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This topic is for all general discussion regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic. There are of course numerous other related topics for discussing specific aspects of this pandemic in more detail. And there are other parts of this forum for more 'off-topic' discussions.

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5 hours ago, Seeker said:

Yeah I expected him to be a bit smarter haha, but his answer on ‘anti vaxxers’ and Kennedy jr was his best... basically telling people he’s the guy to go to if you wanna learn why people are against vaccines, and he’s got fantastic information 

 

He's probably a very smart businessman in a way, in terms of choosing the most profitable strategies for Microsoft, his vaccine interests etc, but social smarts and charisma he definitely doesn't have. You'd think they've have chosen someone a little bit better. 

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9 minutes ago, Illmatic said:

 

He's probably a very smart businessman in a way, in terms of choosing the most profitable strategies for Microsoft, his vaccine interests etc, but social smarts and charisma he definitely doesn't have. You'd think they've have chosen someone a little bit better. 

He’s demonic enough I guess 

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20 minutes ago, Illmatic said:

 

He's probably a very smart businessman in a way, in terms of choosing the most profitable strategies for Microsoft, his vaccine interests etc, but social smarts and charisma he definitely doesn't have. You'd think they've have chosen someone a little bit better. 

 

He hired good lawyers and stole from others to build windows is what I read.

He's total dork, look at him..

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1 hour ago, Illmatic said:

 

He's probably a very smart businessman in a way, in terms of choosing the most profitable strategies for Microsoft, his vaccine interests etc, but social smarts and charisma he definitely doesn't have. You'd think they've have chosen someone a little bit better. 

JEDI Cloud case in point, bought by Microsoft from the pentagon for 10 billion, built in Microsoft Israel to create the network. Billy Boy is the poster child for something huge they're doing over there

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1 hour ago, shadowmoon said:

 

He hired good lawyers and stole from others to build windows is what I read.

He's total dork, look at him..

 

Yeah so maybe that's his strength, putting good people around him to boost his position. I think letting his be the spokesman for this vaccine push is a bit of an oversight thought, people see through it too easily. 

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3 minutes ago, Illmatic said:

 

Yeah so maybe that's his strength, putting good people around him to boost his position. I think letting his be the spokesman for this vaccine push is a bit of an oversight thought, people see through it too easily. 

 

 Before this event lots of people thought he was a kind philanthropist,  or they were just indifferent/uninterested in him.

I imagine that outlook changing is not part of the expectation. ?

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1 hour ago, shadowmoon said:

 

 Before this event lots of people thought he was a kind philanthropist,  or they were just indifferent/uninterested in him.

I imagine that outlook changing is not part of the expectation. ?

 

His media team has worked incredibly hard to cultivate that public image. I expect he has plenty of advisers and he's heavily coached before every interview, but people skill are something you can only teach to an extent. He doesn't come across at all well even to people who aren't in the "conspiracy" community.

 

It would have made much more sense to hire some Hollywood actor to push the message, as was done to a large extent with the climate agenda. Having him and Alan Dershowitz as the public faces of this issue is a mistake that's probably only explained by arrogance. Two more unlikeable lizards it would be hard to find. 

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1 minute ago, Illmatic said:

 

His media team has worked incredibly hard to cultivate that public image. I expect he has plenty of advisers and he's heavily coached before every interview, but people skill are something you can only teach to an extent. He doesn't come across at all well even to people who aren't in the "conspiracy" community.

 

It would have made much more sense to hire some Hollywood actor to push the message, as was done to a large extent with the climate agenda. Having him and Alan Dershowitz as the public faces of this issue is a mistake that's probably only explained by arrogance. Two more unlikeable lizards it would be hard to find. 

 

"Hey you guys its... 'insert famous actor here'.. my advice is to wear a mask at all times.!"

They tried this with Hanks who was regularly filmed minus mask.

 

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2 minutes ago, shadowmoon said:

 

"Hey you guys its... 'insert famous actor here'.. my advice is to wear a mask at all times.!"

They tried this with Hanks who was regularly filmed minus mask.

 

 

Yeah I mean it's still not going to work on anyone with half a brain but a lot of people love the likes of Tom Hanks. If I were Bill Gates I think I'd probably try and leave my ego aside and let them do the public image work. 

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4 hours ago, Illmatic said:

 

Yeah I mean it's still not going to work on anyone with half a brain but a lot of people love the likes of Tom Hanks. If I were Bill Gates I think I'd probably try and leave my ego aside and let them do the public image work. 


That's a good point Illmatic - I think that's what he done - all gone a bit quiet on the gates front.

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Oh goody Porton Down eh, they have been at it since January according to this article we can trust them with blood samples, cant we?

 

Why the coronavirus tests you've never heard of hold the key to exit from lockdown 

Scientists working at the high security laboratories at Porton Down are testing blood samples from across Britain

ByPaul Nuki, GLOBAL HEALTH SECURITY EDITOR and Sarah Newey, GLOBAL HEALTH SECURITY REPORTER7 April 2020 • 6:00am
A test tube with a solution containing Covid-19 antibodies 

At the Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research, housed within the high security Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down near Salisbury, scientists are poring over 800 blood samples taken from a representative sample of the English population.

They are conducting tests today which, more than any others you may have read about, will decide the shape and timing of Britain’s coronavirus exit strategy. Perhaps, just perhaps, they will provide the key to the door that is lockdown.

If the tests work, and virologists are confident they will, they will provide Britain with the answers to the most important unknowns about Covid-19: How many of us have already had the virus? How common are asymptomatic carriers? And how much immunity, if any, do we acquire after surviving an infection?

The answers to these questions are what virtually every government the world over is rushing to unearth. They are the gold dust of the pandemic. They will inform not just exit through a much more precise modelling of the pandemic’s trajectory, but the best approach to treatments and vaccines.

Little wonder then that this - the “fourth pillar” of the government’s testing strategy - is being conducted behind the high security fences of Porton Down.

The Porton Down facility 
The Porton Down facility  CREDIT: TOBY MELVILLE/ REUTERS

“This sort of study is absolutely vital because we are so uncertain about the level of infection in the population”, said Mark Woolhouse Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the University of Edinburgh. “As things stand we could be out by a factor or 10 or even 100. If work like this gives us even a rough pointer initially it would be hugely valuable”.

While some elements of the British response have been slow, the work at Porton Down is understood to have been underway since January. Moreover, it plays to our skill set as a nation, based as it is on high-end science rather than the more mundane - but crucially important business - of high volume throughput or production.

Experts say the first two months were spent validating high tech “assays” for reliably identifying coronavirus antibodies and designing a robust longitudinal blood sampling study. The first 800 blood samples were delivered to the laboritary in late February.

“We are expanding this programme during April so that we have the potential to test around 5,000 samples per week”, said the Department of Health and Social Care. “We will also roll out a national mass population sample over the coming months... the aim is to enrol 16,000 to 20,000 people who will undergo repeat testing”.

Attention has been focused on swab tests for the virus and cheap home antibody tests to tell people if they have already been infected. While the swab tests are reasonably precise, the home antibody testing kits are currently woefully inaccurate.

In contrast, the antibody tests or “assays” being run at Porton Down are said to be excellent. “The tools are there. The expertise is there. You can be quite confident PHE at Porton Down has access to sensitive assays that can accurately determine antibody levels in patients’ blood,” said Zania Stamataki, a senior lecturer in viral immunology at the University of Birmingham. 

Dr Stamataki added that it was these Porton Down assays that the commercial antibody tests which the government has taken options on are being validated against.

The initial aim of the work at Porton Down is to establish how widely the virus has spread. Current models assume the spread to date is fairly modest, at around three to four per cent of the population. If the modelers had a more precise grip on this crucial variable they would be able to predict the course of the epidemic with much greater certainty.

“Data in the coming weeks will enable estimation... with greater precision,” the team at Imperial College London, whose work underpins the UK’s lockdown strategy, admit in a report dated March 30. 

Prof David Heymann, infectious diseases expert at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, added: “Community surveys will provide us with idea of the level of people infected and that is very important to inform the modelling. Modelers use best possible data at the time they do the modelling, but this changes rapidly.” 

Just as a political pollster can take a small but representative sample of the population to establish voting intentions with some accuracy, the scientists at Porton Down hope to pin down a figure for the spread of the virus from the initial 800 blood samples they are currently studying. This will be improved on as they test more blood samples over time.

 

The study will also provide data on the vexed question of how many people with Covid-19 experience no symptoms or symptoms so mild they carry on as normal and (perhaps) unwittingly spread the disease to others. This again is vital information for those devising Britain’s exit strategy. Current estimates for non-symptomatic carriers vary hugely.

“Blood antibody tests themselves will not tell you about symptoms but if you have gathered detailed clinical information from those you are taking blood from it should do”, said Prof Woolhouse.

Karol Sikora, professor of medicine at the University of Buckingham and former director of the WHO, added: “In studies on cruise ships and small countries, where they’ve tested just about everyone, some 50 per cent of people infected have no symptoms whatsoever, not even a sore throat or cough. 

“That number could mean 20 to 30 per cent of the population have been infected in the UK, which would have huge implications for our strategy - especially around herd immunity and NHS capacity. That information really is vital.”

Last, and perhaps most important, the work at Porton Down will - over the course of six months to a year - show whether or not the antibodies produced as a result of contracting Covid-19 give protection against the virus, and how long that protection lasts. Currently, science is completely in the dark about this, the single most important question of all.

“The hypothesis is that the existence of antibodies means you will have some protection but this is not necessarily the case,” said Dr Stamataki. “We do know that antibodies from some existing coronavirus can last for a year or more. But this is a novel virus and it is possible both that its antibodies are not protective or that they don't last.”

The Porton Down research will establish this by means of a longitudinal study whereby the participants would have their blood checked for antibodies regularly over time to see how long they last. Animal studies will be run consecutively to test their protective potency.  

“One can’t overstate the importance of establishing the strength of any immunity”, said Dr Stamataki. “Even if it lasts for just a year it would give many of us the chance to return to normality.”

The work at Porton Down puts into perspective the trouble governments around the world are having with home antibody tests. Even if these tests prove accurate they are next to useless unless it is known that the antibodies they test for provide protection.

The work at Porton Down should, within months, start to answer that vital question.   

Full article:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/coronavirus-tests-never-heard-hold-key-exit-lockdown/

 

 

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How millions in the UK have been exposed to germ warfare by our own government

WRITTEN BY ANTONY BARNETT ON 19 JULY 2015. POSTED IN NEWS & COMMENT

Families are convinced the experiments have led to their children suffering birth defects, physical handicaps and learning difficulties.

 

THE MINISTRY of Defence turned large parts of the country into a giant laboratory to conduct a series of secret germ warfare tests on the public.

A government report just released provides for the first time a comprehensive official history of Britain's biological weapons trials between 1940 and 1979.

Many of these tests involved releasing potentially dangerous chemicals and micro-organisms over vast swaths of the population without the public being told.

While details of some secret trials have emerged in recent years, the 60-page report reveals new information about more than 100 covert experiments.

The report reveals that military personnel were briefed to tell any 'inquisitive inquirer' the trials were part of research projects into weather and air pollution.

The tests, carried out by government scientists at Porton Down, were designed to help the MoD assess Britain's vulnerability if the Russians were to have released clouds of deadly germs over the country.

In most cases, the trials did not use biological weapons but alternatives which scientists believed would mimic germ warfare and which the MoD claimed were harmless. But families in certain areas of the country who have children with birth defects are demanding a public inquiry.

One chapter of the report, 'The Fluorescent Particle Trials', reveals how between 1955 and 1963 planes flew from north-east England to the tip of Cornwall along the south and west coasts, dropping huge amounts of zinc cadmium sulphide on the population. The chemical drifted miles inland, its fluorescence allowing the spread to be monitored. In another trial using zinc cadmium sulphide, a generator was towed along a road near Frome in Somerset where it spewed the chemical for an hour.

While the Government has insisted the chemical is safe, cadmium is recognised as a cause of lung cancer and during the Second World War was considered by the Allies as a chemical weapon.

In another chapter, 'Large Area Coverage Trials', the MoD describes how between 1961 and 1968 more than a million people along the south coast of England, from Torquay to the New Forest, were exposed to bacteria including e.coli and bacillus globigii , which mimics anthrax. These releases came from a military ship, the Icewhale, anchored off the Dorset coast, which sprayed the micro-organisms in a five to 10-mile radius.

The report also reveals details of the DICE trials in south Dorset between 1971 and 1975. These involved US and UK military scientists spraying into the air massive quantities of serratia marcescens bacteria, with an anthrax simulant and phenol.

Similar bacteria were released in 'The Sabotage Trials' between 1952 and 1964. These were tests to determine the vulnerability of large government buildings and public transport to attack. In 1956 bacteria were released on the London Underground at lunchtime along the Northern Line between Colliers Wood and Tooting Broadway. The results show that the organism dispersed about 10 miles. Similar tests were conducted in tunnels running under government buildings in Whitehall.

Experiments conducted between 1964 and 1973 involved attaching germs to the threads of spiders' webs in boxes to test how the germs would survive in different environments. These tests were carried out in a dozen locations across the country, including London's West End, Southampton and Swindon. The report also gives details of more than a dozen smaller field trials between 1968 and 1977.

In recent years, the MoD has commissioned two scientists to review the safety of these tests. Both reported that there was no risk to public health, although one suggested the elderly or people suffering from breathing illnesses may have been seriously harmed if they inhaled sufficient quantities of micro-organisms.

However, some families in areas which bore the brunt of the secret tests are convinced the experiments have led to their children suffering birth defects, physical handicaps and learning difficulties.

David Orman, an army officer from Bournemouth, is demanding a public inquiry. His wife, Janette, was born in East Lulworth in Dorset, close to where many of the trials took place. She had a miscarriage, then gave birth to a son with cerebral palsy. Janette's three sisters, also born in the village while the tests were being carried out, have also given birth to children with unexplained problems, as have a number of their neighbours.

The local health authority has denied there is a cluster, but Orman believes otherwise. He said: 'I am convinced something terrible has happened. The village was a close-knit community and to have so many birth defects over such a short space of time has to be more than coincidence.'

Successive governments have tried to keep details of the germ warfare tests secret. While reports of a number of the trials have emerged over the years through the Public Records Office, this latest MoD document - which was released to Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker - gives the fullest official version of the biological warfare trials yet.

Baker said: 'I welcome the fact that the Government has finally released this information, but question why it has taken so long. It is unacceptable that the public were treated as guinea pigs without their knowledge, and I want to be sure that the Ministry of Defence's claims that these chemicals and bacteria used were safe is true.'

The MoD report traces the history of the UK's research into germ warfare since the Second World War when Porton Down produced five million cattle cakes filled with deadly anthrax spores which would have been dropped in Germany to kill their livestock. It also gives details of the infamous anthrax experiments on Gruinard on the Scottish coast which left the island so contaminated it could not be inhabited until the late 1980s.

The report also confirms the use of anthrax and other deadly germs on tests aboard ships in the Caribbean and off the Scottish coast during the 1950s. The document states: 'Tacit approval for simulant trials where the public might be exposed was strongly influenced by defence security considerations aimed obviously at restricting public knowledge. An important corollary to this was the need to avoid public alarm and disquiet about the vulnerability of the civil population to BW [biological warfare] attack.'

Sue Ellison, spokeswoman for Porton Down, said: 'Independent reports by eminent scientists have shown there was no danger to public health from these releases which were carried out to protect the public.

'The results from these trials_ will save lives, should the country or our forces face an attack by chemical and biological weapons.'

Asked whether such tests are still being carried out, she said: 'It is not our policy to discuss ongoing research.'

 

 

 

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