R0 and Incubation Periods: How Other Coronavirus Outbreaks Were Stopped

R0 and Incubation Periods: How Other Coronavirus Outbreaks Were Stopped
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Why can’t we stop COVID-19 like we stopped SARS and MERS, the other two 21st century coronavirus outbreaks?

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

I’ve talked about the emergence of other deadly coronavirus outbreaks like SARS and MERS. How were we able to get them under control?

MERS could be stopped because of its relatively low “basic reproduction number,” abbreviated as R with a little subscript zero. (That’s the R naught you may have heard about.) The reason they call it the reproduction number is because the concept goes back to the study of human population growth, like the number of daughters, on average, each woman had. But in infectious disease, it represents the number of people a single infected individual is expected to pass the disease along to in a susceptible population, so R0 is a measure of how contagious a new pathogen is.

For the MERS coronavirus––the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus––the R0 was only about 1; so, each MERS patient tended to transmit the disease to only one other person. You can imagine how much easier a disease like that can be stopped, compared to a virus with the potential to spread exponentially—viruses like the SARS or COVID-19 coronaviruses, with an R0 of 2 or greater.

In the case of a virus with an R0 of 2, for example, unless stopped, one infected person could become two, then four, then eight, and so on.

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 may indeed be able to latch onto receptors in the human respiratory tract better than the coronavirus that causes SARS, and also replicate better in the upper airways than SARS. But the primary reason there were more COVID-19 cases in the first month after it was reported than SARS ever did revolves less around how contagious it is, and more around when it is contagious.

The three characteristics of microbes most likely to cause pandemics are: novelty, a new pathogen, so there’s no pre-existing immunity; respiratory spread (I mean pneumonia is humanity’s fourth leading killer, even outside a pandemic); and the third characteristic for optimal pandemic potential is transmission before symptom onset.

The last four pandemics of respiratory disease were caused by new flu viruses, originating from bird flu and swine flu viruses, each of which fit all three of those criteria. SARS, however, was not considered a pandemic, despite spreading to twenty-nine countries and regions. Why did the World Health Organization (WHO) only consider SARS a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” and how were we able to stop it within just a few months at only around 8,000 cases and 800 deaths? It was a brand new virus, spread via respiratory droplets, but SARS lacked the third necessary characteristic: significant spread before symptoms arise.

For SARS, the average incubation period—the time between first becoming unwittingly infected after exposure to the virus, and first coming down with symptoms—was around five days, similar to COVID-19. But it took another six to eleven days, however, for SARS viral loads to fully ramp up in upper respiratory tract secretions coughed or sneezed from one person to the next. So, even after falling ill, patients with SARS weren’t very infectious in the first five days or so of the illness. Since viral loads peaked about ten days after people started feeling sick, after they knew they had it, you can see how human-to-human transmission could be stopped if patients could be isolated within the first few days after the onset of symptoms. And that’s exactly what happened. A massive international effort spearheaded by the WHO was able to identify all of the cases by their symptoms, isolate the patients, and trace all their contacts. That’s how we were able to effectively eradicate smallpox from the planet too, (with a vaccine) in the same way. Smallpox was also only contagious after you knew who had it.

So, fever screening at airports helped stop the global spread of SARS in its tracks. You didn’t become particularly infectious until after symptoms started—and, 100 percent of SARS patients developed a fever. In a way, SARS was a disease designed to be stopped. With MERS, 98 percent of the patients became febrile (meaning have a fever). In the case of COVID-19, though, as many as 36 percent—more than one in three—do not present with fever, a nice objective symptom, at the onset of symptoms. And, more seriously, patients may be infectious during the incubation period without any symptoms at all.

In fact, the viral load in an asymptomatic patient with COVID-19 was found to be similar to that of symptomatic patients, with as many as 15 million viral copies within every quarter teaspoon of snot. Same amount of virus in symptomatic snot—taken from someone who’s just turned sick—compared to asymptomatic snot. Spewing just as much virus right before you get sick.

With COVID-19, you can feel perfectly fine, no symptoms at all, but actually have the disease and spread the disease before the first cough––before you get a fever or any symptoms. It’s the same thing with the flu. That’s how new flu viruses can trigger pandemics, too. Like the flu, you can potentially spread COVID-19 before you know you have it, even while you’re feeling perfectly fine. That’s a disease that’s hard to stop. To slow the spread of that kind of disease, where you don’t know who’s infectious and who’s not, you have to try isolating everyone. That’s where social distancing measures are required.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Motion graphics by AvoMedia

Image credit: Doughnutew via pxhere. Image has been modified.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

I’ve talked about the emergence of other deadly coronavirus outbreaks like SARS and MERS. How were we able to get them under control?

MERS could be stopped because of its relatively low “basic reproduction number,” abbreviated as R with a little subscript zero. (That’s the R naught you may have heard about.) The reason they call it the reproduction number is because the concept goes back to the study of human population growth, like the number of daughters, on average, each woman had. But in infectious disease, it represents the number of people a single infected individual is expected to pass the disease along to in a susceptible population, so R0 is a measure of how contagious a new pathogen is.

For the MERS coronavirus––the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus––the R0 was only about 1; so, each MERS patient tended to transmit the disease to only one other person. You can imagine how much easier a disease like that can be stopped, compared to a virus with the potential to spread exponentially—viruses like the SARS or COVID-19 coronaviruses, with an R0 of 2 or greater.

In the case of a virus with an R0 of 2, for example, unless stopped, one infected person could become two, then four, then eight, and so on.

The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 may indeed be able to latch onto receptors in the human respiratory tract better than the coronavirus that causes SARS, and also replicate better in the upper airways than SARS. But the primary reason there were more COVID-19 cases in the first month after it was reported than SARS ever did revolves less around how contagious it is, and more around when it is contagious.

The three characteristics of microbes most likely to cause pandemics are: novelty, a new pathogen, so there’s no pre-existing immunity; respiratory spread (I mean pneumonia is humanity’s fourth leading killer, even outside a pandemic); and the third characteristic for optimal pandemic potential is transmission before symptom onset.

The last four pandemics of respiratory disease were caused by new flu viruses, originating from bird flu and swine flu viruses, each of which fit all three of those criteria. SARS, however, was not considered a pandemic, despite spreading to twenty-nine countries and regions. Why did the World Health Organization (WHO) only consider SARS a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” and how were we able to stop it within just a few months at only around 8,000 cases and 800 deaths? It was a brand new virus, spread via respiratory droplets, but SARS lacked the third necessary characteristic: significant spread before symptoms arise.

For SARS, the average incubation period—the time between first becoming unwittingly infected after exposure to the virus, and first coming down with symptoms—was around five days, similar to COVID-19. But it took another six to eleven days, however, for SARS viral loads to fully ramp up in upper respiratory tract secretions coughed or sneezed from one person to the next. So, even after falling ill, patients with SARS weren’t very infectious in the first five days or so of the illness. Since viral loads peaked about ten days after people started feeling sick, after they knew they had it, you can see how human-to-human transmission could be stopped if patients could be isolated within the first few days after the onset of symptoms. And that’s exactly what happened. A massive international effort spearheaded by the WHO was able to identify all of the cases by their symptoms, isolate the patients, and trace all their contacts. That’s how we were able to effectively eradicate smallpox from the planet too, (with a vaccine) in the same way. Smallpox was also only contagious after you knew who had it.

So, fever screening at airports helped stop the global spread of SARS in its tracks. You didn’t become particularly infectious until after symptoms started—and, 100 percent of SARS patients developed a fever. In a way, SARS was a disease designed to be stopped. With MERS, 98 percent of the patients became febrile (meaning have a fever). In the case of COVID-19, though, as many as 36 percent—more than one in three—do not present with fever, a nice objective symptom, at the onset of symptoms. And, more seriously, patients may be infectious during the incubation period without any symptoms at all.

In fact, the viral load in an asymptomatic patient with COVID-19 was found to be similar to that of symptomatic patients, with as many as 15 million viral copies within every quarter teaspoon of snot. Same amount of virus in symptomatic snot—taken from someone who’s just turned sick—compared to asymptomatic snot. Spewing just as much virus right before you get sick.

With COVID-19, you can feel perfectly fine, no symptoms at all, but actually have the disease and spread the disease before the first cough––before you get a fever or any symptoms. It’s the same thing with the flu. That’s how new flu viruses can trigger pandemics, too. Like the flu, you can potentially spread COVID-19 before you know you have it, even while you’re feeling perfectly fine. That’s a disease that’s hard to stop. To slow the spread of that kind of disease, where you don’t know who’s infectious and who’s not, you have to try isolating everyone. That’s where social distancing measures are required.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Motion graphics by AvoMedia

Image credit: Doughnutew via pxhere. Image has been modified.

148 responses to “R0 and Incubation Periods: How Other Coronavirus Outbreaks Were Stopped

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  1. So, it would be the reproduction number that just increased in Florida, and in the case of COVID-19 that is related to the number of spikes?

    1. The spike in FL could be due to the large increase in testing being done. The broader your testing, the more cases you find including the asymptomatic cases, that is the infected people with no symptoms at all.

  2. ANSWER: take hydroxychloroquine

    I do not trust the leadership at the WHO, NIH, CDC, or many experts. HCQ has been on the market for decades but now is being trashed as a treatment and likely even prophylaxis for these viruses. I believe their leadership is corrupt and keeps people sick to make more money on the pharma side (and other more nefarious motivations).

    Dr. Greger, you are the BEST at nutrition. You remain evidence-based. I love your focus on randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled data. My fear is that as you wade into virology you may not have access to clean, reliable data as you do on the nutrition side. I am concerned it will hurt your “brand” and may turn off people that were warming up to your important messages on nutrition.

    1. Why do people believe absurd alternative explanations that require improbable global conspiracies involving the combined efforts of the UN, WHO, US. China, academia and Bill Gates to be true?

      1. One of the biggest motivators of people spreading these conspiracy theories is the idea of them having ‘special’ knowlege. So it does not matter if you are an expert in that field, they know more than you because ‘you are part of the conspiracy’ or you’re just an idiot to them. That is called illusory superiority or illusory knowledge and it is very very alluring to certain people.
        Narcissism is a factor behind this. When people spread conspiracy theories, they get a sense of satisfaction out of it. They feel like they are special. So sometimes the people perpetuating this are doing it for their own gratification but at a long term cost to public understanding of science and medicine and ultimately sometimes to public health.

      2. Tom,
        I appreciate your rational mind in the wilderness. Money is a strong motovator. We all know that big pharma is selling a lot of snake oil. The military-industrial-congressional complex was warned about by good old Ike himself. Fiscal responsibility is an antiquated term now. No one talks about balancing the books. It’s a big money club now and you and I are not in it.

    2. You wrote: “I believe their leadership [CDC,WHO,NIH] is corrupt and keeps people sick to make more money on the pharma side (and other more nefarious motivations).”

      This sort of pure rubbish comes right out of the Lee Oswald –Jack Ruby school of conspiratorial nonsense, just as does the assertion that Lizard People and Dick Cheney are in a deep underground tunnel right now, a tunnel that runs all the way from Albuquerque, NM to Albert Lea, MN with one side branch that heads over to former SAC headquarters in Omaha, NE and another branch that goes up to the airport in Baldwin, WI.

      And no, I do not work for “Big Pharma” nor do I believe in the unethical off-label use of drugs.

      Please seek help for your delusional thinking. Please.

      1. IIRC the most recent congressional committee on the subject issued a report that said there probably was a conspiracy involved in the assassination of JFK.

      2. James, Even Dr Greger often rails about Big Pharma, Big Meat, Big Dairy, influencing politicians and the FDA into doing things that are bad for the public.

        Would you call Dr Greger a conspiracy theorist?

        1. There’s a very big difference.

          Greger provides evidence for his statements. He doesn’t just rely on improbable speculations and fake news. Registered lobbyists, donations and ‘research’ grants are a matter of public record for example. There’s also a clear financial interest for the pharmaceutical, meat, dairy industries to do those things. The alleged motives in some of these conspiracy theories make no sense whatsoever.

    3. Charles Peterson,

      Why would you accept the nutrition research reviewed and reported by Dr. Greger, but not the medical research reported elsewhere?

      Are you evidence-based or not? Scientists accept what the evidence shows. But science is a messy business, especially when investigating newer phenomena. It takes a while to sort out what’s happening, and why, and what to do about it. Much of what we’re reading and hearing and seeing in the media is not even peer reviewed, as scientists are posting pre-prints, a good number of which are not printed or are even retracted; published papers can also be retracted. Even Dr. Greger cites opposing nutrition research results — but not much. There’s a lot out there. And even accepted theories are subject to change, as new evidence becomes available.

      There is no such thing as “clean reliable data,” especially not in nutrition science, and Dr. Greger is certainly not a “brand.”

    4. Isn’t hydroxychloroquine made and distributed by pharma? I can’t tell how much of the conspiracy theories you buy into but if you believe that the Democratic party released the vaccine to destroy Trump’s presidency, why would they release it in the areas with their highest numbers, California, New York, New Jersey…? Wouldn’t it have made more sense to drop it red states?

      1. Laughing.

        I am not quite conspiracy oriented about it, but I am wondering about the places like Spain that are using it and seem to have stopped having deaths.

        If it has value it would likely be early and with zinc and we didn’t treat people early enough in the USA to have proper trials for it.

        I do find this article very interesting and od feel like politics and money were involved in which medicines get passed through easily and which medicines end up having fake scare studies.

        https://aapsonline.org/a-tale-of-two-drugs-money-vs-medical-wisdom/

        And this POWER and MONEY oriented tug of war for medicine is not just us.

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-japan-medicine/a-tale-of-two-japanese-drugs-in-tests-to-fight-covid-19-idUSKBN22O3DC

        1. Sorry for the allcaps.

          I am not an angry rebel.

          I do think it is naive to not think every single thing in medicine is ALSO about money and power and politics or should I say influence for that.

          We ended up with a drug that barely works and that doesn’t have a safety record getting shot like a canon through the process and it is only good for one group of patients and barely good for them.

          1. Deb, I tend to agree with a lot that you have to say. Even Dr Greger often rails about Big Pharma, Big Meat, Big Dairy, influencing politicians and the FDA into doing things that are bad for the public.

            Would all those who are ranting about conspiracy theories call Dr Greger a conspiracy theorist?

            1. There’s a very big difference.

              Greger provides evidence for his statements. He doesn’t just rely on improbable speculations and fake news. Registered lobbyists, donations and ‘research’ grants are a matter of public record for example. There’s also a clear financial interest for the pharmaceutical, meat, dairy industries to do those things. The alleged motives in some of these conspiracy theories make no sense whatsoever.

        2. Deb, a cardiologist from India gave my doctor friend in CT advice about their protocol in treating COVID-19, and as you mentioned, the hydroxychloroquine-zinc-antibiotic cocktail must absolutely be given at the outset, in order to prevent the illness from progressing to the more severe stage. Start it before the results from the blood test for COVID-19 are back. Use a different antibiotic like doxycycline if there is concern about QT prolongation from azithromycin in your patient. Blood thinners are another treatment they use in India to prevent the problem with younger people dying of blood clots from COVID-19. Ventilators must be used with caution, since they can damage the lungs if not used correctly. Sadly, it almost seems that CDC wants people to die of this disease, since they are not pushing protocols used successfully in other countries. CDC wants us to wait for a vaccine, and as I mentioned in another post, vaccines just don’t work too well in the elderly, the very group who are most at risk of dying from COVID-19.

      2. I think Bayer makes and distributes it in the USA although I believe that generic versions are manufactured in India,

        They retracted approval for use of this drug against covid 19 because studies showed that it did more harm than good. It’s still approved for use against malaria though (and against arthritis too I think?)

        1. If you look into those studies you’ll notice that the trial dose was 4x higher than what is normally given for treating other things. It sure looks like the study was set up to fail especially since the CDC already had earlier studies showing that hydroxycloroquine was deadly(!) at the dosage that they used in trial.

    5. Please stop with conspiracy theories, and lead with data. We dont have time for conspiracy garbage, be practical.

      Every legitimate study of treating COVID19 w hydroxychloroquine have shown no positive correlation.

      Please provide studies that counter these repeated findings. And lets talk science.

      1. Leroy,

        They still haven’t done studies taking it early with hydroxychloroquine.

        And there are places like Spain who kept using it who don’t seem to be having almost any deaths anymore and that makes it intriguing to question what they are doing with it.

        They had so many deaths at the beginning of this process and they are the country that stuck with it and they seem to have zero to 1 deaths per day even though they keep having cases.

        There were other places with that type of result in case studies.

        You are right though, there aren’t clinical studies.

        BUT the people questioning it are also right that in some respects we have to acknowledge that it is ALL money and power-driven.

          1. Here are a few studies to track:
            https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04331834
            https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04359537

            here is a study that is pending peer review:
            https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.09.20116806v1
            “Conclusions: This study demonstrated that voluntary HCQ consumption as pre-exposure prophylaxis by HCWs is associated with a statistically significant reduction in risk of SARS-CoV-2. These promising findings therefore highlight the need to examine this association in greater detail among a larger sample using Randomised Controlled Trials (RCT).”

            1. Thanks for the links LeroyBlazin,

              I like tracking things.

              And, you have a very cool thumbnail.

              Wondering if Blazin is your real last name.

              If so, you have a blazingly hot last name and that is also cool in some generations lingo.

    6. I am concerned that the social distancing and w wearing masks has taking a great physical and mental heath toll on our patients. I am very concerned that Pharmaceutical trials are rolling at with poor preclinical data that put people at risk for anti-body dependent enhancement and th2 immune pathology putting populations at greater health risk and spreading the very virus we are trying to immunize against. Please Dr Greger do a video on these vaccine trials.

    7. I am concerned that the social distancing and w wearing masks has taking a great physical and mental heath toll on our patients. I am very concerned that Pharmaceutical trials are rolling at with poor preclinical data that put people at risk for anti-body dependent enhancement and th2 immune pathology putting populations at greater health risk and spreading the very virus we are trying to immunize against. Please Dr Greger do a video on these vaccine trials.

    8. Charles, it is interesting that you can tell where people turn for “news” by their reactions to your post! I do agree that Dr. Greger is cheapening his brand by wading into controversies with political overtones. Going forward, I feel the need to check to see what PCRM, Ornish, Esselstyn, etc.have to say when Dr. Greger makes a recommendation. I used to take his advice at face value. Well, perhaps that is for the best after all….

    9. Since you don’t trust those whose education and professional work experience qualifies them as experts in the field of medicine who exactly do you trust?

  3. I have a serious question, that I would like a serious answer for, please. Based on this information, if social distancing and quarantine for everyone worked, why is this virus still with us? After a three month shut down, shouldn’t this be gone if social distance and quarantine is the answer? My state has done a very excellent job of shutting down everything, quarantines were in place for all travelers, to the point that the state police went to the vacation homes of New Yorkers who wanted to escape that city and tested them and ordered them to quarantine for 14 days, then pulled over cars with license plates from that state (something that may become a constitutional issue). State wide testing has been going on since the beginning. Still we have this virus among us. How is this possible, if these steps aare taken?

    1. They are intended to reduce and slow the spread I don’t think anybody has claimed that they will wipe out the disease within a few months

    2. ELIZABETH MURPHY,

      Since when is there 100% compliance with any state policies regarding public health? Just look at vaccine statistics, for starters. And every state still has workers going to work, on farms, grocery stores, mail and package delivery, warehouses, public transportation, etc. Oh, yes, and health care workers, many of whom are caring for Covid-19 patients. All of these folks are exposed to the disease, and not self-isolating for 14 days, because they can’t.

      We missed the opportunity to stop the virus (such as is described in the video); now, our efforts are to mitigate it’s effects, to slow it’s spread, in the hopes of procuring sufficient PPEs (still in short supply, according to my daughter who is a hospital nurse), find an effective treatment (still elusive), and develop an effective safe vaccine (months if not years away). And now that states are re-opening, I expect Covid-19 cases to increase.

      1. Treatment?

        https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/05/29/dr-paul-marik-critical-care.aspx

        “According to the article, efforts by Dr. Pierre Kory — medical director at the Trauma & Life Support Center and a faculty member in the Division of Allergy, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health — to share the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Working Group’s4 (FLCCC) successes with other health care professionals have so far come to naught.

        Kory was one of five doctors participating in a May 6, 2020, roundtable discussion5 on COVID-19 with ranking senate committee member Gary Peters, D-Mich. In his testimony, Kory states, in part:6

        “I want to start by saying that I am part of a group of physicians which include several of the most highly published and well-known critical care experts in the country and world (Drs. Paul Marik, Umberto Meduri, Joseph Varon and José Iglesias). In response to the COVID crisis we formed the Front-Line Critical Care Working group …

        Members of our group have now treated in excess of 100 hospitalized patients with our treatment protocol. Nearly all survived. The two that died were in their 80s and had advanced chronic medical conditions.

        None of the patients have had long stays on the ventilator nor become ventilator dependent. The patients generally have a short hospital stay and are discharged in good health …

        Our protocol has been out over four weeks. It is not unique, in fact, we are not alone in what we propose or have been trying … In fact, we are seeing an increasing number of similar protocols with nearly identical therapeutics come out from various institutions and countries, including the Italian guidelines, Chinese guidelines, Yale protocol, Montefiore protocol and others.

        We are doctors, trained to diagnose and treat illness, we are experts in our field with decades of experience and hundreds of publications … We have clearly devised an effective treatment for use, prior to the publication of randomized controlled trials.

        Those trials are critical for sure, as they will help us further refine and/or perfect our treatment doses, durations, and indications, but waiting for the perfect is and will be the enemy of the good, which we are already achieving … We just want to save lives, and we know how to do it.” ”

        ……

        No profit in this treatment? Can’t stop this corona virus…so how about a decent treatment?

    3. Elizabeth,

      I don’t know which state you are in but in my “closed down” state, places like Walmart, Target, Staples, Office Max, Home Depot, Lowes, CVS, Walgreens, and every grocery store and every convenience store and gas station, plus UPS, FEDEX, the post office, Amazon, hospitals, construction, manufacturing, government contracting, auto mechanics, oil change places, car detailing, food packaging, emergency dental work, restaurants for take-out, police, firefighting, national guard, town halls by appointment, liquor stores, daycare centers, nursing homes without visitors, but with a whole lot of people going in, have been open the whole time.

      Yes, that is with a sense of everything being closed.

      I looked at all that has been open and I could get just about anything I ever wanted.

      I couldn’t go to the gym or eat a restaurant and the kids weren’t at school or college and that affected every family the most.

      1. My brother lives year-round in a lake community where people from NY have vacation homes and the community leadership wrote a nasty letter telling the NY people they weren’t welcome to come stay in their vacation homes and telling other people to not interact with them.

        That was a little too much.

        Different than, we need you to quarantine.

    4. Social distancing and quarantine did not work because of many reasons. Ideally, sure, it could eliminate it, but it would require 100% of people and businesses abide by a shared contract, which is impossible.

      1) everyone is not able to social distance. certain jobs require people work nearby others.
      2) not everyone is abiding by any shared contract– i.e. wearing a mask and social distance! People are out and about socializing without masks. teenagers are seeing friends and socializing, etc.
      3) not everyone is quarantining — asymptomatic spread is real.

      1. “They” are in the process of reopening in this state. I usually stay home when possible…but recently went to the same big box store. Previously the number of people entering was controlled…one way traffic to some extent…many were wearing masks. Now pretty much back to the way it was…not many were wearing masks. I was. Spacing and plastic barriers was about it.

        There is a BIG DIFFERENCE between overall stats and behavior and what is sensible for an individual to do.

        R0 is mostly below 1 in this state…but I will continue to wear a mask when out and don’t intend to go out all that much anyway.

        The risk is still pretty high for someone who is more vulnerable due to age and so forth…too many tRumps about….who just can’t wait to get back to the normal stupidity.

        Recently read an article claiming that groceries are hiding the number of infections of employees…so don’t assume those stores are all that safe.

    5. Elizabeth be honest with yourself. Look around when you go to the store, everywhere are bitter people insisting that covid-19 is a ploy to take down trump so they refuse to wear masks and refuse to social distance. This is happening in every state from the very beginning among trump supporters.

      Plus the usual ‘rules are for everyone else’ narcissistic mentality has other people whining as they themselves ignore the mask/social distance guidelines.

      I am in California where to shut down early and see this all the time.

      The people who are wearing masks/social distancing are the majority and it is that fact that ‘lowered the curve’ and is preventing our hospitals from being overran. If the self absorbed adult babies did actually social distance and wear masks we would be like New Zealand and already over this virus.

  4. We are fine here in FL. I know lots and lots of people here. No one has or has had Covid 19 despite so many people in the media saying how it is ‘ripping through’ the population here. We do have people dying in nursing homes and hospitals – dying of things they have always died of for years. I live in a large upper middle class community. We know many of the people here – no deaths or cases that I know of.

    They can do all the statistics they want, but I go with my ‘boots on the ground’ assessment. I don’t go to CNN or Fox to learn about the reality I live in.

    1. Stephen,

      Yup, and the earth is flat. I can see it with my own eyes!! If it were round, I’d be able to see that, right? That’s my “boots on the ground” assessment.

    2. Stephen,

      You may live in an area of Florida with less racial diversity or fewer comorbidities.

      My father lives in a pretty nice area but there are many older snowbirds and a few people on his street died of COVID-19.

      Technically, 43 percent of deaths in Florida statewide were in long-term care facilities but Florida has a lot of elderly people who aren’t in long term care facilities and another 40% of the deaths in Florida were people over 65 living outside of long-term care facilities.

      1. 1/4 of the deaths in Florida were from Miami county and that would likely be because of the racial diversity and population density of that area.

    3. You are fine in FL because of the excellent job Gov DeSantis did in protecting the elderly population. Sadly, many states (particularly in the Northeast) have incompetent governors who actually sent infected COVID-19 patients into nursing homes and required the nursing homes to accept them. Those infected patients included people who were not even nursing home residents beforehand.

  5. Covid 19 RO (naught)
    Is pre-symptom onset transmission
    Of 15 million viral copies
    Per 1/4 teaspoon of snot
    It can be stopped by
    Tracing
    Fever screening
    Social distancing and
    Complete isolation

  6. Im a bit confused about global reactions to this novel disease, given the similarities between the flu and C-19. This may have been discussed here already, if so please forgive…

    So, Johns Hopkins says the same thing as Dr. Greger did at the end of the video regarding the enormous similarities between covid 19 and the flu.

    Why isnt the flu considered a pandemic, if it too kills millions globally, has a high R value, and also spreads pre-symptomatically, and it also kills children too, EVEN with vaccines in place? (what would this look like with no vaccines??)

    Another question: Why aren’t we globally practicing social distancing and masks, shutting down, quarantining, etc… every flu season, to save millions of lives?
    (A real question, not a conspiracy innuendo)

    We have generally shut the world down because: “We just don’t know enough about it”…But we DO know about influenza etc, and it kills millions, and we just keep on going and letting it play out each year, and simply take the human tolls.

    Why this selectivity? (again, real question) Is it really just because its new? Do we only care and react to what hits our news cycle? If so, is there really such a thing as a pandemic, or is it just a current problem that will fade into daily life soon enough?

    1. jazzBass,

      We have vaccines for the flu and that can create a type of herd immunity. That is why we theoretically don’t have to shut down and we don’t tend to shut down because the vulnerable people and the people around them can get vaccines.

      You are right that people do die of flu but with this we had zero people with immunity and no vaccines and we did not even know any of the information that we have started to come to know now.

      We shut down for the purpose of not overwhelming the medical places. They didn’t have masks or gloves or gowns or plexiglass partitions or face shields or a plan at the beginning and the hospitals were already full of flu patients and people who were sick were being sent home because there were not enough beds in places like the Northeast. There weren’t enough tests. There weren’t any drugs. People didn’t understand the comorbidities or how the disease progressed. They didn’t know the R Naught because you have to test to get that. They didn’t know how long it stayed in the air or how it spread. All of the things we have learned took time because Novel viruses are each unique. People at home didn’t have lysol or toilet paper or hand sanitizer or masks at all.

      We weren’t prepared in a way where we could just live normally without overflowing the hospitals. People died in the emergency department waiting rooms. Medical people died doctors and nurses. 50 teachers died in NY. At least one doctor working on a COVID floor killed themselves.

      Here are some of my favorite perspective videos. They are older, but they still help for visualization.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rEO8iJB45A

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVIGhz3uwuQ

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxAaO2rsdIs&t=97s

      The thing about closing down is that we can’t afford to have people not working and eventually people start killing themselves and the cost to society of economic collapse can have people starving and homeless and more able to die of whatever the “next” thing is. If you watched the PBS video on the heatwave, they talked about how the poor people in society die at disproportionately higher rates – so we have to keep that side of the equation in balance.

      We couldn’t really afford this. As the treasury department and every business in the universe and they will say, “Please do not do this every single year.”

      1. What you might also need to know is that while the flu is happening, the recorded deaths are so much lower. The flu years deaths that we read are adjusted afterward. That adjustment has not happened yet with COVID-19 and with the flu end adjustment is HUGE.

        I think Dr. Barnard said that for the year where there were 60,000 cases of the flu, less than 8,000 cases were recorded cases versus COVID which has over 110,000 recorded cases so far in the USA alone. Globally, we will have passed 500,000 recorded deaths within 3 weeks. If you look at Swine Flu, the adjusted deaths at the top end were over 500, 000, but that was adjusted deaths and those deaths took way longer than this to happen.

        The reason they do adjusted deaths is because, at the beginning of pandemics they don’t have good data because most people aren’t getting tested yet.
        For instance, nursing homes didn’t have to start reporting COVID-19 cases until May 1st and they will never have to report the cases that happened before then, even though there were incredibly high numbers of deaths back in March and April. Plus, people were not allowed into the hospital or allowed to be tested even though they were symptomatic at the beginning, so COVID-19 will have a very large adjustment at the end, too. Globally, there are places that are slow to give information, so it just is a process that comes at the end.

        They will look at normal deaths in countries and they will try to estimate the overage.

        8,000 recorded flu deaths came up to 60,000 flu deaths.

        We are starting with way more recorded deaths than the adjusted totals from the worst flu year.

        I watched a very good video explaining that but I can’t remember which YouTube channel it was, but Dr. Barnard explained that we have NEVER had a flu season that had as many recorded deaths as this COVID-19 season. Not one.

      2. Ah, ok got it. We don’t shut down the world for the flu, because we have vaccines. And the vaccines keep things …manageable.

        Ok, and also, A few teachers died. Check. (No! “not the teachers?”)

        Note: 10 hospital beds / 40 people = BAD. (“nevermind, dont ask why we only have 10 hospital beds”)

        All set now, once we have a covid vaccine I suppose.

        So in the near future……..

        We will have regular yearly potential 650,000 dying from the flu, AND 100k+ from Covid, both with vaccines, and we will just chug along normally and not give a rats ass. (like we do with the flu only)

        No shutdown, no masks, but maybe social distancing stays, as if we were already too close previously. We should probably all have cellphones that sound a fearful “OMG!” alarm when we get anywhere near each other. “Man, as long as I’m safe. Because its better to be safe. Hey there!…get away from me, you are probably a threat!”

        …And hospitals will continue to be overrun by the slightest uptick due to profit based service thin-out. (“We dont mention that, just the horror of overrun hospitals…Get with the program!” ….”Say it with me: Epi-cent-ter”, “No, make it sound more scary..”)

        Ok, here’s the deal as it seems to be presented:
        SO when the next disease comes around, and starts to kill fat, unhealthy, and the predominantly old, we will again shut down the globe, cause untold financial and social misery, redistribute whats left of the wealth handed out previously, until we get a vaccine for that one.

        Is that about right?

        Meanwhile we will make people fat and unheatlhy as they get old. lol, If Dave Chapelle delivered this it would sound as funny as it really is…

        And then the ever resilient rat, Covi, which humanity cares not about his sorry ass, cause “we got a vaccine now!”, leaves the room, again, tail between legs. But he will be back because hes really a bad ass.

        So, then, concerning these vaccines, are we saying that covid vaccines will be mandatory, considering flu vaccines are not? How will these magical vaccines help if not mandatory?

        And if Covid vaccs are mandatory but are not a cure, (like flu vaccines are not cures) then will we still need to somehow prove we have a vaccine certificate maybe? How will they truly help if they aren’t cures? Oh yes, its more manageable. These deaths in the coming years are simply to be data digits, labeled as “externalities”.

        Then, in 2022,….an asymptomatic vaccine recipient tests positive for covid 19. ……”Oh dear, what do we do now?”

        “I think we should shut down again.”
        “Yes, yes, probably best to stay shut down too, for 8 months, just to be safe.” ,
        “Yes! and we could all make paper products from home! But we should be safe when we do it.”,
        “But…wait, we are already shut down from that other scary unknown.” ,
        “hmmm…True…”
        “….Well, we will have to put plywood on our windows then, that’s the only way to stay safe now., but we will do it safely.”

        Slippery slope folks, just sayin’… might there be other more sensible, progressive options?

  7. As evidenced by the unhinged conspiracy theories in this comment thread, we need Dr. Greger’s well-informed and comprehensible explanation of this pandemic. I plan to watch the whole series as an antidote to the misinformation and confusion being promulgated on the internet.

  8. Any expert out there care to comment on this Covid-19 news. It’s a different outlook from the mainstream, but from a reputable scientist.

    Bottom line: Up to 80% may not even be susceptible to Covid-19.

    Karl Friston uses advanced mathematical models much more sophisticated than the crude models used by WHO and most world governments.

    As the interviewer asked: How do the models you use differ from the conventional ones epidemiologists rely on to advise governments in this pandemic?
    Answer: Conventional models essentially fit curves to historical data and then extrapolate those curves into the future. They look at the surface of the phenomenon – the observable part, or data. Our approach, which borrows from physics and in particular the work of Richard Feynman, goes under the bonnet. It attempts to capture the mathematical structure of the phenomenon – in this case, the pandemic – and to understand the causes of what is observed. Since we don’t know all the causes, we have to infer them. But that inference, and implicit uncertainty, is built into the models. That’s why we call them generative models, because they contain everything you need to know to generate the data. As more data comes in, you adjust your beliefs about the causes, until your model simulates the data as accurately and as simply as possible. Standard models start to fall apart when you think about the underlying causes of the data. You need models that can allow for all possible states, and assess which ones matter for shaping the pandemic’s trajectory over time.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/31/covid-19-expert-karl-friston-germany-may-have-more-immunological-dark-matter

    and, https://unherd.com/2020/06/karl-friston-up-to-80-not-even-susceptible-to-covid-19/

  9. Please, folks, I was asking a serious question. I agree that “shut down” is not 100% closures. We are required to wear masks to enter a public building, cannot go to church, funerals, restaurants etc… I DO Trust Dr. Greger 100% as he was an infectious disease specialist long before he was a nutrition specialist. I have been following him for many, many years. I am seriously wondering what it is that we are missing here. That’s all.

  10. I would listen to these more if there were another narrator. This guy try’s to sound much more important than he actually is. It grates on my nerves, the way he stops and starts and grinds his words out. Just makes it hard to listen to the content.

  11. I could swear that I read this past week that WHO said that COVID-19 was not spread in the asymptomatic stage of the disease. Have they rescinded that comment? Not that WHO is believable…

    1. Hi, Jeannie! This is from the WHO website:

      “COVID-19 is mainly spread through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing or has other symptoms such as fever or tiredness. Many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true in the early stages of the disease. It is possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has just a mild cough and does not feel ill.”

      Some reports have indicated that people with no symptoms can transmit the virus. It is not yet known how often it happens. WHO is assessing ongoing research on the topic and will continue to share updated findings.

      https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
      Video: Five things to know about COVID-19 transmission: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=677pSwGauqs

      I hope that helps!

    1. Personally I think Gregor is out of his field of expertise when he tries to talk covid-19 and is just adding to the chatter of physicians vying for attention and/or cash. He is a lifestyle physician with a nutrition website, not a virologist or public health expert. Trying to act like an expert on everything beyond nutrition/lifestyle medicine just lessens his credibility in my opinion.

    2. So, you believe that if there is diversity in the microbiome of an environment that there is NO possibility of DISEASE in that environment?

      That was the sentence I just listened to.

      It sounds beautiful but I have never heard of it on earth.

      I am still listening but so far it is idealistic mumbo-jumbo that has nothing at all to do with the reality of life on earth as we know it today.

      1. Okay, I just got to the next one.

        When we stop living as hunter-gatherers and start living in villages that is the beginning of endemic disease.

        So…. Mr Bush’s answer is to not live in houses and just wander around gathering for our living.

        Again, Dr. Greger is sharing information that is a little less search for Shangri-La and a little more practical so far.

        1. It is interesting that they said that Dr. Bush predicted COVID-19 when Dr. Greger is the one who was specifically lecturing about his prediction of it over 10 years ago.

          He was writing about it and was trying to wake people up about it back when he worked for the Humane Society.

        2. What I will say is that I don’t mind listening to Zach Bush, but he is going to blame things on the industrial revolution and every time I listen I end up wanting to just turn it off every few sentences because he will take something like Polio and discredit the work that was done to save peoples’ lives and then he goes into pie-in-the-sky zone and it doesn’t help real people living on earth.

          I will go to dinner and come back and listen some more but he really is going to trample on things like the polio vaccine and not even say one nice thing about it and blame the industrial revolution and it just is so impractical.

          1. Think about it for a second.

            How long did people live when they were hunters and gatherers?

            Hmmmm, according to the experts: between 21 and 37 years Researchers Gurven and Kaplan have estimated that around 57% of hunter-gatherers reach the age of 15. Of those that reach 15 years of age, 64% continue to live to or past the age of 45. This places the life expectancy between 21 and 37 years.

            All that during a time period when the microbiome was so diverse that it was impossible to get disease. Hmmmm?

            Shangri-La myths abounded for a long time.

            The concept on blaming the Industrial Revolution when most longevity came after the Industrial Revolution – he needs to use facts with his sentences to say how he is measuring what disease is and what longevity is.

            And, again, to dismiss trying to fight against viruses without justifying it is so painful to listen to.

            Still listening but still feel like I already care about the planet but he is not so useful during a pandemic.

            1. He is going to sit back and smile and say that Polio and COVID-19 and Swine flu are beautiful and that we shouldn’t try to fight against them.

              1. So he is going to blame COVID on people living in villages and on the Industrial Revolution and say that it is impossible To get disease when there is diversity in the microbiome.

                Hmmm, Black Plague seems like it might have been before RoundUp ruined the soil.

                1. I just don’t see how it is better than the animal farming theories that Dr Greger has been presenting and While I can see exactly what can be done to fix things with Dr Greger’s theory.

                  There is nothing at all that can erase villages and the Industrial Revolution and as far as not fighting things like polio, that is something someone who never was touched by it would say.

                  1. What I see the most is that he speaks theories in poetic ways with no studies.

                    Polio is beautiful. You don’t have to fight against these things. If you have a diverse gut microbiome, disease is impossible.

                    He says polio is beautiful and then switches to metaphor about how weeds turn out to be useful without giving what is useful about polio or the weeds.

                    Plus, he Says sentences like he is against plowing the fields. AKA farming of crops.

                    Tell China all about what an idyllic situation it would be to not plant food for the population.

                    Yes, the China example does show how we can try to fix things and have more death but if by beautiful he means that it will lower the population so we can live in a somehow purer society, I am not liking how he is doing his process mentally.

                    Dr Greger would close factory farms and have people eat WFPB and make 3D laser printed meats for the ones who want it.

                    1. He is against ploughing the fields because deep ploughing damages the soil structure and kills the microorganisms living there. Monoculture disrupts the natural system of plant growth and requires chemical input of pesticides, herbicides and unbalanced applications of nitrogen dominant fertilisers. Forest gardening, vegan permaculture are sustainable ways of rebuilding soil structure and biome. We need to stop the wholesale breeding and killing of billions of animals, whose food source procurement alone takes up 60% of available land, has a massively water burden, and results in toxic pollution.

                    2. Deb,
                      If you are referring to Zach Bush, I might say a red flag has gone up on my radar. I haven’t listened to the latest stuff but have heard of the multi-million Round-Up suit. What may be suspect is that Bush says glyposate is killing people’s guts—and. . . . . wait for it. . . . . his organisation has some kind of product (Restore?) that will make them better. I’m am going on memory here.

                    3. Ruth and Dan,

                      I am not against what he says about RoundUp and the soil.

                      He didn’t mention animals at all.

                      He focused on not treating viruses and the concept of if you have a good microbiome you don’t need to worry about treating viruses.

                      That just seemed so off.

                      The sentence that you don’t get diseases if you have a diverse microbiome seems like such a great exaggeration as to be a lie, particularly when he is going to point to hunters and gatherers as if they had longevity when they had whatever word is the opposite of longevity. Is there a shortivity?

                      They didn’t live long. They did have diseases.

                      To blame the industrial revolution and living in villages for COVID-19 in his “The Doctor who predicted it talks about COVID-19” interview is irresponsible in my eyes.

                      Native Americans and homeless people and third world countries are still getting COVID-19 and the concept that he would tell people not to treat it seems criminal. Or I thought it was.

                    4. A while back, Zach Bush’s presentation on tight junctures and it was brilliant because it had amazing pictures and I had never heard any of it before and I eat organic and he was someone teaching me things that I didn’t know and people exalt him but he would have people not get vaccinated or use antivirals and things like that and what I like about Dr. Greger is that he will report the study about whether those things work or not and in the meantime, he gave us a history lesson and a vision of why he warned about COVID-19 back then.

                      Dr. Greger, give as many pictures as possible so that you can stay brilliant for people because there is a competing “Doctor who predicted COVID-19” and I hate that people really are dying and he is going to wax poetic.

                  2. Dr Greger has also stated that agriculture and living in large settled communities may well be factors in the growth and spread of zoonotic diseases. In some respects, Greger and Bush are singing from the same hymn sheet.

                    Perhaps Dr Bush and John Newall should get together?

                    1. Thanks, Tom.

                      I will read about how agriculture is a factor in the spread of zoonotic viruses.

                      Dr. Greger will probably tell how.

                2. I dont think most people at this period had a rich and healthy microbiome and good health from eating a whole food plant based diet rich in vitamin C, zinc, antioxydants and others, many of them had bad hygiene also especially with wars…

                  1. Julot,

                    I would agree with you but he is saying sentences and they are wild ones.

                    HIV and COVID-19 aren’t the problems is one of his theses, the soil and the microbiome are what made people susceptible to the viruses.

                    I guess, if Reality Bites is going to say that Dr. Greger is stepping outside of his expertise doing COVID-19 when he has written more than two books on pandemics, plus scientific articles, I am just trying to point out that Zach Bush just leapt way across the board and made viruses about the soil.

                    Okay, I can follow Dr. Greger’s concept that animals being in close proximity allowed for mutations and for passing from one animal to another.

                    So, if people have unprotected sex or share a needle with someone with HIV – they will be okay as long as their microbiome is okay?

                    Every sentence from him sounds preposterous to me.

                    Except that I do believe in having a good microbiome and I do believe in organic farming and in taking care of the soil.

                    I just find jumping to “and you will not get COVID or Polio” as long as you make sure your gut microbiome is okay sounds ludicrous.

                    It sounds like his topic is the microbiome and he is getting out of his expertise and if I am exposed to COVID-19 I would rather talk to Dr. Greger than buy Dr. Bush’s products and, yes, I have looked at his products but not for COVID-19.

                    Forgive me if he has the key to heal it or prevent it.

                    But it feels like the wrong doctor is being accused of jumping into an area he may not have expertise in.

                  2. Julot,

                    I don’t have anything against Zach Bush. I liked his pictures on tight junctures and his talks about RoundUp.

                    I hate when he starts talking about polio and covid-19 and TB and HIV uses these sweeping concepts as if just taking his soil med is going to cause you to not have to worry about getting them.

                    That being said, I am trying to heal my cousin’s gangrene and if his soil product could possibly heal gangrene, I would love that but he isn’t saying, “Nitric oxide” or what the mechanism would be that it would prevent every virus and heal everyone.

                    1. Does he have proof that people will be okay and not have any diseases if they do what he says?

                      I am hearing beautiful scientific theory without the numbers and mechanisms.

                    2. He almost never mentions diet at all.

                      He is against plowing the ground to plant crops.

                      I know he against RoundUp and I like his teachings about that.

                      But he never mentions food.

                      Just the microbiome.

                      And he profits when people focus there.

                    3. He is so hard for me to listen to.

                      He is saying that even though people get COVID, they suddenly die of air pollution (even though the air pollution has been MUCH, MUCH better than it has been because of society being shut down.)

                      Air pollution suddenly hit the nursing homes hard.

                      It doesn’t make logical sense.

                    4. Even the progression of COVID, 5 to 12 days to symptoms and the 2nd week the air pollution suddenly rises and you end up in the hospital and you die around the 5th week.

                    5. The title of the whole video is “The Doctor Who Predicted COVID-19 answers all” and then he is going to say, “We don’t even know if anybody even is dying from it at all. Certainly not as bad as the flu from 2017 and 2018.

                      Hmmm, he predicted that there would be a virus and nobody would really die from it?

                      It is all double-speak and I can’t even handle that it is him being a denialist that people are dying from a virus.

                      Oh yeah, probably nobody died related to HIV either, huh? It isn’t that science learned to manage it?

                      Nobody must have really died from Polio or TB either.

                      I have such serious brain problems and he is going to deny even that the people are dying with respiratory issues at all.

                      I prefer MedCram. They show pictures and they at least have people working in the hospitals.

                    6. Hi Deb re your cousin’s gangrene, have you tried hyperbaric oxygen therapy? It forces oxygen deeper into tissues as you breathe pure oxygen under increased atmospheric pressure, in a pressurised chamber. Also highest grade Manuka honey used topically on the affected area. Oxygen blowing directly onto the wound itself helps too. (I practised podiatry for 30 years) Good luck x

    3. Marilyn, The Dr Bush video is very interesting. I had never heard the warning he made at the 1 hr – 1 minute point in the video about Statin drugs and ACE inhibitors making the disease worse, if one does get it. He said more lives would have been saved if all doctors had stopped prescribing those two drugs when the virus first showed up! And this effect of those two drugs has been known for several years already.

    4. Thanks Marilyn.

      I thought his hypotheses were interesting but, unlike Greger, his statements weren’t backed by any studies/analyses that I know of. Whether abandoning influenza vaccines, statins and ACE inhibitors would reduce mortality has not been demonstrated. Even if they reduced covid 10 mortality (not proven), there would still be a possibility that overall mortality would be greater. Of course, I agree with his assertion that replacing statins (and other drugs) with a plant based diet and lifestyle is preferable but how many people are willing to do that?

      One of the foundations of his argument is that the US has the world’s highest covid 19 deaths because it has the world’s sickest and most highly medicated population. It certainly has (or at least had) the largest number of deaths ….. but then it has a population of 330 million and an effective reporting system. There are at least eight other countries that have more covid 19 deaths per 100,000 population than the US. Those countries are probably older though. Even so, many countries have a higher case fatality rate than the US.
      https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/mortality

      Personally, I prefer Greger’s evidence-based analyses to unsubstantiated speculations, no matter how interesting.the latter are.

  12. I thought I saw awhile back where the CDC studied around 400 people that were asymptomatic and found that not one already the disease. Was this a valid study or real reporting? If it is real how does that compare with what Dr. Greger has stated in his video?

  13. My take on Covid-19 is this. If you are too arrogant to listen to the people with degrees in heath that are working for you and everyone else’s safety, and think you know more by finding conspiracy theories on the internet (which exist on every topic) then you deserve what happens to you. When you get sick STAY HOME. Do not go infect your community or expect the people with health degrees working in hospitals to babysit how you played yourselves. They will anyway because they are better people than some of you.

    1. I know that I don’t always agree with you RB but when you are right, you are right. With knobs on ….. as they used to say when I was growing up.

  14. Are you aware of the findings that the WHO reported recently, whereby it was stated that asymptomatic spread of the virus is ‘rare’? This suggests that there’s no evidence to support the argument that you presented about speaking the virus days before you have any symptoms, and it gives very little credence to the assertion that we need to be vaccinated, as proported by our world leaders!

  15. Well, I chased down a statement from him and he doesn’t believe that people die from viruses ever. He believes they die with them.

    1. That’s literally true in the sense that people die from the effects of the virus rather than the virus per se but it’s a rather misleading statement..

  16. There have been anecdotal reports hint that the virus could be transmissible through aerosols (tiny respiratory droplets that can remain suspended in the air) as opposed to larger droplets that fall to the ground within a few feet. Thus, people living in a building could get the virus through air vents.

    If you can’t watch the whole video, start it at 59-1:10 mins.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5RAtFBvKrVw&feature=youtu.be

    1. That air vent theory is one that I have been thinking about.

      Summer has made COVID-19 more confusing to me.

      Dr. Bush saying that people don’t likely die from it at all is already confusing.

      How would that work?

      It spreads and they die in a few weeks from something else over and over again.

      It would seem like the virus had to contribute.

      Especially the air pollution theory. The people in nursing homes often don’t even go outside at all. Yes, they could get it from the building air system but the logic in my brain struggles with “You get exposed to a virus and (it doesn’t cause you to) die of air pollution (but you do suddenly die of air pollution) or whatever thing other than the virus.

      He made my brain spin.

      I will look and see if viruses aren’t really a death mechanism. It seems like they must do something.

      There have been nursing homes where so many people died within days of each other.

      Hard to blame the air pollution or statins.

  17. I am wondering if Zach Bush is Keto?

    I say it though, if he is, he is a confusing version.

    I looked for his views on eating and he is not mentioning animals. He is against plowing the ground and he is against refined sugars but his most important sentence on food is that it is more important who you eat with than what is on your plate.

  18. Even if he was right the concept of

    Dr. Bush predicted that people would get a virus and die of air pollution or statins is already too confusing.

    Second, I know people who have lost loved ones. The concept of them hearing that their loved ones died from statins had better have plenty of proof.

  19. “Experience has shown that communities faced with epidemics or other adverse events respond best and with the least anxiety when the normal social functioning of the community is least disrupted. Strong political and public health leadership to provide reassurance and to ensure that needed medical care services are provided are critical elements. If either is seen to be less than optimal, a manageable epidemic could move toward catastrophe.” Quotes the article from a paper titled “Disease Mitigation Measures in the Control of Pandemic Influenza”.

    “In 2006, at the order of the Bush administration, some computer science programmers with a small group of public health officials began to resurrect a premodern idea of quarantines, closures, and measured lockdowns. This way of thinking is not just premodern; it turned the logic of modern medicine on its head. It was based on a theory that we should just run away from viruses, whereas Dr. Henderson’s whole life had been devoted to implementing the great discovery of modern virus theory that we need not flee but rather build immunity through science, either natural immunities or via vaccines.
    “At the age of 78, Dr. Henderson swung into action and composed a masterful response to the new fashion for quarantines and lockdowns. The result was Disease Mitigation Measures in the Control of Pandemic Influenza….”
    How a Free Society Deals with Pandemics, According to Legendary Epidemiologist and Smallpox Eradicator Donald Henderson
    https://www.aier.org/article/how-a-free-society-deals-with-pandemics-according-to-legendary-epidemiologist-and-smallpox-eradicator-donald-henderson/

    But building natural immunities is not something Fauci wants:

    Fauci: “I hope we don’t have so many people infected that we actually have that herd immunity.”

    Why?

    “The showstopper will be obviously a vaccine.”
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-vice-president-pence-members-coronavirus-task-force-press-briefing-21/

    “Fauci is a stalwart enthusiast of ‘patentable’ vaccines, skilled in attracting massive government funding for vaccines that either never materialize or are spectacularly ineffective or unsafe.

    “For example, Fauci once shilled for the fast-tracked H1N1 influenza (‘swine flu´) vaccine on YouTube, reassuring viewers in 2009 that serious adverse events were ‘very, very, very rare.’ Shortly thereafter, the vaccine went on to wreak havoc in multiple countries, increasing miscarriage risks in pregnant women in the U.S., provoking a spike in adolescent narcolepsy in Scandinavia and causing febrile convulsions in one in every 110 vaccinated children in Australia—prompting the latter to suspend its influenza vaccination program in under-fives.”
    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/dr-fauci-and-covid-19-priorities-therapeutics-now-or-vaccines-later/

    “In 2010, when Gates committed $10 billion to the WHO, he said ‘We must make this the decade of vaccines.’ A month later, Gates said in a TED Talk that new vaccines ‘could reduce population.’ And, four years later, in 2014, Kenya’s Catholic Doctors Association accused the WHO of chemically sterilizing millions of unwilling Kenyan women with a ‘tetanus’ vaccine campaign. Independent labs found a sterility formula in every vaccine tested. After denying the charges, WHO finally admitted it had been developing the sterility vaccines for over a decade. Similar accusations came from Tanzania, Nicaragua, Mexico, and the Philippines.

    “A 2017 study (Morgenson et. al. 2017) showed that WHO’s popular DTP vaccine is killing more African children than the diseases it prevents. DTP-vaccinated girls suffered 10x the death rate of children who had not yet received the vaccine. WHO has refused to recall the lethal vaccine, which it forces upon tens of millions of African children annually.

    “Global public health advocates around the world accuse Gates of steering WHO’s agenda away from the projects that are proven to curb infectious diseases: clean water, hygiene, nutrition, and economic development. The Gates Foundation spends only about $650 million of its $5 billion dollar budget on these areas. They say he has diverted agency resources to serve his personal philosophy that good health only comes in a syringe.

    “In addition to using his philanthropy to control WHO, UNICEF, GAVI, and PATH, Gates funds a private pharmaceutical company that manufactures vaccines and is donating $50 million to 12 pharmaceutical companies to speed up development of a coronavirus vaccine. In his recent media appearances, Gates appears confident that the Covid-19 crisis will now give him the opportunity to force his dictatorial vaccine programs on all American children – and adults.”

    Gates’ Globalist Vaccine Agenda: A Win-Win for Pharma and Mandatory Vaccination
    https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/government-corruption/gates-globalist-vaccine-agenda-a-win-win-for-pharma-and-mandatory-vaccination/

    Is Gates donating or investing?

    “The Nation found close to $250 million in charitable grants from the Gates Foundation to companies in which the foundation holds corporate stocks and bonds: Merck, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Vodafone, Sanofi, Ericsson, LG, Medtronic, Teva, and numerous start-ups—with the grants directed at projects like developing new drugs and health monitoring systems and creating mobile banking services.

    “A foundation giving a charitable grant to a company that it partly owns—and stands to benefit from financially—would seem like an obvious conflict of interest…”
    https://www.thenation.com/article/society/bill-gates-foundation-philanthropy/

    Here’s why Bill Gates wants indemnity… Are you willing to take the risk?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzFP4yzZzII

      1. Rudy,

        That was an interesting debate.

        We can never know the real outcomes.

        Though people who live in the Northeast watched our states go through things that we were not prepared for.

        Doctors didn’t even have masks and didn’t know anything about COVID-19.

    1. Pentagon Study: Flu Shot Raises Risk of Coronavirus by 36% (and Other Supporting Studies)
      https://childrenshealthdefense.org/news/vaccine-misinformation-flu-shots-equal-health/

      “The well-respected Cochrane Collaboration’s comprehensive 2010 meta-analysis of published influenza vaccine studies found that the influenza vaccination has ‘no effect’ on hospitalization, and that there is ‘no evidence that vaccines prevent viral transmission or complications.’ The Cochrane Researchers concluded that the scientific evidence ‘seem[s] to discourage the utilization of vaccination against influenza in healthy adults as a routine public health measure.’ 
      “In their meta-analysis, the Cochrane researchers accused the CDC of deliberately misrepresenting the science in order to support their universal influenza vaccination recommendation. Nevertheless, CNN and other mainstream media outlets continually broadcast CDC pronouncements as gospel and, ironically, ridicules those of us who actually read the science as ‘purveyors of vaccine misinformation’.”

      1. It may be worth pointing out that the 2010 review has been updated 5 or 6 times since 2010.

        Further, I doubt that the original 2010 analysis specifically criticised the CDC. it’s behind a paywall so I can’t check but it sounds improbable. Especially since the current version of that analysis never even mentions the CDC let alone criticises it.

        Also, that review only concerned vaccines for healthy adults. It did not cover vaccines for children, seniors or pregnant/nursing women. For that matter, it found that ‘ In the relatively uncommon circumstance of vaccine matching the viral circulating strain and high circulation, 4% of unvaccinated people versus 1% of vaccinated people developed influenza symptoms (risk difference (RD) 3%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2% to 5%). The corresponding figures for poor vaccine matching were 2% and 1% (RD 1, 95% CI 0% to 3%). These differences were not likely to be due to chance.’
        https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001269.pub4/abstract

        The latest 2018 analysis concluded

        ‘ Healthy adults who receive inactivated parenteral influenza vaccine rather than no vaccine probably experience less influenza, from just over 2% to just under 1% (moderate‐certainty evidence). They also probably experience less ILI following vaccination, but the degree of benefit when expressed in absolute terms varied across different settings. Variation in protection against ILI may be due in part to inconsistent symptom classification. Certainty of evidence for the small reductions in hospitalisations and time off work is low. Protection against influenza and ILI in mothers and newborns was smaller than the effects seen in other populations considered in this review.

        Vaccines increase the risk of a number of adverse events, including a small increase in fever, but rates of nausea and vomiting are uncertain. The protective effect of vaccination in pregnant women and newborns is also very modest. We did not find any evidence of an association between influenza vaccination and serious adverse events in the comparative studies considered in this review’
        https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001269.pub6/full

        I don’t personally believe that the influenza vaccine is worthwhile for most healthy adults when considered as an individual decision but I certainly accept that at the (national) public health level there is a perfectly good scientific argument for it.

        I would also have to add that from what I have seen anti-vaxxers have a well-deserved reputation for misrepresenting the facts.

  20. Okay, he speaks at Keto events and is a “cholesterol isn’t a problem” and “viruses don’t kill you” as long as you eat dirt guy or take my soil supplement perspective.

    That helps.

    He is pro-MTC oil on one page but is also pro-vegan.

    Okay, I will have to try to wrap my mind around the fact that he isn’t a “low fat” diet guy.

  21. Dr Greger also predicted the coming of COVID-19 but he predicted that people would die from it and that there wouldn’t be toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

  22. Dr Bush pointing to air pollution as being what killed them makes it almost like the miasma thing.

    How is it that science is so screwed up that we are going to have these types of information wars and have it be a real plant-based doctor who doesn’t believe viruses kill.

    What are the statistical odds that the viruses enter all of those people all around the world who have all sorts of different situations and they die of statins or air pollution becomes the answer.

    In every country around the world they die of statins and air pollution?

    I am supposed to be the confused one.

  23. And what kind of doctor gives COVID advice of find someone to have dinner with. Rather than socially isolate.

    How is it that MedCram’s COVID-19 videos were briefly removed and videos saying that the virus doesn’t really kill people didn’t get removed.

  24. I hope that Lonie is OK. He has been uncharacteristically quiet for a number of days now.

    Does anybody know how he is getting on?

    1. Sure hope he didn’t get that damn virus after all!

      I (as a part of the lunatic fringe :-) plan not to post my silly prattle until the Mercury Retrograde transit/shadow has passed on by.

      1. Thanks YR. I don’t think Lonie believes that kind of stuff himself so I hope he is just lying low to recuperate or to concentrate on his script.

        DR does have a point though. Years ago, apart from the odd cholesterol denialist and saturated fat apologist, people here did tend to discuss the evidence rather than promote wild and woolly alternative belief systems. In fact I have a hazy recollection that there was a DR then who was a regular contributor to the comment threads. By comparison, we are all just fringe dwellers now.

        1. Tom,

          That may be true. I wasn’t here.

          But when I came, Jerry Lewis was challenging everybody.

          The thing is, “the odd cholesterol denialist” has been more like a scene from The Trouble With Tribbles or Gremlins or some fast-multiplying cultural internet influencing concept.

          Same with saturated fat, it has become a movement and Zach Bush is highly respected in the WFPB community and he talks at Keto events.

          Coming from the concept that every single new person who comes to WFPB is going to run the gauntlet about all of these issues and they will show up here either arrogantly professing something or genuinely confused and people who have already figured it all out will be the most annoyed or the most compassionate, maybe depending on how confused they got.

          Some people basically grew up WFPB. They won’t understand how the current non-viral global pandemics spread. Nor will they care, probably.

          They might have a pet group of people they care about.

          Not sure.

          1. Globally, culturally, we are on the verge of war and that is a war of ideas but it spills over onto the streets.

            We aren’t good at listening to each other.

            And that is a shame and I will add myself to that category.

            We feel threatened by opposing ideas and we also have agendas and dogmatic belief systems.

            I genuinely felt threatened even by Dr. Bush saying that nobody is dying of COVID-19. People are out there repeating that line. I have kept hearing it and it causes my mind to feel crazy – out of touch with reality – because I can’t wrap my head around whether he is a con artist or a snake oil salesman or sincere because he has some interesting concepts.

            I feel like this weekend, I mentally gave Donald Trump and the news media from both sides and Dr. Bush a break. If a seriously respected medical doctor doesn’t even believe that we should treat viruses or give vaccines, how would someone like our president sitting between experts speaking from multiple directions even begin to figure it out.

            The thing is, I feel like Dr. Bush’s logic is wrong and like he doesn’t understand that telling someone who is having viral symptoms or symptoms of polio or symptoms related to HIV not to treat them is so threatening to my belief system and the interviewer didn’t ask him enough questions.

            He isn’t showing pictures that show what he means.

            TL(e)I

            TMI and TLI and TM(e)I and TL(e)I that I don’t get an (e)I (e)I Oh! that’s what he means.

            Dr. Bush if you are going to tell people not to treat symptoms of polio or COVID-19 you need to explain things in enough information so we know that that looks like.

            I am open to hearing what it might look like but it sounds foolish to me and I know I have brain problems and never really took science and never went to a doctor again after college and you are the one people are exalting, so I should listen to you. But you need to explain things better.

            If you get this message through the internet, you need to not be quite so poetic when people might die.

    2. Yeah, I worry about Lonie, too.

      Since he went through the symptoms and the squatting and not getting up.

      Hope he is okay.

      Lonie,

      We miss you when you disappear.

  25. Gosh! Over the years the comments on here seem to have become dominated by the lunatic fringe.

    Not a crowd Dr. Greger would want to be associated with.

    At one time there was some intelligent debate. Alas some things come to pass.

    Hopefully it is a viral infection that will burn out.

    1. DR

      I understand what you are saying.

      I will say that this site reflects the running debates in the greater culture and that in itself is useful.

      Yes, we have to learn the arguments of all of the various lunatic fringes and figure out how to debate them.

      I have learned so much more by having all of them here.

      And, if you meant me, I have learned so much more by having me here, too.

      I am more a brain-damaged who wore jean shorts with fringes which is what clothes designers do on purpose nowadays, so sometimes my fringes are mainstream.

      I was briefly upset about Dr. Zach Bush not believing that viruses kill people and not believing in things like polio vaccines. But what has happened is that Humpty Dumpty logic had a great fall and every, every, every, every single person may have their own secret stash of lunatic fringe concepts, and science has become something Picasso would be proud of. Every box has an outside which is good news for the outsiders.

      1. Edwin Markham

        “He drew a circle that shut me out-
        Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
        But love and I had the wit to win:
        We drew a circle and took him In!”

        (And then he drew us out again.)

        1. I went from “People don’t know if anybody died from this virus” to “My father doesn’t really think people are dying from this virus” to “Zach Bush is telling people on the internet that people might not be dying from this virus” to “What happened to science that we don’t even know if viruses kill people?” to falling into several Lewis Carroll rabbit holes and I am pretty sure Lewis Carroll was pretty “woke” about logic problems.

    2. One last thing, as they say: D R, what makes you so certain this is “Not a crowd Dr. Greger would want to be associated with”? You know this how?

      Dr. G. never posts in the comments section. Anyway, people are said to be evolving (even Dr. G.), and that usually means occasionally looking at things “outside the box.” It means questioning things that sheeples take for granted — even if it means clashing with what’s called (current) scientific evidence. Probably back when you posted your comments people were more Okay, If You Say So..

      Times are different now. VERY different, as anybody with a brain can notice.

      1. To answer your specific question; like thousands of others I have met him and he strikes me as that.
        He makes a valiant effort to follow the scientific evidence and present the case well. How he finds the time to go through all the publications and weigh up whether the studies are worth reporting even though they have been peer reviewed. There is a lot of money wasted on research.

        Personally I preferred when it was about nutrition facts. Nowadays it strays into all kinds of areas when there is much work still to do on nutrition, and much to do to revisit videos and postings from the past to bring them up to date and consolidate the current findings.

        By the way he has answered questions on here in the past. Hardly has time now I guess.

  26. Is covid19 going to mutate every season like the regular flu virus? If so
    I assume there will be no vaccine. Like annual flu shots the vaccine is
    just a guess what it might be next year.?

    1. Daniel,

      We don’t know yet.

      Experts think that it mutates slowly enough that vaccines will be feasible.

      But we don’t know what this virus will do.

      In Arizona, it mutated in a way that it lost genetic information and became much less virulent.

      In Florida, it mutated in a way that it became much more contagious, but not necessarily all that deadly.

      We will find out soon about that because they are having a thousand new cases every day.

  27. Thank you so much for this amazing scientific information. I am learning so much I feel like I’m in abbreviated med school :). As a high school teacher, I love the highlighting of text within the text to focus on the key details. I wonder how Dr. Greger and his team create the power points? I could use it this idea to explain textual evidence to my students in my American literature class.
    Keep the healthy facts coming!

  28. This information is about three months too late, and is now common knowledge. What is needed are superior advice for protection, including keeping house, disinfected, what to do during and after shopping for food, how to handle and process fruits and vegetables, so we don’t get infected from them, how to handle laundry and body surfaces after trips outside where possible exposure can occur. Should risk groups stay in lockdown until their are ZERO new cases in your area? And for how long? It seems now that re-opening too quickly is the biggest concern. How to remain safe amidst an increasingly dis-regarding population. I’ve heard arguments to the effect that only 1% will die. I’ll take my chances. I’m 73 with COPD, I need actionable advice, not a lot of pablum spoken in Dr. G’s resonant speaking voice.

    1. @Laurence Goldman, here is actionable advice for you at this stage. https://nutritionfacts.org/?s=copd

      I do hope it provides you relief and an extended future.

      The info presented in this series is late for us now, yes, but its actually right on time for a young person going plants based, not smoking, and wanting to participate in a world that prevents diseases rather than profiting from, or fighting against them.

      I believe this is the value Dr. Greger provides. Its legacy value. Ive heard him suggest to an obese person on live Q&A “well, the better answer is, …dont get obese” when asked how to deal with skin folds after losing 200 pounds. At first it sounded course, but I understood then that the information is for our future generations and what little we can pivot towards now, in our age, we will still benefit from.

      Therefore, I believe the info presented in this series is probably a bit rhetorical because there is only one conclusion to arrive at concerning stopping these pandemics and how to act during them.

      It is this:
      Don’t allow a pandemic to start. Take actions early before the pandemic can arrive. Like COPD which my mom died of. She was also very overweight. She also ate lots of veggies and turmeric with her fish, chicken, and steak. She also smoked when I begged her not to. I was subject to second hand smoke in near foggy conditions because while in the car she was concerned that her hair would be messed up if we opened the window. (maybe I get COPD later?)

      The truth is surviving a killer disease is a whack-a-mole prospect and actionable advice would /should have long since been heeded so that we dont get ourselves there in the first place, as if we weren’t aware of the awful possibilities.

      That said, if one wants to remain longer on this earth with a debilitating disease then one might as well stay isolated in order to stay safe, so as not to catch the flu, which is arguably way highly more likely than catching Covid 19.

    2. Laurence Goldman, I believe that the advice for all elderly people with a chronic condition is to be sure that you are managing your chronic condition to the best of your ability, and then you will fare better if afflicted with COVID-19 than those who do not manage the disease well.  Here are the suggestions for lifestyle and diet alterations which (in addition to your medical interventions) may help to manage COPD: https://nutritionguide.pcrm.org/nutritionguide/view/Nutrition_Guide_for_Clinicians/1342075/all/Chronic_Obstructive_Pulmonary_Disease#6  The diet suggested is plant based, emphasizing legumes, fruits and vegetables.

      In addition, some therapies you may or may not have tried include chest percussion to clear mucus, twice daily neti pot washes to reduce sinus inflammation, instruction in inspiratory muscle training (specific type of breathing exercises), respiratory therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, and exercise programs developed for people with COPD.  Keep track of the hourly air pollution forecasts for your area, and avoid going out when air pollution is high.

      If I were in your situation, I would ask the doctor about taking the antiinflammatory drug hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 preventative (many world leaders are doing so) and as a possible treatment for improving COPD symptoms. “Hydroxychloroquine improves airflow and lowers  circulating IgE levels in subjects with moderate symptomatic asthma”  https://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(98)70086-7/pdf.  In addition, the personal hygiene suggestions for COVID-19 (frequent hand washing, never touching the face, avoiding people who are ill) should already be a way of life for you, since “human rhinovirus (HRV) infections cause roughly 80% of common colds, and are an important trigger of COPD exacerbations.”  I would add to that what my mother had us do as children: also wash your face and gargle with salt water after returning home from a shopping trip. You might add to that a neti wash as well.

      The CDC advice is for high risk individuals like you to remain in lockdown. So you would order online and pick up at the store, or have items delivered to you.  I believe that disinfecting your groceries was shown to be absolutely unnecessary. 

      However, the most likely means of contracting the virus is either spending an extended period of time (15 minutes or more) in a confined space with a person who is ill, or having an infected person close enough to cough or sneeze on you. And be aware that two out of three people in the NY study of people hospitalized for COVID-19 were actually sheltering in place at home.  So either they were not practicing the social distancing protocol with family members, or the disease was being spread in some other way, for example through shared toilets, interconnected apartment bathroom drains, or central air and heat. And if lockdown leads to social isolation, lack of fresh air and sunlight, wearing masks all the time, missed medical checkups, there are adverse health consequences associated with lockdown as well.

      What you personally decide to do with respect to the lockdown advice depends on how much risk you are willing to take. I would certainly take as many steps as possible to manage the disease, and look for more studies on how hydroxychloroquine might help people with asthma or COPD so you can discuss that option with your doctor. People taking hydroxychloroquine should have eye health monitored regularly.

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