COVID-19 — “The Spiral of Silence” Theory [UPDATE V: Brussels Health Minister is a Doo-Doo Head]

“When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent. Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, ‘I can nudge this up a bit,’ so I went to 80, 85.’”

Dr. Anthony Fauci

January 22 2021 — I have long expected that various governments around the world would use the “Spiral of Silence” theory to convince people to get vaccinated. Dr. Fauci admitted that much in a recent interview. Belgium however has found its own version of this scam to betray the population and other EU member states. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST: COVID-19 — Why has Belgium the highest death rate in the world? [UPDATE III : Richard Horton (The Lancet) : “The Belgian political system has failed.”]

RELATED POST: COVID-19 — From Mathematical Modelling to Policy Making

RELATED POST: COVID-19 — Brussels Top Politicians Caught Helping Chinese Disinformation

RELATED POST: Coronavirus — “Potential Emergence of a Global Pandemic” [NIC — Global Trends 2025 (November 2008)]

RELATED POST: COVID-19 — Mike Pompeo : “Enormous Evidence Virus Originates from Wuhan Lab” [UPDATE]

“But the once-popular idea that enough people will eventually gain immunity to SARS-CoV-2 to block most transmission — a ‘herd-immunity threshold’ — is starting to look unlikely.”

Five reasons why COVID herd immunity is probably impossible — NATURE (March 18 2021)

UPDATE V (May 19 2021) — Allow me to begin this important update with a quiz. This morning, Alain Maron — the health minister of the Brussels government — made the following statement during a radio interview:

“So far, 506,000 doses have been administered in Brussels. That is almost one inhabitant out of two. It is therefore certainly not less than the vaccination rate in other regions.”

Question — How many lies can you identify in this very short statement? Answer at the bottom of this post.

***** ***** *****

Six months ago, many experts claimed that once people started being immunized en masse, herd immunity would permit society to return to normal.

As I reminded you in my last update, I denounced the ‘herd immunity’ strategy as an unrealistic objective two months before the vaccination campaign began in Brussels.

Among other things, I pointed out that the methodology was clearly both idiotic and fraudulent, as it targeted 70% of the adult population.

When and whether there will be a vaccine approved for children remains to be seen. But obviously, if the population under-18s does not receive the vaccine, then 100% of over-18s would have to be vaccinated to reach 70% immunity in the population. And, as I pointed out, 70% was a very optimistic assumption which is certainly not realistic today.

And you know that this is not going to happen. I estimated at the time that no more than half the adult population would be willing to be vaccinated.

Today, most experts believe that reaching a herd-immunity threshold is unlikely because of factors such as vaccine hesitancy, the emergence of new variants and the delayed arrival of vaccinations for children.

Stefan Flasche is a vaccine epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Like other top experts, he has come to the conclusion that herd immunity is not a realistic objective.

“Reaching herd immunity through vaccines alone is going to be rather unlikely. It’s time for more realistic expectations. The vaccine is ‘an absolutely astonishing development’, but it’s unlikely to completely halt the spread, so we need to think of how we can live with the virus,” Flasche says.

Even some Belgian experts now accept this reality. Asked a few days ago if collective immunity was a realistic goal, professor Michel Goldman answered very clearly.

“The time has come to recognize, as American scientists do, that this collective immunity is not for tomorrow. (…) We must stop promising that it will be possible to overcome the virus in the near future if we reach some magic threshold.”

Troubles on the horizon — There are plenty of serious unknowns, but there seem particularly concerning: ignorant behavior, immunity to new variant and clustering.

Most people appear totally ignorant of the benefits of a vaccine. Most believe that once vaccinated, they can do whatever they want which is obviously untrue. Imagine that a vaccine offers 90% protection. If before the vaccine you met just one person, and after the vaccine you are meeting ten people, you’re not better off than before.

Geographic clustering is going to plague the future. Shweta Bansal, a mathematical biologist at Georgetown University in Washington DC, makes it very clear.

“Geographic clustering is going to make the path to herd immunity a lot less of a straight line, and essentially means we’ll be playing a game of whack-a-mole with COVID outbreaks.”

Two big unknowns : Immunity over time and new variants — Infection-associated immunity wanes over time, so that needs to be factored in to calculations. But, at this stage, no one knows how to compute this effect because we are still lacking conclusive data on waning immunity. We just know that the effect is not zero and it is not 100% either.

And of course, the current vaccines offer no guarantee of immunity against future variants. The tragedy that happened in the city of Manaus, Brazil, clearly indicates that previous infections did not confer broad protection to the virus.

And it is no secret that higher rates of immunity create selective pressure, which favor variants that are able to infect people who have been immunized.

Back to Brussels — In January 2021, Brussels Health Minister, Alain stated that “100% of the people living in Brussels would be vaccinated by June 1st 2021.” So, where do we stand?

Since May 12, the Belgian media take into account the criticism I expressed when the vaccination campaign began in January. [See section of this post under: Belgian Government Fudging Vaccination Data]

They now provided the real percentage of the population vaccinated, but ONLY at the country level. For the three regions — Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia — the percentages still refer to the population over 18 and thus these data are still misleading.

Statistics in Brussels — On May 11 2021, 298.600 person had received at least the first shot and 90.900 of them had received the second shot.

[Today (May 19 2021), the numbers are about 330,000 and 115,000 but these data are less reliable.]

1217 thousand people were living in the Brussels-Capital Region. So, in truth, 9.5% of the population has been fully vaccinated (2 shots) and 215,000 — 18 % — have received their first shot.

The Guessing Game — It seems reasonable to expect that those who took the first shot will be fully vaccinated. Thus, in some future, 30% of the population living in the Brussels-Capital Region will certainly be vaccinated.

What can we guess about the other 70%? Let us split this group into two categories: the adult population and those under 18.

The population under 18 was ignored from the very start. Obviously, it will be a challenge to explain to their parents why it is now necessary to vaccinate them. Getting just half of them vaccinated would be amazing…

And for the 40% of the adult population who has yet to take a first shot, I expect that more than half of this group does not want to be vaccinated. (Recent polls indicate that this group may be as large as two third.)

Answer to the quiz — How many lies did you detect?

Lie # 1 — “So far, 506,000 doses have been administered in Brussels.”


The ‘Good Minister’ has obviously counted 3 shots for those already fully vaccinated instead of two. In other words, he ‘erroneously’ added 300 thousand and twice 100 thousand. The correct answer is simply 300 + 100 = 400 (thousand) !

Lie # 2 — “That is almost one inhabitant out of two.”

This is even more ridiculous as some people have received TWO shots! The correct answer is simply (300 – 100) + 100 = 300 (thousand) ! And that is about one QUARTER of the population, not one half.

Lie # 3 — It is therefore certainly not less than the vaccination rate in other regions.”

This is just one more lie to close the interview. The data clearly indicate that the vaccination rate in Brussels is well below the ones in the two other regions.

For this outstanding performance, Alain Maron fully deserved our award!

PS — Whenever I watch a scientific debate on Belgian television, it always seems that Brussels has all the top experts on every subject from 5G to Coronavirus. And yet, according to the 2020 University Ranking, the two main universities located in the Brussels-Capital region [VUB and ULB] rank 195 and 251. How can that be?

END of UPDATE

“There is widespread consensus among scientists and public health experts that the herd immunity threshold is not attainable.”

New York Times (May 3 2021)

UPDATE IV (May 6 2021) — [New York Times vindicates Intel Today key predictions] If you live long enough, you will see everything… I never expected that The New York Times would just once agree with my predictions.

Of course, it took them six months, but still…

After reviewing the basics of virus propagation [COVID-19 — From Mathematical Modelling to Policy Making] I made some simple predictions.

In October 2020, I wrote:

“Of course, the Belgium Government is praying and hoping that a vaccine will be available in the Spring 2021. Well, I have news for these experts. A vaccine will have ZERO effect on the society as a whole. Just consider the fraction of the population that will get a shot and multiply this by the expected efficiency of the vaccine. It is fairly obvious that the virus will keep circulating almost freely.”

On January 12 2021, I repeated this statement:

“But let us be very clear. There will be no global herd immunity in 2021.”

In the same post, I also commented:

“Experts use an estimated herd immunity threshold of 70% for their COVID-19 models. This estimate is based on a guess of the real value of R (no lock-down measures whatsoever) and a 100% efficient vaccine which has been designed for the early strain of the virus. Thus, this estimate could be unrealistically optimistic.”

And lo and behold, The New York Times just published a long piece: Reaching ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Unlikely in the U.S., Experts Now Believe. The title says it all!

“Early in the pandemic, when vaccines for the coronavirus were still just a glimmer on the horizon, the term “herd immunity” came to signify the endgame: the point when enough Americans would be protected from the virus so we could be rid of the pathogen and reclaim our lives.

Now, more than half of adults in the United States have been inoculated with at least one dose of a vaccine. But daily vaccination rates are slipping, and there is widespread consensus among scientists and public health experts that the herd immunity threshold is not attainable — at least not in the foreseeable future, and perhaps not ever.”

Why did I get it right. It was fairly obvious that the basic assumptions (herd immunity threshold of 70% and 100% efficient vaccine) were simply not realistic.

“Early on, the target herd immunity threshold was estimated to be about 60 to 70 percent of the population. Most experts, including Dr. Fauci, expected that the United States would be able to reach it once vaccines were available.

But as vaccines were developed and distribution ramped up through the winter and into the spring, estimates of the threshold began to rise. That is because the initial calculations were based on the contagiousness of the original version of the virus. The predominant variant now circulating in the United States, called B.1.1.7 and first identified in Britain, is about 60 percent more transmissible.

As a result, experts now calculate the herd immunity threshold to be at least 80 percent. If even more contagious variants develop, or if scientists find that immunized people can still transmit the virus, the calculation will have to be revised upward again.”

As a wise guy once famously said: “It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.” This is both funny and obviously true. But I you stick to science and facts, you may manage to do rather well.

PS — Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the Biden administration’s top adviser on Covid-19, acknowledged the shift in experts’ thinking. “People were getting confused and thinking you’re never going to get the infections down until you reach this mystical level of herd immunity, whatever that number is,” he said. “That’s why we stopped using herd immunity in the classic sense,” he added. “I’m saying: Forget that for a second. You vaccinate enough people, the infections are going to go down.” Fauci has missed his true vocation. The Good Doctor would have been a great clown!

END of UPDATE

Clusterfuck [klə-stər-ˌfək]— a complex and utterly disordered and mismanaged situation

Merriam-Webster dictionary

UPDATE III (February 23 2021) [Brussels Vaccination Plan is a CLUSTERFUCK!] — Things have gone gone from pretty bad to seriously ugly.

The situation is not yet a FUBAR [“Fucked Up Beyond All Repair], but it is certainly no longer a simple SNAFU [“Situation Normal, All Fucked Up”].

I think we can call it a serious clusterfuck.

In October 2020, I wrote:

“Of course, the Belgium Government is praying and hoping that a vaccine will be available in the Spring 2021. Well, I have news for these experts. A vaccine will have ZERO effect on the society as a whole. Just consider the fraction of the population that will get a shot and multiply this by the expected efficiency of the vaccine. It is fairly obvious that the virus will keep circulating almost freely.”

According to the Bloomberg vaccine tracker, Belgium ranks 32 in the global vaccination campaign.

“In Belgium, the latest vaccination rate is 16,586 doses per day, on average. At this rate, it will take an estimated 2.7 years to cover 75% of the population with a two-dose vaccine.”

As always, the Devil is in the detail. If you think this prediction is bad news, you have seen nothing yet…

In January 2021, Brussels Health Minister, Alain “the Moron” Maron — aka Calimaron (“That is too unfair!”) — claimed that 100% of the people living in Brussels would be vaccinated by June 1st 2021.

As about 1.25 million people live in the Brussels-Capital Region, such a goal requires 2.5 million vaccine shots because it takes two shots in order for these vaccines to work.

So far, two months after the start of the vaccination campaign, about 39,000 shots have been administered to people residing in the Brussels-Capital Region.

[As of February 20 2021, 10,459 persons (0.85% of the population) have received a single dose and 14,295 (1.17% of the population) have received both shots.]

From February 1st to February 20, the daily number of shots administered is 990. At this current pace, it will take about 1230 days to vaccinate 100% of the population.

So, we are talking about June 2024, not June 2021! And of course, long before that date, the current vaccines will most likely be totally useless against various new variants that will emerge in the coming years.

If the Brussels-Capital Region was ranked as a country, it would be on par with Costa Rica, Bulgaria and Bangladesh. Sure, Myanmar, Colombia and Pakistan are doing even worse.

Clusterfucks hold a special place in public life, one that was usually distinct from the complications, crises, and catastrophes that mar our personal and professional existences.

The F-Word, former Oxford English Dictionary editor Jesse Sheidlower’s comprehensive history of the term, defines a clusterfuck as “a bungled or confused undertaking or situation.”

Stanford business professor Bob Sutton is even more precise when he describes clusterfucks as “those debacles and disasters caused by a deadly brew of illusion, impatience, and incompetence that afflicts too many decision-makers.”

END of UPDATE

“Even situations of great uncertainty require complete transparency and decisions that are logical and doable.”

Former MOSSAD Director Tamir Pardo (Interview about the COVID pandemic – Aug. 2020)

January 22 2021 — Elisabeth Noelle-Neuman was a professor of communication sciences and a public opinion researcher.

Her field of expertise was the control of the masses through systematic influencing by a small minority of journalists.

In the 1970’s, Noelle-Neuman formulated the “Spiral of Silence” theory which is widely used nowadays.

The trick is very simple. First the media publish the result of a poll which is completely incorrect. A minority opinion is being reported as the majority opinion by various mass media.

But, most people are very afraid to socially isolate themselves. So, they keep quiet about their objections and they may even change their mind about the issue to join the fake majority, which in the process becomes the new real majority. It is simple and it works!

Of course, the intention is not necessarily evil. Nevertheless these media lie and help manipulating your thoughts.

Here is a current possible application. Experts use an estimated herd immunity threshold of 70% for their COVID-19 models.

[This estimate is based on a guess of the real value of R (no lock-down measures whatsoever) and a 100% efficient vaccine which has been designed for the early strain of the virus. Thus, this estimate could be unrealistically optimistic.]

Let us assume that the vaccination intent in a country is around 50%, The media could start reporting false poll results showing a 90% intent in order to silence the opponents and to convince undecided people that their fears are unfounded.

As people want to avoid social isolation, they may be prompted to follow the herd…

Belgian Government Fudging Vaccination Data

Today (January 22 2021), the percentage of the Belgian population already ‘vaccinated’ — first does only — in the three regions is:

Brussels: 1.31%

Flanders: 1.76%

Wallonia: 1.94%

What is the problem? Not only these percentages are ridiculously small, but these numbers have been inflated.

These percentages refer to the part of the population which is older than 18. And the virus could not care less about these fraudulent numbers.

The only number that matters to achieve herd immunity if the percentage of the TOTAL population vaccinated.

How bad is this lie? Let me focus on Brussels.

In 2020, about 1217 thousand people were living in the Brussels-Capital Region.

The population in this Region is quite young as 23 percent are aged 17 or younger. [1]

In the Brussels-Capital Region, 12,291 people have received the first shot of the vaccine so far. This corresponds to 1.01% of the population.

In other words, the Belgian government and its administrations have simply manipulated the data to inflate the rate of vaccination by 30%.

I sincerely hope that the European Commission will promptly request that Belgium provide accurate data on this matter.

I wish that all those involved in this fraud could be immediately dismissed from their job.

Let me remind you that Belgium has the highest death rate in the world, and in the Region of Brussels-Capital, the relative death rate is much (almost twice) higher than the average for Belgium.

There is something rotten in the Kingdom…

PS — Over the last 10 years, the government of Brussels has used dozen of tricks to lie to the population about the effect of the Telecom Industry. Today, Alain Maron is in charge of both the COVID and the 5G dossiers. Good luck!

Most of the 14,000 deaths linked to the coronavirus in Belgium could have been avoided. Your political system has failed. This typical Belgian system has done nothing good. People have died because of the political organization, you have to think about it.”

Richard Horton — Editor-in-chief of the scientific medical journal The Lancet (Nov. 17 2020)

UPDATE I (January 28 2021) — [Intel Today scores a major point against Belgian Covid experts] — Less than 24 hours after I exposed the scandal of the false Covid vaccination statistics, SCIENSANO — the Belgian administration in charge of reporting these data — has now corrected these fraudulent numbers. More or less…

As you can see, SCIENSANO is now reporting both the useless “18+coverage” as well as the meaningful total coverage.

I guess this is just a reminder that a lonely blogger can make a difference in this world.

OK. This is a small step, but that is not good enough. I want the real coverage for each regions to be published. Why?

Because, as I have explained in this post, the “18+coverage” data for the Brussels region is highly misleading for at least two obvious reasons.

First, the population in Brussels is very young. Most of them belong to the Muslim community and they are strongly opposed to Covid vaccination.

Second, according to a classified report, the strongest vector of the Covid virus in Brussels are the kids aged 5 to 12 years old.

Sadly, although SCIENSANO is now reporting the total coverage, Belgian media continue to publish the useless 18+coverage.

Shame on them!

“Those Who Are Good at Making Excuses Are Seldom Good at Anything Else.”

Benjamin Franklin

UPDATE II (January 27 2021) — [Brussels Vaccination Plan is a Total Flop!] — When I learned that the new health minister for Brussels was Alain Maron (French speaking Green Party — ECOLO), I warned you that a disaster was coming.

Please, keep in mind that I warned you BEFORE the pandemic had started.

RELATED POST: 5G Belgium — The Unfathomable Hypocrisy of the Belgian Green Party

How did I know? Because this idiot belongs to the gang that turned ‘Bruxelles Environnement’ [the ‘Brussels-Capital Environment Protection Agency’] into a criminal organization. 

Let me remind you that Belgium has the highest death rate in the world, and in the Region of Brussels-Capital, the relative death rate is much (almost twice) higher than the average for Belgium.

Just a few days ago, Alain “the Moron” Maron claimed that 100% of the people living in Brussels would be vaccinated by June 1st 2021.

Guess what? Here are the data.

Sometimes, a simple pic is really worth a thousand words…

What does Maron have to say? Once again, this moron argues that it is just the ‘methodology’ that is responsible for a big misunderstanding.

I am not convinced that those who have lost a loved one appreciate this sick joke…

PS — It seems that many people have now heard my early warning regarding the absolute incompetence of this sinister minister.

“Les lacunes du ministre Maron n’ont donc pas de limites?” Céline Fremault (cdH).

“Inacceptable. On aurait pu comprendre ceci au mois de mars mais pas après 10 mois de pandémie.” Alexia Bertrand (MR)

END of UPDATE

REFERENCES

Fauci says herd immunity could require nearly 90% to get coronavirus vaccine — Reuters

Population of Belgium in 2020, by age and region — STATISTA

[1] 277 thousand people living in the Brussels-Capital Region were aged 17 or younger, roughly 781 thousand were aged between 18 and 64, and approximately 159 thousand people were older than 65.

=

COVID-19 — The Spiral of Silence Theory [Belgian Government Fudging Vaccination Data]

COVID-19 — “The Spiral of Silence” Theory [UPDATE : Intel Today scores a major point against Belgian Covid experts]

COVID-19 — “The Spiral of Silence” Theory [UPDATE IV: New York Times vindicates Intel Today key predictions]

COVID-19 — “The Spiral of Silence” Theory [UPDATE V: Brussels Health Minister is a Doo-Doo Head]

This entry was posted in Belgium, COVID-19 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s