One Year Ago — COVID-19 : Why has Belgium the highest death rate in the world? [UPDATE III : Brussels Health Minister is a dangerous Pinocchio.]

“Brussels Health Minister Alain Maron is a dangerous Pinocchio. His lies have turned the vaccination campaign into a complete fiasco that will haunt the Belgian Capital for years to come. One could argue that this public health clusterfuck has become a National Security Threat.”

Intel Today (July 2 2021)

June 2 2020 — Based on a comparison of corona-virus deaths in 178 countries relative to their population, Belgium had the most losses to COVID-19 up until May 29, 2020. These statistics are horrifying. And yet, the truth is even worse. In the Region of Brussels-Capital, the relative death rate is actually twice higher than the average for Belgium. What can possibly explain such an incredibly high death rate? Short answer: incompetence and corruption.  Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

Abraham Lincoln

UPDATE III (September 17 2021) — After months of denial, panic finally sets in… The situation in Brussels is catastrophic, and the government is forced to take drastic measures.

For the last six months, I have argued that the vaccination campaign in Brussels was a clusterfuck and I have documented the repeated lies of Alain Maron, the Health Minister.

Sadly, no one wanted to hear the warnings. Everybody wanted to believe his idiotic lies.

The summer is not even over yet and the hospitals are already near saturation. The high level of the virus in waste waters indicates that a fourth wave is imminent.

Suddenly, criticism is coming from everywhere. Politicians from all parties — except the green Party of the minister — wonder how Alain Maron could be so incompetent and so irresponsible?

A former prime minister asks how it is possible that no one saw that tragedy coming? Well, if only she had read my blog…

The vaccination rate in Brussels is about 50%, that is almost 30 % less that the rate in the Flanders region which surrounds Brussels.

Until this week, despite clear evidence to the contrary, Maron kept on insisting that the vaccination campaign was going very well.

The cause is now well understood. As I suggested long ago, the problem is that the vaccination rate of the Muslim community is very low.

Most mayors in the Brussels region believe that the the lies of Alain Maron led to this catastrophic situation.

To make things worse, it was just revealed that the Health Minister went on vacation for most of the summer and that his office was run by two inexperienced youngsters…

In the hope of avoiding another lockdown, the government has decided yesterday to impose a COVID PASS for most activities.

The law will enter into force as soon as its legality (constitutionality) has been checked by the Council of the State. [There are some issues about “control and sanctions.”]

Business owners are of course furious. Major events are likely to be cancelled. Of course, they nevertheless welcome the COVID PASS if it can help to avoid another lockdown.

The first lockdown was accepted as necessary. But today, most people blame the Minister for the catastrophic situation in the capital of Europe.

Quo vadis? The initial COVID-19 strain had an R0 between two and three. The alpha variant emerged, likely in the U.K., and was more transmissible than the original strain.

RELATED POST: COVID-19 — From Mathematical Modelling to Policy Making [UPDATE — CDC Report : “COVID delta variant is as transmissible as Chicken Pox.”] [MEDINT]

A few months later, the delta variant emerged, most likely in India. For the delta variant, the R0 is now calculated at between six and seven. With an R0 of six, delta will be extremely difficult to slow down unless populations reach high levels of vaccination.

In Brussels, the fourth wave is unavoidable as all non vaccinated people are likely to be hit by the delta variant in the next few weeks.

The coming months are going to be painful… In July, I argued that this public health clusterfuck has become a National Security Threat. The credibility and thus the survival of Brussels are at stake.

This morning, the president of the Brussels government made an extraordinary statement.

Rudi Vervoort acknowledged the failure of the vaccination campaign and recommended debating the need for a mandatory COVID vaccination. “The time has come to force the horse to drink, ” he stated. [Matin Première (Sept. 17 2021)]

The situation is bleak, but at least political cartoonists have the time of their life!

END of UPDATE

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

Benjamin Franklin

UPDATE II (July 2 2021) — Brussels Health Minister Alain Maron is a dangerous Pinocchio.

His lies have turned the vaccination campaign into a complete fiasco that will haunt the Belgian Capital for years to come.

One could argue that this public health clusterfuck has become a National Security Threat.

In January 2021, Brussels Health Minister Alain Maron stated that “100% of the people living in Brussels will be vaccinated by June 1st 2021.”

Here are the official statistics for Brussels (total population 1,218,255) on June 30 2021.

Not vaccinated : 692 416 — 56,84 %

Partially vaccinated : 525 839 — 43,16 %

Fully vaccinated : 334 079 — 27,42 %

Obviously, Alain Maron is a Pinocchio. Despite the evidence to the contrary, Maron kept on insisting that the vaccination campaign was going very well.

As recently as May 19 2021, Alain Maron 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.”

A quick look at the following graphic (People having received at least one dose on July 1 2021) shows that Brussels is lagging very significantly behind Flanders and Wallonia.

When it was no longer possible to deny the fact that the vaccination rate in Brussels is well below the other regions, the minister began suggesting another explanation.

“The registration of vaccinations is based on the place of residence of the vaccinated person. That is why the data below give a distorted picture. We know that many doctors, nurses, care workers and police officers who live in Flanders and Wallonia have received their vaccine at their workplace in Brussels.”

This information is not false but it is totally irrelevant. This group makes up only a very small percentage of the general population. Moreover, these people were fully vaccinated early on while the spread between the vaccination rate in Brussels and the other regions is increasing with time.

According to official statistics, 130,00 doses were administered to non-residents. Most of them were fully vaccinated (2 doses) in the early phase of the campaign. This represents about 5% of the population. Considering that the gap between Brussels and the Flanders is about 25%, it is clear that this explanation is at best a distraction…

What is really going on? In My last update, I speculated that the anomalous vaccination rate in Brussels could be explain by the very low vaccination rate among the Muslim communities.

Less than 20% of the population over 18 was at least partially vaccinated in the following municipalities on May 15 2021: Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Schaerbeek, Saint-Gilles and Bruxelles-ville.

Although this hypothesis has not been confirmed, Belgian Media are now reporting that the government is asking Islamic religious leaders in Brussels to encourage the participation in the vaccination campaign…

A truly abject minister

Knowing that each region — Wallonia, Flanders and Brussels — received an amount of doses strictly proportional to their population, on can easily estimate the number of doses that Brussels has wasted so far.

According to official statistics, Belgium has received (up to July 1 2021) 12,160,655 doses. So far, 10,905,591 have been administered and 1,245,128 are in stock.

The population of Brussels (1,218,255) amounts to about 11% of the country population (11,492,641).

Thus, we can conclude that Brussels has received so far 1,300,000 doses of vaccine.

The official statistics (see above) indicate that 334, 079 have received two doses while 191,700 (525 839 – 334, 079 ) have received one dose.

Therefore, we can estimate that only 860,000 doses (2 * 334, 079 + 191,700 ) have been administered to residents of the Brussels region.

If we add to this number the 130,00 doses administered to non-residents, we obtain a total of 990,000 doses administered on July 1 2021.

The conclusion is inescapable. As much as 310,000 doses of vaccine received in Brussels ( 1,300,000 – 860,000 ) have not been used on July 1 2021.

These doses have been or are about to be trashed. [The vaccines made by Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — can last for up to about six months from the time of manufacture, depending on how they are stored.]

Meanwhile, people in the other regions are desperately waiting for vaccine doses to become available to them.

This is no longer incompetence and dishonesty. This is a crime. Wake up Folks!

How many people have lost their life so far because of the continuous lies of this minister?

How many more will die in the coming Fall-Winter seasons when the delta variant becomes dominant?

Belgitude: the art of Belgian zen (The Economist)

PS — The Economist has just published a very thoughtful piece about Belgium, described as Europe’s strangest country.

Stuff happens in Belgium. From the outside, it is a grey country famous for fries, Magritte, chocolate and as the home of the EU — a project whose entire ethos is making European history one of dull process rather than bloody war. From the inside, it is chaos, to the point that a tooled-up anti-lockdown terrorist nicknamed ‘Belgian Rambo’ roaming the woods seems par for the course.

The author concludes that: “In Belgium responsibility is shared between so many layers that ultimately no one is in charge.”

END of UPDATE II

“100% of the people living in Brussels will be vaccinated by June 1st 2021.”

Brussels Health Minister Alain Maron (January 2021)

UPDATE I (June 2 2021) — The time has come to do a bit of fact-checking… According to Brussels Health Minister Alain Maron, the vaccination campaign is going very well.

On May 19 2021, Alain Maron 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.”

Here are the official statistics for Brussels (total population 1,218,255) on May 31 2021.

Not vaccinated : 853,283 — 70.04%

Partially vaccinated : 171,051– 14.04%

Fully vaccinated : 193,921 — 15.92%

Obviously, Alain Maron is a Pinocchio.

A quick look at the following graphic (People having received at least one dose) shows that Brussels is lagging very significantly behind Flanders and Wallonia.

If you have read my recent post on how governments lie, you can expect the next step…

RELATED POST: Letter to a young investigator — Be suspicious of everything! [On the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic]

Allow me to repeat what I wrote in that post:

Their lies do not differ from the others merely by their intensity or professionalism. They differ by their methodology which is usually built upon a triple line of defense.

First, they lie and lie and they keep on lying. And they never ever admit that they are lying. This strategy is usually plenty good enough to handle ordinary clusterfucks.

If it ever becomes absolutely obvious that they have been lying all along, they will provide new lies which are intended to confuse the first lies.

In the vast majority of cases, the truth dies at this stage as the story does not go any further.

And, of course, more often than not, a journalist dies with the story, usually shooting himself twice in the back of the head…

But once in a while, the people refuse to let go and they demand the Truth.

In these extremely rare cases, the liars will then argue that the whole thing was unavoidable. It was necessary. It was an Act of God. Whatever…. It just was not their responsibility…

Obviously, phase I is over. Now that it is no longer possible to deny the fact that the vaccination rate in Brussels is well below the other regions, the minister is suggesting another explanation.

“The registration of vaccinations is based on the place of residence of the vaccinated person. That is why the data below give a distorted picture. We know that many doctors, nurses, care workers and police officers who live in Flanders and Wallonia have received their vaccine at their workplace in Brussels.”

This information is not false but it is totally irrelevant. This group makes up only a very small percentage of the general population.

Moreover, these people were vaccinated early on. If this was the explanation, the graphic would indicate an offset at the origin, a bit like if the campaign had started at a later time in Brussels.

But the graphic indicates otherwise. The spread between the vaccination rate in Brussels and the other regions is increasing with time…

So, once again, Alain Maron — the health minister of the Brussels government — is clearly lying. Shame on him!

Only when you understand both the truth and the lies, then you truly understand a story. So the question is why the lies? And what is being hidden behind these lies?

Allow me to speculate. The average vaccination rate over an entire region is an interesting number, but it does not tell the whole story if you do not know the variance.

As I hope I have made very clear in this update, the average vaccination rate in Brussels (30% on May 31 2021) is well below the average vaccination rate in Flanders (40% on May 31 2021) and Wallonia ( 40% on May 31 2021 ).

But you should know that there are very large variations of the vaccination rate among the municipalities in Brussels.

Less than 20% of the population over 18 was at least partially vaccinated in the following municipalities on May 15 2021: Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Schaerbeek, Saint-Gilles and Bruxelles-ville.

And now we are nearing the truth as it does not require a PhD in sociology to figure out what is going on.

After the Paris and Brussels attacks, Molenbeek has been dubbed the European capital of jihadism…

Just like these municipalities have been a fertile ground for breeding terrorists, these same municipalities are now going to breed new variants of the virus for decades to come.

And this means trouble for there is little doubt that international actors will leave town if Brussels is not a safe environment.

Last week, the European Commission discretely announced that it will abandon more than 200,000 square meters of office space. Just a coincidence?

Would it really be a surprise if NATO Headquarters — the political and administrative centre of the Alliance — was relocated outside Belgium, say in Poland?

Two months before the vaccination campaign began in Brussels, I dismissed the ‘herd immunity’ strategy as an unrealistic objective.

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

Although, I was seriously criticized at the time, I was certainly not wrong. Today, most experts believe that reaching a herd-immunity threshold is indeed unlikely.

As I pointed out from the very beginning, factors such as vaccine hesitancy, the emergence of new variants and the delayed arrival of vaccinations for children are universal hurdles.

But, in the specific case of Brussels, there is one additional dimension to this conundrum: pluriculturalism.

I have long believed that the concept of a pluricultural society is an idiocy, indeed an oxymoron.

A society can not fight a good fight when its members do not value the same values.

Considering that Alain Maron is both minister of health and minister of environment, one would think that he would be full-time busy with the pandemic and the issues raised by the upcoming 5G network. One would be wrong.

Maron seems to allocate much of his time to argue that Muslim women should be allowed to wear the veil in the Belgian administrations.

The ‘good minister’ has not yet articulated which veils should be authorized: hijab, niqab, chador, shayla, al-amira, khimar, burka, or all of those?

Allow me to remind you that the Green Party of Alain Maron organized big demonstrations in the streets of Brussels to demand the liberation of Oussama Atar, the man who would later mastermind the Paris and Brussels terrorism attacks.

Belgian politician and doctor Georges Dallemagne is the only elected Belgian official who had the courage to ask hard questions about the role of the Belgian deep State in the Oussama Atar scandal.

RELATED POST: 5 Years Ago — Remembering the Brussels Attacks (March 22, 2016)

Years later, Georges Dallemagne is once again the only Belgian politician who has both the brain to understand this new crisis and the courage to explain it clearly.

Here are the exact words of Georges Dallemagne [Note 1].

“If the veil was only the claim of an affirmation or a religion, it would not pose a problem. However, the veil is also a political, radical claim. These people do not want our model of society. They do not share our values, and they sure do not want to fight for these values.” (May 29 2021)

Well said. Very well said…

More often than not, the truth is told with hate while lies are told with love. Georges Dallemagne has managed to tell truth without hate. Respect…

PS — It may surprise many people to learn that the Belgian criminal code — inspired by the French code — is built upon a well defined and ordered set of moral values. I will come back to this issue as soon as possible. But the bottom line is this: A functional society can only exist if the citizens share the same values.

END of UPDATE I

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)

Worldwide Ranking

First, just the facts. Here are the data collated by the Johns Hopkins University.

This is quite bad. But, in fact, the situation is actually even worse than what it seems.

The Brussels-Capital region is home to about 1.2 million inhabitants [1] and accounts for about 1500 of the total number of deaths caused by the COVID-19.

This implies that the death rate in Brussels is actually 1250, that is 50% higher than the national average which is already the highest in the world and more than 10 times the average of neighboring Germany.

“It is rare for Donald Trump to credit other countries with world records, but at a press briefing last month the US president unveiled a list that put Belgium at the top. Unfortunately for Belgium, it was a ranking of deaths from the coronavirus. According to numbers collated by the Johns Hopkins University, Belgium leads the world in deaths per head of population. (…) So why is Belgium’s relative death toll so high?”

The Independent (May 1st 2020)

Lies, lies and more lies

The first time I watched a press conference about the pandemic, I was horrified to hear one of the Belgian experts declare that Belgium had already passed the inflection point but not yet reached the peak!

I knew right then that we were in deep troubles. I have no doubts whatsoever that this ‘expert’ does not know what an inflection point is.

I am certain that he would be unable to calculate (either analytically or numerically) the derivative of a function.

When a few days later, a journalist asked why Belgium has a far higher death rate than Germany, this ‘expert’ explained that Belgium has an older population than Germany. That is FALSE. [2]

The German population is much older, and therefore — everything being equal — Germany should have a higher relative death rate than Belgium.

Soon, a new explanation was  offered. The Belgian ‘experts’ use a different methodology to count the deaths!

Indeed, they suggested that many people who were assumed to have died from COVID-19 may in fact have died from other causes. (Many were not tested.)

This is NONSENSE.

From March 16 to May 10 2020, the over-mortality in Belgium was about 50%. And that is about 10,000 more deaths than what would be expected from the average of the same period in the last 5 years, which is exactly the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19.

The Truth: Corruption and Incompetence

In October 2018, I wrote — while discussing corruption — that Belgian politicians may be unable to form a federal government after the 2019 general elections.

RELATED POST: F-35 — Quick Note on the Corruption of NATO Governments

And I warned that this could be bad news if the country is hit by a disaster when nobody is at the helm. And this is exactly what happened!

“While Belgium had been struggling to form a new federal government since the elections of 26 May 2019, the coronavirus pandemic sparked new debate on the ongoing formation, as the actual minority caretaker government Wilmès I wouldn’t have all the ability to tackle the coronavirus crisis and its consequences.”  [Wikipedia — COVID-19 pandemic in Belgium]

To make it worse, in Belgium — a small size country with less inhabitants than New York or Bogota — efforts to address the coronavirus outbreak are managed by the nine federal and regional health ministers! [3]

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.

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

How did I know? Because this incompetent idiot belongs to the gang that turned ‘Bruxelles Environnement’ [the ‘Brussels-Capital Environment Protection Agency’] into a criminal organization. [4]

The only thing these people can do is to dance in the streets with teenagers and sing: “Save the polar bears!”

Alain Maron should understand that his job is not to save the polar bears of the arctic circle.

His job is to save the life of human beings in Brussels! So far, he has done NOTHING!

And these teenagers should not be in the streets on schooldays. They should be in the classroom learning how to take the derivative of a function. That can be useful at times…

PS — The 2020 University Ranking has just been released. People have the governments they deserve. Sadly, people also have the universities they deserve.

The two universities located in the Brussels-Capital region [VUB and ULB] rank 195 and 251 among the 2020 list of the best colleges in the world.

Let me be clear. If the Belgian soccer team was not ranked in the top 50, there would be blood in the street.

Belgian people would riot. There would be a revolution. But who cares about universities? Belgium has become a full-fledged IDIOCRACY!

REFERENCES

COVID-19 deaths worldwide per one million population — Statista

1) In 2019, the population of Belgium numbered around 11.4 million. Most of these inhabitants (6.9 million) lived in the Dutch-speaking Flemish Region, which was home to nearly half of Belgium’s population. The Walloon Region, broadly in line with the French-speaking part of Belgium, numbered roughly 3.6 million inhabitants, and another 1.2 million lived in the Brussels-Capital region.

2) Age structure of German and Belgian population

Germany
0-14 years: 12.83% (male 5,299,798 /female 5,024,184)
15-24 years: 9.98% (male 4,092,901 /female 3,933,997)
25-54 years: 39.87% (male 16,181,931 /female 15,896,528)
55-64 years: 14.96% (male 5,989,111 /female 6,047,449)
65 years and over: 22.36% (male 7,930,590 /female 10,061,248) (2018 est.)

Belgium
0-14 years: 17.2% (male 1,019,427 /female 970,845)
15-24 years: 11.25% (male 664,789 /female 636,452)
25-54 years: 39.82% (male 2,323,488 /female 2,283,533)
55-64 years: 12.96% (male 742,842 /female 756,509)
65 years and over: 18.78% (male 948,956 /female 1,223,921) (2018 est.)

3) Currently, these 9 clowns are: Maggie De Block (Open VLD, federal government), Wouter Beke (CD&V, Flemish Community), Christine Morreale [fr] (PS, French Community), Antonios Antoniadis [de] (SP, German-speaking Community), Bénédicte Linard [fr] (Ecolo, French Community), Valérie Glatigny [fr] (MR, French Community), Alain Maron [fr] (Ecolo, Brussels), Elke Van den Brandt [nl] (Groen, Brussels) and Barbara Trachte [fr] (Ecolo, Brussels).

4) The ‘Bruxelles Environnement’ agency has developed a fraudulent software — used to deliver GSM antennas permits — to allow the telecoms operators to use far more power than is allowed by the law.

The people they put in charge of the control of the microwave emissions have repeatedly falsified their measurements and reports to hide clear violations of the law.

They have also helped a foreign power to conduct acts of espionage in Brussels. Nice people!

UPDATE

Note 1 — “Si le voile n’était que la revendication d’une affirmation ou d’une religion, il ne poserait pas de problème. En fait, à travers le voile, il y a aussi une revendication politique, radicale, qui ne veut pas de notre modèle de société, ne veut pas de nos valeurs, et les combat”

=

COVID-19 — Why has Belgium the highest death rate in the world?

One Year Ago — COVID-19 : Why has Belgium the highest death rate in the world? [UPDATE : Brussels Health Minister is a dangerous Pinocchio.]

One Year Ago — COVID-19 : Why has Belgium the highest death rate in the world? [UPDATE III : Brussels Health Minister is a dangerous Pinocchio.]

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