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It is official: NPHET, Tony Holohan and Philip Nolan have no clue!

What a bunch of clowns! NPHET are allegedly the Covid “experts” in Ireland and a Dr Tony Holohan, aka Chief Medical Officer, and a Prof Philip Nolan, who heads the statisticians and modellers that tried to predict the spread of the Coronavirus, are two of NPHET’s main voices. And both have been declared as incompetent by people that know a lot more about a subject Holohan and Nolan felt they needed to give their unqualified opinion about.

The subject is Antigen Self-Tests, which are inexpensive tests for home use that many experts and government organisations see for a long time as a key instrument to stop the spread of Covid. A test costs just EUR 5 and will tell you if you are infectious (something the PCR test can’t tell!) within about 15 minutes.

In Germany the Department of Health has negotiated with suppliers to secure the availability of 130 million self tests. Self-tests are now available through pharmacies and also in supermarkets and it is recommended to test at least twice a week.

Self-tests are made available for free in the UK and, for example, parents of school kids are asked to test themselves and their kids regularly because self-tests are an essential part of the pandemic strategy. You can order up to 2 packs of 7 at a time online for free on a government website and per week around 28 mio tests are given out.

The Centre of Disease control in the USA said on 07 May that U.S.-bound international air travelers can meet COVID-19 entry requirements using self-tests. (www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/cdc-says-us-bound-travelers-can-use-some-self-covid-19-tests-2021-05-07/)

And the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is recommending that rapid antigen testing can help reduce the spread of the virus in high-risk indoor workplaces and should be used to complement other tests. (www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/news-events/stop-spread-could-diagnostic-antigen-tests-help-control-covid-19-transmission)

Closer to home, the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, Professor Mark W. J. Ferguson, is heading the “COVID-19 Rapid Testing Group”, that was put together by the Irish Government. And this group already said on 19 March 2021 in the section “Start Immediately” that “It is very important to initiate rapid testing programmes now.” The report looks at the all aspects of rapid tests and clearly comes to the conclusion that rapid tests, which includes self-tests, should be made available in Ireland to complement all other measures. www.gov.ie/en/publication/f50f0-report-of-the-covid-19-rapid-testing-group/

This report has been published by the government and is definitely available to NPHET, but they seemingly can’t read:

On Fri 07 May, in the daily “NPHET show” (which should have been stopped by the government a long long time ago.) Tony Holohan warned against the use of antigen tests and he went so far to even say that consumers should not buy antigen testing kits due to the risk of false results and amazingly, Holohan claimed “Their use poses a “real risk” to the pandemic response.” So CDC, ECDC, German and UK Health Ministers are supporting what poses a “real risk” to the pandemic response?? (www.irishtimes.com/news/health/nphet-warns-public-against-relying-on-antigen-tests-being-sold-in-supermarkets-1.4558458)

On 08 May, then Philip Nolan claimed in a tweet that Covid Self-tests are “snake oil”, which is even worse than saying they are useless and which also is totally incorrect and actually a dangerous statement. (twitter.com/President_MU/status/1391095650750709769?s=20)

Clearly Holohan and Nolan are either wiser than international experts… or they are incompetent clowns!

To help us assess this, let’s listen to Professor Dr. Michael Mina, an Epidemiologist, Immunologist and Physician at Harvard Public Health/Medical School. He replied to Philip Nolan’s tweet and has this opinion:

“For an advisor to your government – you don’t appear to know what you are talking about wrt rapid tests. […] You should be ashamed of your demeanor here.”

Irish Journalist Philip Nolan (same name, but different person than the misguided Professor) commented on the tweet with “My sister in the UK had five sent to her by the NHS. Is the NHS a snake-oil sales organisation, or are you just pissed off a supermarket is doing more than you are?”

With all facts considered, the tweet by Prof Philip Nolan was incompetent, ignorant and arrogant. This tweet and Tony Holohan’s warning to stay away from these tests reveals that the two “leading experts” in Ireland either have no clue or – and that would be worse – have a vested interest in only recommending PCR tests.

Nobody would claim that the self-tests are perfect but nobody is either suggesting that they shouldn’t be anything else but a COMPLEMENT to other strategies. And as such a complement, NPHET should help educating the public about their use and how best to use these tests and NOT use their personal aversion to inappropriately disparage these tests.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Health Minister Stephen Donelly and Tanaiste Leo Varadkar would be well advised in replacing Tony Holohan and Philip Nolan after this revelation of clear incompetence and instead trust people like the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government Professor Mark W. J. Ferguson.

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And to give a little bit more detail about what Holohan and Nolan got so upset about:

Supermarket chain Lidl is selling Rapid Antigen self-tests since this week. The tests are manufactured by Xiamen Boson Biotech Co and are called “Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test Card” with CE mark and with completed validation studies carried out in Germany. They are in the EU’s list of approved tests (ec.europa.eu/health/sites/default/files/preparedness_response/docs/covid-19_rat_common-list_en.pdf) and have an impressive 93.8% sensitivity and a 100% specificity.

The tests are available in Lidl Ireland for about EUR 25 for 5 tests.

The new government IS a Fine Gael – Fianna Fail coalition!

The new government IS a Fine Gael – Fianna Fail coalition!

So they made it!! After 70 days finally a new government has been elected when on Friday Enda Kenny (Fine Gael) was re-elected as the Taoiseach.

It is called a “minority government” that is tolerated by Fianna Fail and supported by some of the Independent TDs. When the Taoiseach got elected, the Fianna Fail TDs abstained and therefore a handful of Independents was enough for Enda Kenny to get the majority.

Odd that Micheal Martin didn’t want to be in power since it was offered to him to be part of the government through a coalition. But the reason why Micheal Martin’s Fianna Fail didn’t want to get involved and form a Grand Coalition between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail is because they were worried that the electors would punish them for it in the next elections. In recent elections the smaller coalition partner (i.e. Greens and Labour) was always blamed more for a screw up of the government than the dominating party and Micheal Martin didn’t want to risk that.

So the solution was a to tolerate a minority Fine Gael government. But does that REALLY change the situation?

Is Fianna Fail now NOT part of the government and will they by innocent if Enda Kenny does a bad job?? Actually NOT AT ALL!! This is really a coalition between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, just with the odd configuration that Fianna Fail will not contribute in a positive way in the day to day running of the country.

Why do I call it a coalition? Well, if you sit down with the other party for days and negotiate a “deal” that will last for three years, during which Fianna Fail will support whatever Fine Gael does then you can’t claim anymore that you are innocent! It is like standing next to someone who commits a criminal act and not doing anything. You will NOT get away with your “I had nothing to do with it!” claim.

So this new government is a Grand Coalition, just not by name! And if Enda Kenny screws up and Fianna Fail won’t stop him because they promised to support him for 3 years, then Fianna Fail will also have to be appropriately punished for it! Don’t fall for Micheal Martin’s trick!

Disappointed!

Disappointed!

Tonight’s Leader’s Debate on RTE1 was the first I saw live. (The other two I saw only partially.) …and I was not impressed with the future Taoiseach.

Enda Kenny did NOT know his facts, he was aloof, arrogant, not in the slightest passionate and – like a broken record – talks about his 5-point plan constantly. The guy on TV tonight is definitely not want as my “leader”.

Having said that, Micheal Martin is not much better. He did impress me this evening, though. He is passionate and knows his facts, but what I can’t get over is why he never cared enough about the facts before and while he was a Minister in the previous governments. So, a NO to Micheal Martin, but there is potential in a few years time if he sorts out his more or less useless party.

That leaves Eamonn Gilmore: He was taking on Micheal Martin and was cosy-ing up to Enda Kenny. My problem with Gilmore is his past. Labour sounds some where slightly left of centre, but Gilmore’s roots where in the party “Democratic Left”, which then merged with Labour. So he would be more in the socialist corner of Labour. And since the  the current economic situation can – in my opinion – not be solved with socialism, he would be a problem if in any powerful position.

Bottom line…AGAIN!!…I would not know who to vote for!

No big surprises

No big surprises

Over the last few weeks we haven’t experienced and big surprises. None of the candidates has lipped on any banana skins. They are all still plodding along and are trying their best to get as many votes as possible, but if we can trust the opinion polls, there have been shifts in opinion based on general performance of the parties.

Fine Gael has strengthened their position, Labour has lost, which to me is an indication that people didn’t like Labour’s attack on Fine Gael. Fianna Fail is down, but not out. Because nobody in Ireland can vote for a party, but instead you only vote for one local person – who by coincidence belongs to a party – an opinion poll that asks what party you want to govern the country is bound to be flawed.

Interesting is as well, how Micheal Martin talks and behaves as if he has never been involved in a government. Martin had a number of senior ministerial positions and certainly could have used his influence in the past to make a difference. He never did. But now he is trying to tell the electorate that they should vote for the candidates of his party. Interesting! I expect that they will get more TDs than the opinion polls indicate, but without a doubt they will be far away from the government for the next 5 years.

Sinn Fein? Well, Gerry Adams is doing better than I had expected and I am shocked about the high figures they got in the opinion poll. The SF position somewhere between socialist freedom fighters, terrorists and left-of-centre party wouldn’t leave me any room to vote for them, but an amazingly large group of voters has no issue with that at all.

Greens? Who?? Yes, they will be slaughtered for keeping the Fianna Fail government in power for so long and it is deserved. In my opinion they are totally un-votable for.

Independents are the remaining bundle of fun. For me it is one of the best indicators of the failed democratic structure in Ireland that individuals can be voted. Never it should be possible for a single person to get into a parliament. As long as it is possible that person is totally dependent on his/her voters in the constituency and that makes this politician corrupt (not in a financial sense, but in a sense that he has to do what his/her voters want, to get voted again). Yes, there is ONE Independent that I could support: Shane Ross, sounds sound and seems to make sense AND is not a parish-pump politician. But he should have set-up a party before the election instead of being an independent candidate.

Micheal Martin’s Chinesegate?

Micheal Martin’s Chinesegate?

Micheal Martin was at some Business Meeting this morning and in a slightly different accent than his own said 6 words “You Irish very good at software”. www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2011/0214/breaking58.html

He was using an atrocious “Chinese” accent to say this sentence and it was a stupid and nonsensical way of getting the facts across. But immediately hegot accused of discrimination. Discrimination? Did He say somethign negative? That foreigners (incl. me) have a different accent than Irish people is a fact. Copying it for comedic reasons can be funny. Copying it in the way and context it was done, is just stupid.

 
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