An Open Letter to Joanna Frketish of the Hamilton Spectator

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January 15, 2022

To: Joanna Frketich
Spectator Reporter
905-526-3349
jfrketich@thespec.com

Dear Ms Frketich,

On Saturday, January 15, 2022, the Hamilton Spectator published your article, Spiralling crisis’ as Hamilton records 101 outbreaks and increasing COVID hospitalizations

The article begins with an alarming statement:

Hamilton has more than 100 active COVID outbreaks as the city continues to be one of Ontario’s hardest hit in the fifth wave.

I would appreciate your clarification on the following information included in your article:

Question #1 – Clarification and compatibility of presented data

You reported, “Hospitalizations soared to 302 on Friday, including 40 in the intensive care unit. That’s up from 256 COVID patients Monday and 220 on Jan. 4. The highest number of admissions before the Omicron variant hit was 161. That was at the height of the third wave in April.”

  • These are outbreaks and cases of what? Covid-19? its variants? Or all respiratory infections?
  • Do these numbers include all cases? Symptomatic cases? Or asymptomatic cases?
  • Were these daily “new” hospitalizations or overall hospitalizations on the indicated days?
  • How these numbers compare to hospitalizations on corresponding dates in 2018? 2019? 2020? 2021?
  • How these numbers compare to hospitalizations due to influenza, pneumonia, and other respiratory diseases in 2018? 2019? 2020? 2021?
  • How were these numbers established? What tests were used?
  • What number of amplification cycles (Ct Threshold) was applied in each PCR test used?
  • What extraction buffer was applied in the Abbott and similar tests? Was a physiological saline used instead of or in addition to the original extraction buffer in any of these tests? If yes, in how many?

Question #2 – Influence of weather on the timing and intensity of flue seasons

Did you know and did you take under consideration that numbers and rates of respiratory infections (influenza, common colds, pneumonia, etc.) are closely related to changes in temperature and humidity levels? “Research shows that rhinoviruses and influenza viruses that cause common colds, flu and/or pneumonias replicate more efficiently and survive/spread more easily in cold and dry air.” This is why we have “flu seasons”.

Also, “many researchers believe that exposure to cold weather can adversely affect a person’s immune response, making it harder for the body to fight off infections. Reasons for this may include:

  • Reduced vitamin D levels. During the winter months, many people get less vitamin D due to reduced sun exposure. ResearchTrusted Source suggests that vitamin D plays an essential role in maintaining the immune system.
  • Spending more time indoors. People tend to spend more time indoors during winter months, and viruses spread more when people are close to each other.
  • Lower temperatures may affect immune response. A 2015 study Trusted Source found that exposing airway cells taken from mice to lower temperatures decreased the immune response of the cells against a mouse-adapted rhinovirus.
  • Blood vessel narrowing. Breathing in cold and dry air causes the blood vessels in the upper respiratory tract to narrow to conserve heat. This may prevent white blood cells from reaching the mucous membrane, making it harder for the body to fight off germs.”

Decreases in humidity also increase the risk of infections.

Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323431#cold-weather-and-the-immune-system

The dates and numbers that you quoted seem to be consistent with weather data. Given that most flu and cold symptoms take 1 – 3 days to appear, it is clear that temperatures in January (with frequent -10⁰C and lower) are lower than temperatures last December and November, and certainly lower than temperatures last April. You may also remember from your science and geography classes that cold air holds less water than warm air, which results in lower relative humidity on colder days.

Question #3 – Reliability of tests and their impact on diagnosis and statistics:

Have you investigated and applied the following facts about the Covid-19 tests that are being used to identify Covid-19 cases and to establish Covid-19 statistics:

The RT-PCR test. A number of credible sources and experts state that the RT-PCR test is not reliable. These sources included doctors and scientists, for example the inventor of the PCR technology and 1993 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, Kary Mullis. Also, in January of 2021, the World Health Organization has admitted that and corrected its earlier diagnostic procedure recommendations. The RT-PCR test:

  • cannot distinguish between a live virus and fragments of dead viruses remaining in our bodies after a flu or a common cold we had in the past. Therefore, it cannot be used to reliably establish the viral load;
      
  • cannot identify a specific virus (or its “variant”) due to a small number of “markers” (genetic code fragments that it is looking for). Recently, the number of markers used in PCR tests was further reduced to 2, from previous 3 or 4;
     
  • is often used improperly, with higher number of amplification cycles (Ct Threshold)

For these reasons, the RT-PCR test delivers a large number of “false positive results” and cannot be relied on. Anything above 25-30 cycles of amplification is not recommended. Tests conducted in Canada were often done at 40 and more amplification cycles.

The Abbott rapid antigen test. It was discovered by first responders in Europe that the Abbott test showed positive results when used with physiological saline instead of the original extraction buffer, even when the test was administered without a specimen from the patient, just with the saline alone. The use of physiological saline was often recommended, when there was a shortage of the original extraction buffer. Unfortunately, you cannot buy a complete Abbott test kit at your pharmacy. You have to send your sample (specimen) to a lab for the actual testing, although it is simple and does not require a complicated equipment.

Question #4 – Other medical and social factors:

While investigating and reporting the numbers shown in Question #1, above, did you take under consideration other factors that are reported by many experts as contributing to lower immunity, higher number of serious medical conditions, increased number of dangerous symptoms, and higher number of deaths, such as:

  • Two years of isolation measures, including masks, social distancing and quarantines, that lowered the herd and cross immunity of the population (see the Great Barrington Declaration);
     
  • Impact of mRNA vaccines that reportedly lower our natural immunity by narrowing identification of Covid viruses to a few small fragments of computer-generated genetic code, instead of identification of the entire, natural, virus, as it happens with traditional vaccines. According to some experts, this also increases the number of “positive cases”, as most coronaviruses have similar genomes and cannot be distinguished based on small fragments of genetic code;
     
  • Lower standard of living (including nutrition) of a large part of the population due to lockdowns, unemployment, increasing poverty, and broken supply chains;
     
  • Higher levels of stress resulting from isolation, lockdowns, loss of employment, bankruptcies, etc.;
     
  • Reorganization of the health care system resulting in limited access to doctors, longer waiting periods to specialists, cancellation of screening and treatments, cancellation of hospital surgeries and procedures;
     
  • Limited care due to staff shortages resulting from illness but also from suspensions and dismissal following requirements for mandatory vaccination, vaccination passports, and vaccination status;

Question #5 – Adverse events and other effects of the mRNA vaccines:

  • Have you investigated and taken under consideration the impact on morbidity and mortality statistics of officially published data from Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) and similar databases in Europe? In particular, the cases of adverse effects such as myocarditis, pericarditis, blood clotting, thrombosis, strokes, heart failures, and deaths that closely followed the administration of mRNA vaccines, regardless of age of the recipients? Did you investigate the under-reporting of such data in Canada?
     
  • Have you accurately presented and taken into account the fact that mRNA vaccines do not prevent infection or transmission of the SARS-Cov-2 virus? Recent data seems to suggest that more vaccinated than unvaccinated people are being reinfected and hospitalized. This means that the vaccinated, not the unvaccinated, are driving the epidemic and the emergence of new variants.

Question #6 – Early treatment:

Did you investigate and have you taken under consideration the ban on effective early treatment in Covid cases, such as the use of Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine, Amantadine, and other treatment protocols reported by medical doctors as effective? What impact did these decisions have on morbidity and mortality statistics?

Question #7 – Capacity vs. staffing and the number of available hospital beds:

Writing about the overcrowding and “at capacity” status of Hamilton hospitals, did you actually investigate and verify this information? I have been admitted to the Hamilton General and to St. Joe’s Hospitals several times, both before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. My observation of the Emergency Departments and some units indicate that there is much less workload, fewer patients, and fewer beds now, even during the so-called flu season, than in 2019, before the pandemic began and was declared. Under the pandemic regime, I have not seen any beds in the hallways, as it was always the case earlier. Also, writing about staffing crisis, did you include staff shortages caused by adverse effects of the vaccines as well as suspensions and dismissals of staff members who refused the illegal vaccination mandates as a condition of employment? Pictures promoted and published during the Covid fear campaign are also a cause for concern. For example:

  • Here is the picture published with your article. It was taken to illustrate Friday’s “soaring” cases. It shows busy traffic of ambulances at the entrance to the General Hospital’s Emergency Department.
     
  • My pictures, taken less that one day after your article was published: [ 1 ] , [ 2 ] , [ 3 ] . Same place, no traffic, no ambulances, no helicopters landing or going, no people. Same cold weather. The pandemic must have taken a couple of days off for the weekend.

Question #8 – Financial incentives:

Have you taken under consideration and investigated the potential impact on test results, diagnosis, treatment protocols, and death certificates of financial incentives reportedly granted “for the time of the pandemic” to hospitals, medical labs, and medical staff handling the Covid cases?

Question #9 – Death certificates and mortality data:

Have you investigated and verified the mortality statistics? What number of reported Covid deaths was identified as “of Covid” and what number of deaths was identified as “with Covid”? What tests or procedures were being used to determine this status?

Question #10 – Real numbers vs. rates and manipulation of data

In your article, you wrote:

“The city had 6,783 cases per million population in the last seven days, according to an analysis by epidemiologist Ahmed Al-Jaishi. The last time Hamilton topped the chart was around Aug. 11 in the fourth wave, when the rate was 235.”

This, in my opinion, is a gross manipulation of data.

  • Firstly, the city has only 767,000 population, so using a rate “per million” falsely suggests that there is more cases than there really is. But let it be, on the account of all the surrounding areas that may be serviced by our Hamilton hospitals. 6,783 cases during the current peak of the present “wave” means that the infection rate is 6,783 / 1,000,000 = 0.7% . This means that 1 in every 147 people has tested “positive” – (which is not the same as being infected and not the same as experiencing symptoms and transmitting the virus). This is not an “alarming” number and it certainly is not a pandemic. Neither is the “sored” number of 302 daily hospitalizations per million population, giving us a hospitalization rate of 302 / 1,000,000 = 0.03% . This means that 1 in every 3,311 people is being hospitalized. This is also expected at the peak of the flu season. Obviously, the current number of cases is higher than “around August 11, when the rate was lower” – (we don’t have flu seasons in August). The comparison is totally unreasonable. (See Question #2, above, for explanation.)
     
  • Next, the rate number of “6,783 cases per million population in the last seven days” does not tell us whether these are confirmed cases, hospitalized cases, symptomatic (and transmitting) cases or asymptomatic cases. In other words, we don’t know the severity of these cases and whether or not they are a reliable cause for a public health concern.
     
  • Finally, these statistics were established with tests that, according to many experts and doctors, are not reliable. This has been admitted, among others, by the World Health Organization (WHO) and by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Ms Frketich, you must know that the opinions of scientific and medical experts on the questions listed above are divided. While the official narrative is widely publicized in mainstream media, the opposite views are often censored, their proponents are harassed, threatened, fired and silenced. Yet, there is plenty of information available on this topic in public domain. I would imagine that an experienced and awarded investigative journalist like yourself would look for and take under consideration both sides of this narrative in order to present a balanced, objective and credible information to your readers. Did you? Or, did you just “do your job” and follow the orders?

I would appreciate your input.

Sincerely,
Lech Biegalski
lech.biegalski@gmail.com

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