Bianco: OMICRON will trigger lockdowns

Tweet thread from Jim Bianco to raise the hair on one’s neck:

A few points:

  • Bianco was an early mover when the pandemic first appeared. Take from that what you will.
  • Things are not as bad in Australia as Bianco suggests meaning he may be a little emotional about political responses.
  • Will still don’t know if OMICRON is less virulent in health impacts but critical cases have begun to rise in South Africa.

There is mixed news from Pfizer:

Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE said initial lab studies show a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine may be needed to neutralize the omicron variant, results that will accelerate booster-shot drives around the world and may lead to use of new strain-specific vaccines.

Company researchers observed a 25-fold reduction in neutralizing antibodies that fight the variant, compared with the original strain of the virus, in people who got just two shots. However, boosting with an additional shot of the vaccine restored protection to a level similar to the initial two-dose regimen, the vaccine partners said in a statement.

Well, that’s good, I guess. We were all going to get a booster anyway. Though it is certain to boost the anti-vaxxer movement and social unrest.

Houses and Holes
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  1. The Penske FileMEMBER

    The ‘science’ of election years in Oz and Victoria will need to be factored into any lockdowns for the hyper boomer remover

  2. Jumping jack flash

    Fauci has an agenda and it is, or should be, widely known and understood. He is frantically pushing new vaccine technology, above all others, because he has admitted he believes it to be far superior than existing technology, and he has stated that the barrier to its adoption is the clinical trials which take 10 years at least.

    Fauci is compromised and should not be making decisions about the vaccines. You can be sure that all his solutions will be “more vaccines, newer vaccines, more often” because his aim is to get them out there and vaccinate the whole world with this new vaccine technology before anyone has time to think whether we should be using it or not. And his strategy has been working so well!

  3. Personal Risk ToleranceMEMBER

    How can you take him seriously with laser eyes and biancoresearch.eth in his Twitter handle?

    • Fishing72MEMBER

      Here’s the truth about your hospitalisation panic:

      examination of the 166 patients admitted since the Omicron variant arrived

      snapshot of the clinical profile of 42 patients

      currently in the COVID wards at SB

      The majority of hospital admissions are for diagnoses unrelated to COVID-19.

      The SARS-CoV-2 positivity is an incidental finding in these patients and is largely driven by hospital policy requiring testing of all patients requiring admission to the hospital.

      76% of patients are incidental COVID admissions.

      This very unusual picture is also occurring at other hospitals in Gauteng.

      The high proportion of COVID incidental admissions
      may reflect higher rates of community transmission compared to previous waves (variants)

      that is not translating into higher admission rates for a primary COVID-19 diagnosis.

      Tshwane District Omicron Variant Patient Profile – Early Features

      4th December

      There has been a significant rise in new SARS-CoV-2 infections in the Gauteng Province in the last four weeks

      which has been attributed to Omicron variant announced on 24 November 2021

      The first cases of Omicron were detected in the Tshwane District

      The City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality is the metropolitan municipality that forms the local government of northern Gauteng Province, South Africa

      The Metropolitan area is centred on the city of Pretoria with surrounding towns and localities

      population of 2,708,702 people

      This is where the 4th wave started

      Tshwane has been the global epicentre of the Omicron Outbreak

      cases rising exponentially over several weeks

      41,921 cases by 3 December

      29 November to 3 December 2021

      Cases + 9,929 reported in Tshwane

      Steve Biko/Tshwane District Hospital Complex in Pretoria

      in the heart of the Tshwane District

      statistics presented by the Gauteng Department of Health on 2 December 2021

      for the province as a whole,

      and with admissions across all public and private hospitals in Tshwane

      we have seen a sharp rise in admissions

      Between 14th and 29th November 2021

      166 new admissions

      Patient information presented here only represents the first two weeks of the Omicron wave in Tshwane

      The clinical profile of admitted patients could change significantly over the next two weeks,

      by which time we can draw conclusions about the severity of disease with greater precision.

      The main observation that we have made over the last two weeks is that the majority of patients in the COVID wards have not been oxygen dependent.

      SARS-CoV-2 has been an incidental finding in patients that were admitted to the hospital for another medical, surgical or obstetric reason.

      A snapshot of 42 patients in the ward on 2 December

      29 (70%) are not oxygen dependent

      These patients are saturating well on room air,

      and do not present with any respiratory symptoms.

      ‘incidental COVID admissions’

      having had another medical or surgical reason for admission.

      Thirteen (13) patients are dependent on supplemental oxygen

      of which nine (21%) have a diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia

      All are being prescribed steroids as the mainstay of therapy.

      The remaining 4 patients are on oxygen for other medical reasons

      This is a picture that has not been seen in previous waves.

      Past 3 waves

      only been a sprinkling of patients on room air in the COVID ward

      The numbers of patients in high care on double oxygen, High Flow Nasal Oxygen or non-invasive ventilation (NIV) were noticeably higher in previous waves.

      This is anecdotal but confirmed by numerous clinicians who have previously worked in the COVID wards in the hospital complex.

      Of 38 adults in the COVID wards on 2 December

      6 were vaccinated

      24 were unvaccinated

      8 had unknown vaccination status

      Of 9 patients with COVID pneumonia

      8 are unvaccinated

      1 is a child

      Only a single patient on oxygen was fully vaccinated but the reason for the oxygen was Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

      An analysis of 166 patients admitted 14 -29 November 2021

      80% of admissions were below the age of 50 years

      19% were children aged 0-9 years

      28% of total admissions, 30-39 years

      In-hospital death rate

      10 deaths in the SBAH/TDH cohort in the past two weeks,

      making up 6.6% of the 166 admissions.

      Four deaths were in adults aged 26 – 36

      Five deaths were in adults over 60

      One death was in a child in whom the cause of deaths was unrelated to COVID.

      There were no COVID related deaths among 34 admissions in the paediatric COVID wards over the last two weeks.

      Gauteng Province as a whole

      Level of care

      There were only 2 patients in the COVID ICU in the last 14 days,

      neither of whom had a primary diagnosis of COVID pneumonia.

      Much shorter average length of stay

      2.8 days for SARS-CoV-2 positive patients admitted to the COVID wards over the last two weeks

      compared to an average length of stay of 8.5 days for the past 18 months

        • The fact that covid hospital numbers are not dependent on covid illness tells you everything you need to know about what’s going on. Boris Johnson just put the UK under harsh restrictions specifically due to the South African Omicron hospitalisation numbers which are shown as completely unrepresentative of covid illness. It’s a fcuking sham.

    • The international student/suppress wages/more bodies for houses economic model has really hurt our ability to have a normal life. It comes before protecting our Australian lifestyle, and our community from sickness and death. It also comes before better economic outcomes for Australian’s as this uncertainity is definitely crimping activity.

  4. Geez he’s a bit hysterical.

    But yep. Could see lockdowns where hospital systems get overwhelmed. Jurisdictions that manage to have high rates of vaccination plus effective buy-in and following of proportionate restrictions should avoid full lockdowns.

    Problem is.. Everyone’s fcken over it and thinks it is over. So good luck with the buy in bit. (and good luck finding the political leadership to manage this long-term..)

    • Yeah crowing hysterically about politicians being hysterical doesn’t scream credibility.

      The key factor is the severity of this strain, which this guy completely overlooks. That’s what they’ll be looking at. My hopeful thinking is this is milder than delta but more virulent. The virus is learning to live with us.

      • Transmissibility is usually a factor worse then severity when it comes to total viral devestation to a community. i.e. a 10% severity decrease with a 10% spread (given this is exponential) will still result in more illness/death typically.

        We are all hoping it is mild; but the truth is its still probably worse than the flu on average and a lot more transmissable. If that’s the case our lives are still changed vs pre-COVID for a very long time. This is probably the new normal.

        • Correct.

          Something virulent (= high risk to the individual) but low transmissibility looks bad from the start.

          Something less virulent but more transmissible looks OK. To start with.

          Delta was les virulent than beta or gamma, but more transmissible. That’s why delta was a problem.

          This is significantly more transmissible than delta. It may be less virulent.

  5. Fishing72MEMBER

    Australia will lock down after the Christmas holidays consumer spending opportunity and after the mass immigration has a decent chance to firehose some wage suppression into the nation.

    Put me down for a May lockdown in NSW. . I’d say that after the election and perhaps even an Easter consumer spending opportunity is likely.

    That’s when the language about vaccine passports will harden and our social credit system will be up and running.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      My money is on Lockdown from the 25th if January.
      Good way to stop them unAustralian, Anti Australia Day protests.

  6. I have been concerned about Omicron for the last 10 days. Nothing that has happened since has changed my mind.

    The total cases could reach unprecedented levels.
    We have assumed it would be clinically mild on very sketchy data. In fact, everything seems dependent on this key assumption. Well with the numbers predicted, it better be mild.
    S Africa is a very young population and its summer. How does that extrapolate to winder with European and N American demographics?
    Plus that 18,000 data dump of old S African cases just 2 days before omicron was announced (however that came about) muddied the waters.

    Jim had a good graphic of NY subway utilisation – still has not recovered to 50% of baseline. It doesn’t feel like it will take too much to knock economies around.

    • Fishing72MEMBER

      So basically you have absolutely no evidence to base your growing fear upon except for a residual trauma built on unrealised and irrational past fears

      How’s that working out for you?

      • PalimpsestMEMBER

        Cases doubling in UK every 2-3 days – hmm could be high numbers of infections – I’d suggest plausible.
        Rising hospitalisation rates for COVID – Maybe not so benign – to early to know.
        No hospitalisations in double vaxxed from Norwegian party – it could be vax reduces serious outcomes or variant is slightly milder or both. Insufficient data.
        The hopium served up by the anti-vax brigade is a comforting tale, whereas reality can be harsh, but people with a bit more scepticism honed by experience will wait for more credible data. Will a highly vaxxed population need to lock down. Just pass that bottle of koolaid over and we’ll hope together.

      • Pretty sh!tty reply dude. Steve’s continually been a source of balanced and detailed insight. Whether you agree with him or not…why get personal?

        • Maybe?

          Perhaps it’s the unrelenting fear, even at low levels, such as the first sentences in his post :

          “I have been concerned about Omicron for the last 10 days. Nothing that has happened since has changed my mind.
          The total cases could reach unprecedented levels.”

          Why the concern? The evidence out of South Africa has shown omicron to be literally no more dangerous than the flu. Maybe this will change but at this moment in time and for the last two weeks the news has been reassuring and positive. I’m at a loss to understand why anyone would be concerned about a virus which has shown no tendency towards severity beyond the residual trauma people have been fostering and fomenting for the past two years. There is none, zero, nil reason to worry about omicron at this point in time. The single only reason for fear is if you are already predisposed to fear through conditioning by a shamefully inciting media and Government.

          Apologies to Steve if he took offence to my comment but I’ve had an utter gut full of the public displays of cowardice and irrational fear running rampant throughout Australia. Less people have died in Australia from Covid in 2021 than died from the flu in 2017. Both were heavily vaccinated against ( 10M doses for the flu vaccine) yet people still act as though the FEAR campaign of early 2020 is factual when it’s been proven to be unmitigated tripe.

          • Not offended.

            And will be happy to be wrong.

            But we are in a multi-year (maybe many years) fight with Covid. Like any other war, there are ebbs and flows. I think Europe and N America are in trouble. So apparently does Bianco.

            Time will tell.

        • The comments come off a bit twattish, no?

          I think Steve is somehow involved at the coalface in the hospital system.

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        Mate, your level of denial suggests you have the fear.

        We’ll only know how serious 🧐 it is for Australia once it’s ripped through an aged Western population like the UK’s.

        Skepticism moves in two directions.

      • Your own hysterical attack on someone who’s just presenting some numbers and ideas leads me to wonder: you scared bloke?

      • I also hear that those numbers may be underrepresented and could be as high as 40%. Though 20% is still crazy enough all by its own.

      • Appears to be statistical anomalies with the ONS dataset. All cause mortality seems neutral which real world experience strongly challenges. Compare 2020 to 2021.

        Digging into it seems the chance of infection and death within weeks of vaccination is more likely than otherwise. Someone with more time and smarts will hopefully crack it but it seems to be more noise about categorisation and terminology than meaningful data.

    • When Novavax? is there any indication it will be approved soon? I can find nothing about it anywhere.

      • Re where is novavax?

        Serum Institute in India is producing the vaccine for Indonesia and Philippines. They have also applied to Indian government for approval but nothing yet.

        FDA in America has problems -the vaccine purity vary too much by batch, and tests for it have problems. Politico had a story about it in October, there source was despairing for it to be fixed quickly. US govt stopped funding it in August.

        Australia will probably need an EUA from the FDA or UK government or Europe before TGA will give approval.

        We will likely get supplies from Fujifilm same as UK and USA or I think the Czech factory the Company has in Europe. Outside chance of Takeda in South Korea or Japan too, very unlikely to get supplies from Serum Institute directly.

        Short story, not coming anytime soon, would guess March as earliest chance, more likely much later

  7. Apparently its now just a “mild to moderate” flu in Sth Africa.
    This highlights the reason why we should allow a group of unvaccinated people to remain. As a control group. How else are you going to know if its safe to come out from under the doona? With mandatory vaccinations, its going to be vaccinations and vaccine passes for the rest of our lives because no one will know if/when the virus mutates to cause no harm. And those with a vested interest in keeping control and making billions of dollars will continue the propaganda that “you are only protected if you are vaccinated, stop getting vaccinated and you will die”.