled by the 1% Oligarchic Right .In effect the destruction of Democracy.

    The upside is that those responsible, like yourself, will soon be exterminated by the Covid vaccines .The Spike Protein will destroy your innate immunity that you are born with and you will be open to attack by any toxic virus or bacteria and you will die. A great pity about the completely innocent people who will be extinguished by the actions of the Oligarchic Right and their Woke enablers.

    You will have 2-3 years to live according to the latest Scientific Prognosis.[ After you have received your jab.] So , as you get ready in the near future to climb into your pine box , fully understand that your timely demise is because of your arrogance and stupidity. Huzzah!!!

    [I’m fully supportive of freedom of expression, so I’ll let this through, unedited, so that others can marvel as well – Incognito]

    • Pat 8.1

      I think we have just witnessed the logic of free speech.

    • McFlock 8.3

      2-3 years? Hah. My cholesterol will get me long before then!

    • Ad 8.4

      Why do you claim this particular vaxxine is so bad for us compared to all the 'invasive' cures that we have had since World War 2, including those for Smallpox, Polio, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and all the rest?

      You are more than welcome to be non-pc on my posts, so long as you bring cited facts.

      • I Feel Love 8.4.1

        I just remembered Homer saying something along the lines of "why are we vaccinating Maggie for diseases she doesn't have?".

        • greywarshark 8.4.1.1

          Very good remembrance I Feel Love. That is the sort of question that lots of people worry over! It's just common-sense – isn't it? /sarc

      • Historian Pete 8.4.2

        I am not against those vaccines. I am against this jab because It is not a vaccine. It is experimental. It has been manufactured in haste at the behest of Big Pharma, most of whom have convictions for fraud from previous manufactured products. The regulatory authorities have not scrutinized these so called "vaccines" with a normal tested scrutiny. The side effects , that are frankly horrific, are hidden and buried by our authorities. NZ does not publish toxic side effects, we are not allowed to know. Strangely this is not the case in the US,UK, and Australia. In previous articles I have itemized the efforts of authorities in the Canada to threaten medical staff with termination if they whistle blow .I have a close confidant who has an intimate knowledge of a care facility. in NZ where similar is happening. Serious side effects ending in hospitalisation are happening but never reported. Expert medical staff like Dr Robert Malone,who invented the m RNA have stated the covid jabs are lethally toxic . How much more do you want?

        [Still not a single decent link, just hot air and utter bollocks.

        A “close confidant who has an intimate knowledge of a care facility”? Yeah, right!

        You are an ignorant incorrect conspiracy nutbar, as far as I can see, and my parsnip agrees:

        https://www.medsafe.govt.nz/COVID-19/vaccine-report-overview.asp

        This is your last warning, as you keep on wasting Moderator time – Incognito]

    • GreenBus 8.5

      HPete, I haven't read that much bile since, since ….this morning on tdb. Another crusty old bastard spewing out venom and bullshit, probably because you don't like all this quite minor change, really. No wonder the moderator gives you stick. It's offensive. The old rednecks in this country are slowly being reined in and oh shit do they complain and cry like little babies. But much louder. Left leaning blogsites like TS are very tolerant towards old crusties like me having a go at old crusties like you, but isn't that the freedom of speech that you want? TS is not the CPP.

      • Historian Pete 8.5.1

        When I am called shit for brains by one poster, and hysterical Pete and nut job by the moderator, and then my post is expunged in its entirety, my feminine gentle side disappears, and I go feral !

    • NZ are test cricket world champions, Nothing more earth-shattering can possibly occur so it's a perfect time to climb into that pine box.

    • Anne 8.7

      Between 1967-1970 I was involved in the struggle with the neo-fascist right in New Zealand.

      What a load of old crock. The neo fascist movement didn't exist back then. It wasn't until well into the 1980s before neo Nazism started to rear its ugly head. Ok there might have been a few tiny pockets of left-over Nazis around in the 60s but they had no power or sway.

      As an historian you are certainly a lousy example. Good riddance and… don't slam the door as you exit!

      Edit: Ok, so you fought the National Front Party which had its earliest manifestation around the late 1960s. About 10 of them I think. Wow, what a mighty brave fella you were.

  9. greywarshark 10

    New martyr, conspiracy theory?

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jun/23/john-mcafee-dead-spain-prison-extradition

    He was an anti-virus computer developer, and bizarre. Madmen like him are running the world it seems.

  10. Historian Pete 11

    I see. So you print my main article to let your pathetic sycophants have a go at me and then expunge my responses. That is the kind of dirty pool/ slimy tactics I would expect from a second rate woke tosspot.

    [Excuse me? Do Moderators have to be at your beck and call 24/7? We are volunteers with jobs and other commitments.

    You were told a couple of days ago that you are in Pre-Moderation until you lift your game – I’m still waiting and the signs are not good.

    Not a single comment of yours has been “expunged” today, so an apology might be in place, don’t you think? – Incognito]

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