Europe's second wave suggests COVID pandemic could have been avoided
Thomas Lifson's 10/26/2020 informative post detailed how Europe is now experiencing a second wave of COVID deaths. The American mainstream media echoed the claim about the COVID spike in Europe and are also claiming that a similar one is happening in the USA based mostly on increased positive tests. However, that trend correlates closely with the increased testing.
Unbiased COVID-19 data for this analysis was found in an interactive chart from Our World in Data. Their COVID-19 data uses a seven-day moving average of daily deaths per million people to make it easier to compare trends for large and small countries. I selected data for the USA and several individual European countries that posted a significant second wave trend starting around September. The data in Chart 1 below clearly show that all these countries experienced a major spike in deaths from March to mid-April and confirm the second surge in Europe. However, evidence of a similar surge in the U.S. is not clear. The U.S. trend since the middle of June did not go as low and stayed relatively flat. I am not sure about the data from elsewhere, but I suspect that the U.S. numbers are inflated (+25%) due to the many deaths reported with COVID being counted the same as those confirmed to have died from COVID.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the initial hysteria focused on Italy because it got infected first due to hosting thousands of visitors from China for the latter's Belt and Road initiative. However, the highest per capita deaths were actually in relatively small Belgium. From July through September, the average daily deaths for most European countries remained under 1 per million, while the U.S. never got below 2. At the time, it looked as though the pandemic was over for Europe, but not for the U.S. Although Germany had had the largest death count in the second surge, when viewed using the deaths per million metric, the upward trend in Germany with its large population was insignificant compared to Belgium, Spain, France, and others.
Some of the same data from Chart 1 has been consolidated in Chart 2 below. Sweden and India were added to make a totally different comparison. India is there because of an independent analysis titled "Early treatment with hydroxychloroquine: a country-based analysis." It identified India as an early and widespread user of HCQ. The referenced analysis reviewed "[m]any countries that adopted or declined early treatment with HCQ, effectively forming a large trial with 1.8 billion people in the treatment group and 663 million in the control group." Their analysis found that the countries using HCQ early and extensively had 70.7% lower total deaths. Although India is a relatively poor country and has a less robust medical infrastructure, and its lockdowns and mask mandates were minimal and likely undercounted COVID deaths, its low death trend was consistent with other heavily HCQ-using countries. Additionally, India's over–1 billion population provided a huge sample size.
Note: HCQ and other corticosteroids do not kill the virus. They work by preventing the body's autoimmune system from overreacting (AKA a cytokine storm) and attacking the body instead of the virus. Susceptibility to this type overreaction increases with age. It is the resulting inflammation that is the primary cause of COVID deaths. When the cytokine storm reaction is controlled, antibodies that kill the virus are produced normally. To be effective, HCQ must be administered early, well before severe symptoms develop.
Also included in Chart 2 is the trend for Sweden. Sweden is added because it broke with conventional wisdom and mostly avoided lockdowns and mask mandates. Its initial death counts were as bad as the other countries. However, only Sweden did not experience the second wave, and its average daily death rate as of October 28 reached zero!
- Although Sweden paid a steep price at the beginning of the pandemic, it apparently achieved herd immunity quickly. This is the desired outcome in "The Great Barrington Declaration." Sweden's pandemic may be over.
- India never experienced a surge in deaths, and it was also able to achieve herd immunity because HCQ helped tame the cytokine storm in people susceptible to that deadly reaction so their autoimmune systems could produce the needed antibodies normally. India's pandemic may be over.
- Based on Europe's second surge, the extended period of severe lockdowns and extreme mask mandates has apparently served only to temporarily delay the spread. The virus was simply lying in wait to attack those who had not yet been exposed. Until herd immunity is achieved or a vaccine becomes available to artificially achieve herd immunity, the cycle repeats.
- Had countries not been denied or deprived of information about the use of HCQ or other readily available corticosteroids at the onset of the disease, perhaps 70% fewer deaths could have resulted from its use, and there would have been no worldwide pandemic.
Yet the war on HCQ continues. Vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris, many leaders on the left, and the MSM are now fomenting fears of the fast-tracked vaccine that is nearing approval under the Trump administration. Apparently, the left would rather let thousands more people die than give Trump any credit.