How the medical establishment rushed to judgment on mask mandates, then panicked when the WHO's Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove contradicted their groupthink

 

maria

 


SUMMARY OF THIS ARTICLE:

1. Prior to COVID-19, there had never been a respiratory virus known to spread from people without symptoms. Accordingly, the CDC did not recommend that people wear masks in the fight against COVID-19.

2. Then, on April 3, 2020, the CDC changed its position on masks. The CDC's basis for recommending masks was predicated on a belief that the virus spreads asymptomatically.

3. MORE THAN TWO MONTHS LATER, on June 8, 2020, the World Health Organization's top epidemiologist, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove made it very clear that based on the data they had seen to date, asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 appeared to be "very rare". This strongly suggests that either the CDC had no strong basis to recommend masks, or the experts at the World Health Organization are lazy and incompetent.

4. Just one day later she spoke again after receiving a "lot of messages", stating that there are mathematical models that claim as much as 40% asymptomatic spread. Clearly, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove and the WHO did/do not trust these models (versus actual contact tracing studies) otherwise she would have cited them the day before and would not have stated that aymptomatic spread is "very rare". Simple. Despite false and/or intellectually dishonest media reports, the WHO's position on asymptomatic spread did not and could not have changed overnight. No new study was published overnight.


 

First of all, why does the question of whether COVID-19 can spread from asymptomatic carriers matter? Because the claim of asymptomatic spread is the medical establishment's rationale for telling us that we need/must wear face masks. Otherwise, we would just tell people who have symptoms of sickness (fever, sore throat, fatigue, etc) to stay home, while healthy people go about their lives without masks.

 

This was explained by Surgeon General Jerome Powell two months after the US had shifted its position on masks in early April 2020. On July 12, 2020, on CBS's Face the Nation, Powell explained why they changed their position on masks...

 

"I was saying that then because everything we knew about corona viruses before that point told us that people were not likely to spread when they were asymptomatic." -- Jerome Powell

 

It is important to put this shift into perspective. To suddenly claim that we now have a virus (COVID-19) that spreads asymptomatically, flies in the face of all of our prior medical knowledge about respiratory viruses. Prior to April 3, 2020, it was understood and accepted by the medical establishment that respiratory viruses essentially do not spread via asymptomatic carriers. If COVID-19 transmits asymptomatically, then it would be the very first respiratory virus in history to do so! This was echoed by Anthony Fauci on January 28, 2020...

 

"The one thing historically people need to realize is that even if there is some asymptomatic transmission, in all the history of respiratory-born viruses of any type, asymptomatic transmission have never been the driver of outbreaks. The driver of outbreaks is always a symptomatic person. Even if there's a rare symptomatic person that might transmit, an epidemic is not driven by asymptomatic carriers." -- Anthony Fauci

 

Then, on June 8, 2020, during the (WHO) World Health Organization's daily briefing, a question was posed by Emma Forrest (from Reuters). She essentially asked if the WHO's views on asymptomatic transmission remained the same, given that lots of asymptomatic cases were being discovered in Singapore. It's important to clarify that the Singapore story was merely about asymptomatic cases -- not any asymptomatic transmissions. Here's her question...

 

"It’s a question about asymptomatic transmission, if I may. I know that the WHO has previously said that there’s no documented cases of this. We have a story out of Singapore today saying that at least half of the new cases they’re seeing have no symptoms. I’m wondering if this had a bigger role than the WHO initially thought in propagating a pandemic and what the policy implications might be." -- Emma Forrest

 

The question was fielded by Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, who is the World Health Organization's top infectious disease epidemiologist. In the first part of her answer, she merely stated that some people are symptomatic and some are not. It wasn't a commentary on asymptomatic transmission. In the second part of her answer she did address the question of asymptomatic spread...

 

“The second part of your question is what porportion of asymptomatic individuals actually transmit? So the way that we look at that -- these individuals need to be followed carefully over the course of when they’re detected and looking at secondary transmission. We have a number of reports from countries who are doing very detailed contact tracing. They’re following asymptomatic cases, they’re following contacts, and they’re not finding secondary transmissionit’s very rare, and much of that is not published in the literature. From the papers that are published -- there’s one that came out from Singapore looking at a long-term care facility. There are some household transmission studies where you follow individuals over time and you look at the proportion of those which transmit onward. We are constantly looking at this data, and we’re trying to get more information from countries to truly answer this question. It still appears to be rare that an asymptomatic individual actually transmits onward. What we really want to be focused on is following the symptomatic cases. If we followed all the symptomatic cases -- because we know that this is a respiratory pathogen. It passes from an infectious individual through infectious droplets -- If we actually followed all of the symptomatic cases, isolated those cases, followed the contacts and quarantined those contacts, we would drastically reduce -- I would love to be able to give a proportion of how much transmission we would actually stop -- but it would be a drastic reduction in transmission. If we could focus on that, I think we would do very very well in terms of suppressing transmission. But, from the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic individual actually transmits onward to a secondary individual.

 

It cannot be understated that you cannot walk back this statement. In no uncertain terms, she stated that her (and/or the WHO's) general understanding of COVID-19 was that it still appears to be rare that it transmits asymptomatically. She was not speaking about a subset of studies.

 

She also reinforced her statement that asymptomatic transmission is rare when she touted the strategy of just focusing on the symptomatic cases in order to drastically reduce transmission. Again, you cannot walk this back either.

 

She also felt the need to note that COVID-19 is a "respiratory pathogen". Why? This bolsters her case that only asymptomatic individuals transmit because, again, all other known respiratory viruses in history have acted in this way.

 

And so, we have a top infectious disease epidemiologist effectively contradicting mask mandates, which had already been imposed in the United States two months prior. Her commentary on the rarity of asymptomatic spread now threatened the medical establishment's credibility.

 

Predictably, her email box blew up that night.

 

Obviously, the world's mask tyrants reminded her that the rushed and refuted claim of asymptomatic spread is the very basis for mask mandates, not to mention mass testing of asymptomatic individuals

 

And so the very next day, during the WHO's Q&A Live, like a disciplined child, Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove attempted to walk back her statements, but actually didn't, and merely contradicted herself at best. The fact that she has to answer to outside influencers is proof that the WHO is a politicized organization that is being pushed around. Here's the first part of her follow-up comments...

 

"There were quite a lot of messages that I received overnight, and that we received about making some clarifications to some points that I made yesterday at the press conference. So I think it’s important just to -- if I can briefly cover some of the -- perhaps some of the misunderstandings from what I said yesterday. And so what I was referring to yesterday at the press conference were a very few studies -- some two or three studies that had been published that actually try and follow asymptomatic cases. So, people who are infected over time, and then look at all of their contacts and see how many additional people were infected. And that’s a very small subset of studies. And so, I was responding to a question at the press conference. I wasn’t stating a policy of WHO or anything like that. I was just trying to articulate what we know."

 

When you parse her words, you realize that this is not a retraction about asymptomatic spread being rare. She is merely stating that she never recommended any policy guidelines, such as with regard to masks, although she did express her opinion that controlling the symptomatic cases would "drastically" reduce transmissions. And never mind that "what we know" (about asymptopmatic spread being very rare) flies is in direct odds with mask mandates!

 

She continued...

 

I used the phrase ‘very rare’. And I think that’s misunderstanding to state that asymptomatic transmission globally is very rare. What I was referring to was a subset of studies.

 

This is just plain false. Call it the 'I said it, but I didn't say it' fallacy. She was not referring to a subset of studies. She was talking about her (and/or the WHO's) understanding of COVID-19 in general.

 

Furthermore, this statement makes absolutely no sense. Either the virus spreads asymptomatically or it doesn't. The transmission behavior of the virus doesn't vary from country to country. If it doesn't transmit asymptomatically in Singapore, then it won't transmit asymptomatically anywhere else either. Perhaps what she meant to say was that not all studies say that asymptomatic transmission is rare. This is the only logical interpretation because, as previously stated, either she or the WHO believes that asymptomatic transmission is 'very rare'. She cannot have it both ways. Again, her response looks like a forced apology to appease the medical establishment mob.

 

Her continued response...

 

I also referred to some data that isn’t published. And this is information that we received from out member states through either presentations that they give at member state briefings or presentations that are given to us through teleconferences. As you know and as we said previously, we convene global expert networks. And at many of those we discuss a lot of ongoing research -- ongoing studies that are there. And I was referring to some detailed investigations, cluster investigations, case contact tracing where we had reports from member states saying that when we follow asymptomatic cases it’s very rare -- and I used the phrase very rare that we found secondary transmission. What I didn’t report yesterday, was because this is a major unknown -- because there’s so many unknowns around us, some groups -- some modeling groups have tried to estimate what is the proportion of asymptomatic people that may transmit. And these are estimates and there is a big range from the different models depending on how the models are done, or where they're done, from which country. But some estimates of around 40% of transmission may be due to asymptomatic. But those are from models, and so I didn’t include that in my answer yesterday, but wanted to make sure that I covered that here.

 

And so, she merely acknowledged that there are mathematical models that claim that asymptomatic transmission is quite common. But she didn't include talk about these models in her original answer because she believes in the actual contact tracing studies. Despite any "unknowns", her expert understanding of COVID-19 is that asymptomatic transmission is "very rare". Clearly, she was only forced by the people who yelled at her, to promote these models.

 

Of course the liberal media rushed to protect the groupthink narrative. Here are some of the mockingbird media's false and/or intellectually dishonest headlines that followed...

 

WHO expert backtracks after saying asymptomatic transmission 'very rare'

 

WHO walks back comments on asymptomatic coronavirus spread,

says much is still unknown

 

WHO retracts comments on asymptomatic spread of Covid-19

 

WHO expert cites 'misunderstanding' after saying asymptomatic transmission 'very rare'

 

In the W.H.O.’s Coronavirus Stumbles, Some Scientists See a Pattern

The agency’s advice sometimes lags behind rapidly evolving research into the coronavirus, experts contend.

 

WHO takes back statement saying asymptomatic patients spreading COVID-19 is rare, says they can cause 40 percent of transmissions

 

Fact check: The World Health Organization did not say COVID-19 can’t transmit from person to person

 

Contrary to these dishonest media reports, she did not retract her clearly stated opinion on asymptomatic spread. Her views did not change overnight, nor was there any “misunderstanding”. Once you actually scrutinize her entire statements in detail, she did indeed say that she believes that asymptomatic transmission is very rare.

 

And we haven't even gotten into discussing the effectiveness / ineffectiveness of masks. That's a whole other can of worms!

 

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