Monday, 6 April 2020

Knut Wittkowski: social distancing and lockdown are counter-productive

SHARE
Kurt Wittkovski's views have been described as dangerous. His prediction that herd immunity could have been achieved in the USA in four weeks, at the cost of 10,000 dead, seems to have been disproved by events but he repeats his ideas about the epidemic in a number of recent interviews. Why do the mainstream media not mention him?


I want people to follow the rules on social distancing because as yet we do not have much good data about the epidemic. Soon we shall have much better data and then the lockdown might be lifted. Until then the public should educate itself about the virus, which is why I am writing this. 

However, Knut Wittkowski, for twenty years a Senior Research Associate and head of the Rockefeller University's Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design, has no doubts that social distancing is the absolutely worst way to deal with an airborne respiratory virus, as he says in an interview with Journeyman Pictures,  


He thinks herd immunity could have been achieved in the USA in four weeks at the cost of 10,000 dead, meaning 2% of patients with symptoms. This compares with the usual 35,000 who die of flu each year in the USA.

The current Coronavirus panic is a creation of the internet, which tells us instantly what is happening on the other side of the world.


In China social distancing only began after the epidemic reached its peak and it began in South Korea when it was close to its peak and herd immunity was in sight. Because social distancing prevented herd immunity in South Korea being fully attained the virus will come back there. Herd immunity lasts typically for a couple of years.

He thinks tracking an airborne contagion is impossible.

A vaccine would be nice to have but is not essential, he says. Flu vaccines 'are not that effective' anyway and, of course, there is no vaccine for the common cold.

Social distancing will result in more old people dying in this wave of infections and in a second wave of infections, either when social distancing stops or when winter comes.He urges that schools be open, so that the virus may spread harmlessly among children and thus shorten the amount of time the elderly and infirm must be sequestered. 


He thinks most people who get the virus won't have any symptoms. A large number of people (In the USA or worldwide?) have the virus and, even without herd immunity being achieved, we see the virus already declining.


If he is right Sweden, which is trying to achieve herd immunity and eschewing social distancing, will show us.



He talk several times about Mother Nature. That there is an order in the universe that transcends man's understanding is something of which hard scientists, unlike social scientists, are constantly aware, but in the wider world it is unfashionable. The fashionable idea resembles Whittaker Chambers' definition of communism.


'It is the vision of man's liberated mind, by the sole force of its rational intelligence, redirecting man's destiny and reorganizing man's life and the world.'
Gentle reader, I am increasingly sceptical about the need for the lockdown though I believe we should observe the rules on social distancing. We shall know very much more soon and meanwhile I very certainly do not want Romanian hospitals to be overwhelmed by elderly people, like the very much better ones in Lombardy. 

Dr. Wittkowski, on the other hand, told the New York Post a few days ago that he regularly goes to one of two illicit restaurants operating in secret in the smart Upper East Side quarter of Manhatten.

He speaks very lucidly and the interview is fascinating watching but if you don't have the time here is a full transcript.

29 comments:

  1. Who is Knut M. Wittkowski? He is among the many, even many hundreds, of epidemiologists and other medical research professionals whose expertise was not consulted in the frenzied weeks in which the American political class at all levels chose panic and shutdown over rationality and rights.

    Consider his bio:

    Dr. Wittkowski received his PhD in computer science from the University of Stuttgart and his ScD (Habilitation) in Medical Biometry from the Eberhard-Karls-University TuĆ¼ingen, both Germany. He worked for 15 years with Klaus Dietz, a leading epidemiologist who coined the term “reproduction number”, on the Epidemiology of HIV before heading for 20 years the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design at The Rockefeller University, New York. Dr. Wittkowski is currently the CEO of ASDERA LLC, a company discovering novel treatments for complex diseases from data of genome-wide association studies.

    His work has been widely cited in the technical/medical literature. So try to understand his frustration with everything going on around him. A lifetime of work toward understanding diseases and their spread, and he has to watch all this unfold in the most brutal way that contradicts everything he knows and has tried to teach.

    https://www.aier.org/article/stand-up-for-your-rights-says-professor-knut-m-wittkowski/

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am increasingly sceptical about the need for the lockdown but I believe we should observe all the rules on social distancing.

    I think that's a reasonable position to take.

    I'm more afraid of the long-term economic and social consequences of lockdowns than I am of the virus. But I don't know the answers. Nobody does.

    I suspect that the main purpose of social distancing is to make people feel better. It makes them feel like they're fighting Corona Virus. It's like masks. They're a good thing because they allow ordinary people to feel like they're doing something constructive.

    It's like giving the British people gas masks in WW2. It made them feel safer. They probably would not have been of any real use but they were comforting.

    But maybe social distancing does work. I don't know. Maybe those WW2 gas masks would have worked.

    My biggest fear is that we'll never know the answers because the Science of Corona Virus is totally politicised.

    Mostly what the crisis has demonstrated is that if a really really lethal virus ever hits us the West will respond with mind-boggling incompetence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. [10:52.12] WITTKOWSKI: Social distancing definitely is good. It prevented the sky from falling down.
      [11:00.04] JOHN: Are you being ironic?
      [11:01.19] WITTKOWSKI: Of course! I don’t know where these numbers are coming from—they’re totally unrealistic. There are no indications that this flu is fundamentally different from every other flu. We know what happened in China, we know what happened in South Korea, we know what happened, or is happening, in Europe. There are no indications that anything is different from a regular flu. Maybe it’s a bit worse than other flus—could be?
      [11:32.02] For a respiratory disease, the flu ends during springtime, that people spend more time outdoors because outdoors, the viruses cannot easily spread. That is a form of containment, spending more time outdoors.
      [11:55.00] JOHN: So, we’re now spending more time indoors. We’ve been told to go indoors. Isn’t that—doesn’t that help keep the virus going?
      [12:03.17] WITTKOWSKI: It keeps the virus healthy, yeah.
      [12:08.19] LIBBY: So we should be told to go outdoors?
      [12:10.18] WITTKOWSKI: Yeah. Going outdoors is what stops every respiratory disease.

      Delete
  3. He has predicted a peak of 200 000 infected people. It's at 370 000 and rising.

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.28.20036715v1.full.pdf+html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm profoundly shocked that anyone is listening to this person. Would love to see him debate actual medical professionals - the people risking their lives actually dealing with this on the front lines.

      Delete
    2. 430,000 as of today, 2000 deaths a day.

      When's that herd immunity kicking in again??

      Delete
    3. This is his reply. https://21stcenturywire.com/2020/05/01/coronavirus-epidemiologist-dr-knut-wittkowski-lockdown-has-no-benefit-only-negative-effects/

      Delete
  4. I hope this person gets his jollies from putting away clandestine veal cheek dinners on the Upper East Side. Boris Johnson, now gasping for air, will be glad to hear Dr Wittkowski's assertion that most people who get coronavirus don't come down with any symptoms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you comprehend what the word "most" means?
      Hint: it does NOT mean "all".

      Delete
    2. https://21stcenturywire.com/2020/05/01/coronavirus-epidemiologist-dr-knut-wittkowski-lockdown-has-no-benefit-only-negative-effects/

      Delete
  5. Finaly an expert making sense of this, another flu comes along and the world shuts down! I guess for whatever reasons you need to follow the money, how the hell are we to get imunity unless we re allowed to catch this damn virus,

    ReplyDelete
  6. In the United States, we're doing all the wrong things. Death by hospital (not death by coronavirus).

    (1) They are misusing the codes on death certificates. Any person who tested positive, even if they died of a car crash, is getting mislabeled as coronavirus complications.


    (2) We're putting people on ventilators, instead of just giving them oxygen. Ventilators are likely killing people:

    https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/928156

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8204459/Are-doctors-HARMING-coronavirus-patients-putting-ventilators-early.html

    (3) We're giving people the flu shot. The flu shot may have some efficacy against the particular strain that's in the shot, but it makes you much more susceptible to coronavirus and other epidemics:

    In this pilot study, flu shot increased chance of children contracting coronavirus by 491%:

    https://www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.m810/rr-0

    Large Canadian Study, flu shot made H1N1 up to 250% worse, turning mild mild symptoms into severe symptoms:

    https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2010/04/new-canadian-studies-suggest-seasonal-flu-shot-increased-h1n1-risk

    US Study, flu shot increases coronavirus risk:

    https://www.disabledveterans.org/2020/03/11/flu-vaccine-increases-coronavirus-risk/

    ...and there's more. Antibiotics are being used, and they shouldn't, this is a virus not a bacteria. Tylenol and Ibuprofen are being used, and they shouldn't, they make symptoms worse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is quite a bit of truth in 1 and 2. I do not have information about 3, though I saw the idea before.

      Delete
  7. "(1) They are misusing the codes on death certificates. Any person who tested positive, even if they died of a car crash, is getting mislabeled as coronavirus complications."

    The mayor of New York says that New York has undercounted coronavirus deaths because people dying in their apartments have not been tested and are not counted. I sincerely doubt that medical professionals are frivolously labeling car crash victims and suicides who blew their heads off as coronavirus victims, particularly at responsible, renowned hospitals like Sloane Kettering with reputations to protect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's like Sir Winston Churchill's description of Russia. 'It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma'.

      Delete
    2. Well, federal money to hospitals will probably be based on NUMBERS, so there is definitely financial gain to inflating them.

      Delete
    3. I heard that hospitals receive $13k for labeling coronavirus deaths. I think I saw that in the Plandemic video

      Delete
  8. I just saw this. I shall take out the title Professor from my article.

    The Rockefeller University releases statement concerning Knut Wittkowski
    April 13, 2020
    The opinions that have been expressed by Knut Wittkowski, discouraging social distancing in order to hasten the development of herd immunity to the novel coronavirus, do not represent the views of The Rockefeller University, its leadership, or its faculty.

    Wittkowski was previously employed by Rockefeller as a biostatistician. He has never held the title of professor at Rockefeller.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He definitely has a PhD - I think they did that disclaimer worded like that to make people think he is NOT as credentialed and experienced as he really is!

      This is from an article about him in aier dot org, American Institute for Economic Policy:
      Consider his bio:

      Dr. Wittkowski received his PhD in computer science from the University of Stuttgart and his ScD (Habilitation) in Medical Biometry from the Eberhard-Karls-University TuĆ¼ingen, both Germany. He worked for 15 years with Klaus Dietz, a leading epidemiologist who coined the term “reproduction number”, on the Epidemiology of HIV before heading for 20 years the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design at The Rockefeller University, New York. Dr. Wittkowski is currently the CEO of ASDERA LLC, a company discovering novel treatments for complex diseases from data of genome-wide association studies.

      His work has been widely cited in the technical/medical literature. So try to understand his frustration with everything going on around him. A lifetime of work toward understanding diseases and their spread, and he has to watch all this unfold in the most brutal way that contradicts everything he knows and has tried to teach.

      Delete
    2. Thank you. There is no doubt that he is an authority.

      Delete
  9. On his LinkedIn account Knut Wittkowski does not claim to have been a professor but to have two doctorates and to have been for twenty years a Senior Research Associate at Rockefeller University and to have headed its Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design,

    ReplyDelete
  10. Left-of-centre Buzzfeed on the article which inspired mine, in the libertarian College Fix:

    "A website with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s son on its board of directors published a viral article that claims the coronavirus would be “exterminated” if lockdowns were lifted.

    "On April 7, the College Fix, a news and opinion website that normally publishes stories about politics and college life, ran a story titled “Epidemiologist: Coronavirus Could Be ‘Exterminated’ If Lockdowns Were Lifted.” The most popular story ever published by the College Fix, it received over 1.7 million Facebook likes, shares, and comments, according to social media tracking tool BuzzSumo."

    "Daniel Payne, the author of the article, said the College Fix didn’t identify Wittkowski as a professor and used the same credentials as what he stated in the video. Payne’s story was a news article, and the associate editor told BuzzFeed News that the College Fix does not have a wider editorial stance on social distancing."

    ReplyDelete
  11. Here is an article from College Fix saying the views of Knut Wittkowski are dangerous.

    https://www.thecollegefix.com/think-inside-the-box-keep-socially-distancing/

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dominic Johnson comments: I agree with most of what the Knut said. A compelling woman on the radio the other day suggested that the acute phase of the pandemic will pass and lockdown will end but that there will be a long term shift towards social distancing, extra washing of hands, getting out of the habit of touching your face until a reliable vaccine is, if ever, manufactured.

    ReplyDelete
  13. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.28.20036715v4

    ReplyDelete
  14. https://21stcenturywire.com/2020/05/01/coronavirus-epidemiologist-dr-knut-wittkowski-lockdown-has-no-benefit-only-negative-effects/


    Epidemiologist Dr Knut Wittkowski: ‘Lockdown Has No Benefit, Only Negative Effects’


    So, three weeks ago, I was sitting here and had already published the manuscript showing that the epidemic would be over soon, that this was just a regular flu, and no reason—that there was no reason whatsoever to close schools, and in particular, not to run the whole economy against the wall. The damage that was done to the economy is immense. And even if there had been a few more deaths than in a regular flu, which it wasn’t, but even then, the huge damage done to the economy could not be justified by whatever was known, even at the time when people started with the so-called social distancing or the second prohibition, exactly 100 years after the first prohibition, and we already knew how effective the first prohibition was.

    [00:06:42.02] KIRBY: Yeah, no, no, no, it’s okay. So, tell us about some of the numbers. What have you seen that bolsters your view?

    [00:06:54.02] WITTKOWSKI: It is simply that the number of cases, even with a very liberal definition of what constitutes a case, is now dropping all over the world: in Europe and, well, it’s over in China; it is over in Korea, and in most countries in Europe, it’s also dropping; in others it’s leveling, and will be dropping soon. It is dropping in the United States, so there is no indication anywhere this would get worse than a flu during the flu season. It happens that flus are during the flu season.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Knut Wittkowski has told the New York Times that YouTube removed a video of him expressing his views about the virus which had achieved more than 1.3 million views.
    “Anything that goes against [World Health Organization] recommendations would be a violation of our policy and so removal is another really important part of our policy,”

    CEO Susan Wojcicki has told CNN.

    Facebook has been working with state governments in California, New Jersey and Nebraska to remove pages for anti-quarantine events. Twitter removed two tweets by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

    ReplyDelete