Covid podcast with Ivor Cummins

I recently took part in a podcast with Ivor Cummins of Fat Emperor to discuss covid-19. Over the course of an hour we discuss what has happened in Sweden and what my experiences have been working in the Emergency Room of a hospital over the course of the pandemic. We also discuss the reasons I reached the conclusion that we must have herd immunity in Sweden, and go in depth in to the immunological reasons of how this is possible. We finish up with a discussion of mortality, and how it can be the case that 6,000 people have died of covid in Sweden without that having any measurable effect on the overall mortality rate.

You can find the complete podcast here:

You might also be interested in watching the interview I did with Sky News on covid or reading my article about how herd immunity is possible when only a minority have antibodies.

I am rolling out a ton of new science-backed content over the coming months, including:

- Analyses of the benefits and risks of all common supplements and medications
- The keys to a longer, healthier life (possibly quite different from what you may have heard)
- A long-term follow-up of the health consequences of the covid pandemic and global lockdown.

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Author: Sebastian Rushworth, M.D.

I am a practicing physician in Stockholm, Sweden. I studied medicine at Karolinska Institutet (home of the Nobel prize in medicine). My main interests are evidence based medicine, medical ethics, and medical history. Every day I get asked questions by my patients about health, diet, exercise, supplements, and medications. The purpose of this blog is to try to understand what the science says and to translate the science in to a format that non-scientists can understand.

12 thoughts on “Covid podcast with Ivor Cummins”

  1. Sebastian, I really recommend your articles. As das as COVID vaccination, does this under your opinion lead into a positiv PCR Test which leads in almost country’s into quarantine ?

  2. A very interesting and important interview, covering some of the most critical topics of our time. Opinions and explanations based on knowledge, proof, facts and statistics, so unusual these days, well done. In a time so full of propaganda, politics and monetary gain, it’s a breath of fresh air to listen to someone, who base his opinion on science and reason. Thank you.

  3. Hi Sebastian
    Really interesting thank you!
    I live in one of the regions of SE Australia that was at the heart of the long summer of fire.
    Early on in the pandemic I was struck by veey real parallels between public responses to covid and public responses to wildfire.
    The following may be of interest
    https://arena.org.au/of-fire-and-the-plague/

  4. Hey Sebastian… love the blog.. There is a lot of new interesting media coverage still rejecting that Sweden has anything close to herd immunity..
    I’m sure you have heard of this new Time Magazine article blasting the Swedish response. https://time.com/5899432/sweden-coronovirus-disaster/

    I’m really curious about two things. First, what’s your take on why cases have been increasing in Sweden in October if there is already herd immunity? Second, what do you make of why it’s impossible for those outside of Sweden to comprehend that Sweden has anything close to herd immunity? What do you make of this TIme article?
    Keep up the good work! thanks
    Ryan

    1. Hi Ryan,

      The Time article is full of misinformation and numbers that are taken entirely out of context.

      A particularly bizarre claim is that herd immunity has never been reached without a vaccine. If that were true then the other four coronaviruses in circulation would annually be killing people at the same rate as covid has this year. They don’t, because we have herd immunity, even though there isn’t a vaccine for any of them.

      The fact is that 2020 is so far the sixth least deadly year in Swedish history if you look at deaths per 100,000 and the mortality rate is in line with recent years for Sweden.

      As to the current increase in cases, I attribute it to two things. Firstly, an increase in testing – in the last month PCR testing has doubled, so obviously there will be an increase in ”cases”, of which a large proportion will be false positives. Secondly, seasonality – most respiratory viruses spread more in the colder months, and it seems SARS-CoV-2 is the same, but it is completely absurd to call it a second wave. At the peak, there were over 500 people in intensive care in Sweden. At the nadir a month ago, there were 15 in intensive care. There are currently 29 people in intensive care. To me that is a seasonal effect, certainly nowhere near enough to be characterized as a ”second wave”.

      I think the inability to comprehend that Sweden has herd immunity is due to cognitive dissonance – people are denying evidence that goes against their prior beliefs. And for politicians and scientists I think it is also about not wanting to look stupid by admitting that they were wrong.

  5. I think he’s talking about this information?

    The False Positive Second Wave

    Of the PCR test, the prevalent COVID test used around the world, the authors write:

    “more than half of the positives are likely to be false, potentially all of them.”

    The authors explain that what the PCR test actually measures is “simply the presence of partial RNA sequences present in the intact virus,” which could be a piece of dead virus which cannot make the subject sick, and cannot be transmitted, and cannot make anyone else sick.

    “…a true positive does not necessarily indicate the presence of viable virus. In limited studies to date, many researchers have shown that some subjects remain PCR-positive long after the ability to culture virus from swabs has disappeared. We term this a ‘cold positive’ (to distinguish it from a ‘hot positive’, someone actually infected with intact virus). The key point about ‘cold positives’ is that they are not ill, not symptomatic, not going to become symptomatic and, furthermore, are unable to infect others.”

    Overall, Dr. Yeadon builds the case that any “second wave” of COVID, and any government case for lockdowns, given the well-known principles of epidemiology, will be entirely manufactured.

    In Boston this month, a lab suspended doing coronavirus testing after 400 false positives were discovered.

    An analysis of PCR-based test at medical website medrxiv.org states:

    “data on PCR-based tests for similar viruses show that PCR-based testing produces enough false positive results to make positive results highly unreliable over a broad range of real-world scenarios.”

    University of Oxford Professor Carl Heneghan, Director of Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, writes in a July article “How Many COVID Diagnoses Are False Positives?”:

    “going off current testing practices and results, Covid-19 might never be shown to disappear.”

    Of course, the most famous incidence of PCR test unreliability was when the President of Tanzania revealed to the world that he had covertly sent samples from a goat, a sheep, and a pawpaw fruit to a COVID testing lab. They all came back positive for COVID.

    Made in China

    In August, the government of Sweden discovered 3700 false COVID positives from test kits made by China’s BGI Genomics. The kits were approved in March by the FDA for use in the US.

    Second Waves of Coronaviruses Not Normal

    Dr. Yeadon challenged the idea that all pandemics take place in subsequent waves, citing two other coronavirus outbreaks, the SARS virus in 2003, and MERS in 2012. What may seem like two waves can actually be two single waves occurring in different geographical regions. They say data gathered from the relatively recent SARS 2003 and the MERS outbreaks support their contention.

  6. Cognitive dissonance possibly . However Time article struck me as more like deliberately constructed propaganda.

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