FOI requests for proof of a novel coronavirus and the replies so far

in #virus2 years ago

This is just a copy and paste job from the email sent to me by James and arranged in descending order.
Dear Directors / Employees of the NVRL,
In May 2017, you kindly provided me with a scientific paper, which allegedly demonstrated the isolation of the Novel Coronavirus:
Isolation of a novel corona virus from a man with pneumonia in Saudi Arabia
Ali Moh Zaki Md PhD et al
New England Journal of Medicine November 8 2012
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1211721
The last paragraph on page 1818 is revealing: To further characterize the virus, approximately 90% of the virus genome sequence was obtained on sequence analysis with the use of the 454 platform.
Thus, the authors have explicitly admitted that they obtained what they believe is 90% of the genome sequence of this alleged virus. I think we can unanimously agree that90% is not 100% and they explicitly do not claim to have isolated or purified the novel corona virus. They have merely recreated 90% of what they believe is the genome sequence of the alleged Novel Coronavirus. Despite the title of the paper, the Novel Coronavirus was clearly not purified.
David Crowe, a Canadian Biologist, explains how scientists currently detect the Novel Coronavirus: Scientists are detecting novel RNA in multiple patients with pneumonia-like conditions, and are assuming that the detection of RNA (which is believed to be wrapped in proteins to form an RNA virus, as coronaviruses are believed to be) is equivalent to isolation of the virus.[1] Indirect tests such as this clearly do not prove the existence of the Novel Coronavirus.
In the following paper, the scientists were honest enough to admit that they did not purify the Novel Coronavirus: “we did not perform tests for detecting infectious virus in blood”. Nonetheless, earlier in the paper they repeatedly referred to the 41 cases (out of 59 similar cases), which tested positive for this RNA as:
“41 patients…confirmed to be infected with2019-nCoV.”[2]
Huang C et al. Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Lancet. 2020 Jan 24.
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30183-5/fulltext
In the following paper, the scientists expressly state that: “our study does not fulfil Koch’s postulates”. In other words, the Novel Coronavirus was not purified and was detected by indirect means.[3]
Zhu N et al. A Novel Coronavirus from Patients with Pneumonia in China, 2019.
NEngl J Med. 2020 Jan 14.
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2001017
Thus, the three scientific papers cited above do not prove the existence of the Novel Coronavirus.
FOI Request regarding the Novel Coronavirus

  1. I am looking for a scientific paper, which demonstrates how the Novel Coronavirus was purified? Surely, if the NVRL is able to detect the Novel Coronavirus, it should also be able to demonstrate how it is purified?
  2. I am also requesting how the NVRL would currently detect the Novel Coronavirus? Do you detect RNA (RiboNucleic Acid) in patients with pneumonia and then assume that the presence of RNA is equivalent to the presence of the Novel Coronavirus? Or, do you use other indirect means for detecting the Novel Coronavirus?
    Sincerely yours
    James McCumiskey
    On Thursday 27 February 2020, 13:13:55 GMT, [email protected] wrote:
    Dear Mr. McCumiskey,
    Thank you for your recent request under the Freedom of Information Act 2014 for access to records held by the University. I wish to acknowledge receipt of your request on 19 February 2020.
    A decision will be made in relation to your request by 18 March 2020.
    In certain circumstances under the Act, a final decision may take longer than the statutory four weeks from the date the request was received. If this occurs in relation to your request, we will advise you. Where a large volume of records is requested, search and retrieval fees may apply, in which case we will contact you to discuss your options.
    I wish to advise you that details of all non-personal FOI requests which may include associated documents released will be recorded on an FOI disclosure log which will be published on the UCD website in due course.
    Under the Act, the University is required to advise you of your right of review, which is enclosed in the attached schedule. Should the final decision not reach you on time, or should you have a query or a concern about your request, please contact the Unit.
    Yours sincerely,
    Dee
    Sent:Wednesday 22 April 2020 15:49
    To: [email protected]
    Subject: Re: Novel Coronavirus 12_1_544
    Hi Dee
    It is now April 22 2020
    Your decision is now over a month delayed.
    I am eager to obtain the scientific paper which explains how the COVID 19 virus was purified!

Sincerely yours

James
On Friday 22 May 2020, 12:06:52 GMT+1, [email protected] wrote:
Good afternoon Mr McCumiskey,
I do apologise for the delay in responding to your request. Please see FOI decision and copy record attached.
Kind regards, Debbie
Sent: Monday 25 May 2020, 12:02:23 GMT+1
Subject: Re: Novel Coronavirus 12_1_544
Hi Debbie,

Thanks for your FOI response.

I was already aware that the attached paper "Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR" was used by authorities across Europe to detect the alleged novel coronavirus. The RT-PCR technique is an indirect method of detection, which in this case of this paper assumes that the novel coronavirus shares some RNA sequences with the SARS coronavirus. The fundamental problem though is that neither the SARS coronavirus nor the 2019-nCoV was ever isolated. The Background to this paper clearly implies that the 2019-nCoV was never purified or isolated: "We aimed to develop and deploy robust diagnostic methodology for use in public health laboratory settings without having virus material available".

My position is very clear: Pathogenic viruses such as the measles virus for example and the novel coronavirus do not exist. They do not exist because it is impossible to purify them. It is possible to purify phages using the density gradient centrifugation technique. Phages have a diameter of approximately 100nm. If pathogenic viruses such as the measles virus or the novel corona virus did exist, it would be possible to purify them. Their alleged diameter is equivalent to that of phages.

It is not good enough to shut the country down simply on the basis of a collective and erroneous belief in the existence of pathogenic viruses. Any scientific opinion can only be as good as the evidence on which it is based. Scientific opinion can only be substantiated by examining the evidence, which supports it. The only acceptable evidence which would support the evidence for the existence of the novel coronavirus would be a paper demonstrating how it was purified, photographed, its diameter measured and biochemically characterised.

The NVRL are correct in saying that "No Record Exists", in relation to the purification of any so-called pathogenic virus. The reason why no record exists is because pathogenic viruses such as the measles and novel coronavirus do not exist.

I am appealing this inadequate and recklessly negligent response to my FOI request. The economy is in Lockdown and the lives of millions of Irish people are recklessly endangered because of a belief in the existence of pathogenic viruses -- a belief which has no supporting scientific evidence.

Sincerely yours

James McCumiskey

UPDATE: 23/06/2020
Name of the public authority: University College Dublin
What aspects of the decision are you unhappy with? I requested from the NVRL (National Virus Reference Laboratory) the scientific publication where a scientist has purified the Novel Corona virus. UCD consider this to be a matter "of academic debate". I don't. The entire country was in Lockdown because of the alleged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Surely it is not a matter of academic debate that the NVRL believes that this allegedly deadly virus exists? The NVRL "detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA in diagnostic samples, as per the PCR assay". The problem is that the detection method assumes that the RNA-strands belongs to the novel coronavirus. But how do they know that if they have never purified the novel coronavirus in the first place? IF the2019-nCoV virus existed, it would be possible to purify it and determine the composition of the entire genome.
Reference number - optional: FOI12_1_544 Internal Review

Reference: FOI12_1_544 Internal Review

Dear Mr McCumiskey,

I refer to your application for an internal review under the Freedom of Information Act 2014 of a decision by Ms Debbie Scanlan, dated 22 May 2020, concerning item 1 of your request for access to records of the National Virus Reference Laboratory (NVRL), as follows: “1) I am looking for a scientific paper, which demonstrates how the Novel Coronavirus was purified? Surely, if the NVRL is able to detect the Novel Coronavirus, it should also be able to demonstrate how it is purified?”

In the original decision, Ms Scanlan refused part 1 of your request on grounds that the University do not hold records to answer your request (Section 15 (1) (a)).

I have now conducted an internal review in accordance with Section 21 of the Act. I wish to inform you that I affirm the original decision.

The University’s position is that matters of academic debate cannot be conducted under FOI and we would not regard academic research material as administrative records of an FOI body that would make them available for release under the legislation. The NVRL have advised that they do not culture live SARS-CoV-2 or purify SARS CoV 2 antigens. They detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA in diagnostic samples, as per the PCR assay that was shared with you previously. As such, there are no relevant records held and no further searches that may be taken for records that would provide an answer to your query. Section 15 (1) (a) of the FOI applies.

The University is committed to its obligations under the Act to provide requesters with access to records held by it and with reasons for its decisions that affect them. In this case, we regret that we cannot assist you further.

Under the Act, the University is required to advise you of your right, following receipt of your internal review decision, to make a further review application by writing to the Information Commissioner, 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2.

Yours sincerely,

_________________________________ Mr Julian Bostridge Director of Legal Services

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