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  • Dear Media......

    Hi Media!

    Thank you for the continuing offers to participate in interviews and appearances.

    However, I am not available now. It is a pandemic after all.

    In any event, I do not make any appearances.

    Yes. It is an undisputed fact that we were the first in the West to publish an English account of what is now named the COVID-19 pandemic. Apparently another entity is claiming to be the first media to publish an account (a Chinese translation) 30 minutes earlier than us. All I will say about that is FluTrackers does not have the ability to choose the time stamp that appears on each post. It is automatically assigned by the software.

    Our original thread which was originally named "China - Mystery pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei province" is here.

    I personally feel that the seeds for the COVID-19 pandemic were evident possibly as far back as the summer of 2019. It is my guess that an early strain may have been circulating which was not efficient at human-to-human transmission and that over several months it became more efficient. A thread with some support documentation is here. I am not a virologist or geneticist. These hard sciences will have a better proof of what really happened.

    There has been some interest in whether China "covered up" this outbreak. There is some support for this assertion:

    1) Eight people spreading Wuhan pneumonia rumors were investigated and punished according to law - January 1, 2020 link (This situation is well known now.)

    2) China - Doctor, 51, with severe pneumonia moved to isolation on Dec. 31 - on experimental drugs - Dongguan, Guangdong province - January 4, 2020 (This doctor became sick on December 2, 2019 and no known drugs were working on him.)

    China has a very firm policy on disrupting social order. Spreading unauthorized news can be viewed as disrupting the social order. It is punishable by fines and imprisonment. This policy is very well sourced. I can provide our links to their policies about spreading rumors, if requested, but China's policy is very well known.

    There is also some speculation about how this disease started. Again, the hard sciences will probably be the answer here. The only BSL - 4 lab in China is located in Wuhan and this is an interesting coincidence. We have collected various studies that the lab has published in previous years. It does appear they have worked on SARS for some period of years. link I do not take any position on this. I do not know.

    I will say that over 14 years I have found the China government to be less than candid and truthful about their disease outbreaks.

    I hope there are public national and international hearings after this outbreak has ended. We need to answer many questions to be better prepared for the future. How did it start? How did it spread? What erroneous public policies led to a further spread? What did we learn about expediting effective treatments and vaccines in a novel outbreak? Did we respond effectively to our most vulnerable populations?

    Was a crime against humanity committed?

    Thank you for the interest.

    See you after this is all over.


  • #2
    rdv apr?s la crise, chiche ...


    • #3
      As usual - claiming to be first.

      How ProMED Crowdsourced the Arrival of Covid-19 and SARS
      "The low-tech site run by health experts collects reports of new diseases in real time. They've got a shoestring budget—and a stunning track record.
      IT WAS ABOUT 8:30 pm on December 30, and Marjorie Pollack, a physician and epidemiologist, was working in her home office in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn.
      Her email pinged. In her inbox was a note from a frequent and reliable contributor to ProMED, an email list of disease alerts for which Pollack serves as deputy editor."


      Hopefully Maryn did due diligence and asked for the source email to verify ProMED's claim. One post on ProMED made at conveniently 11:59 pm. One minute to midnight. Our first post was 35 minutes later. In English. And then we relentlessly pursued the topic making many posts every day. BTW - We can not select the time that each post is time stamped.

      FluTrackers not given credit (again) by the infectious disease establishment in the U.S. for the early warning on this pandemic through our many consistent posts starting just after midnight at 12:35 am on Dec. 31.

      Shameful. All of you.

      fyi -

      ProMED Partner Health Map who is promoted on every ProMED post blocks us on twitter. I don't wonder why.

      Click image for larger version  Name:	blockedbyhealthmap.PNG Views:	1 Size:	207.9 KB ID:	840682

      Click image for larger version  Name:	blockedbyjohnbrownstein.PNG Views:	1 Size:	386.5 KB ID:	840683


      • #4

        And while we are talking about ProMED's coverage of this pandemic and knowing it was about to be a big deal.... “I said to myself, until proven otherwise, this is SARS revisited.” link

        Why only 8 posts on ProMED about this undiagnosed pneumonia in the first nine days? For "SARS revisited"?

        Click image for larger version  Name:	promedundiagnosedpneumonia.PNG Views:	13 Size:	72.3 KB ID:	840688

        Our original thread (and this is where you can see FluTrackers level of concern). link
        Last edited by sharon sanders; March 24, 2020, 10:58 AM. Reason: fixed formatting


        • #5
          For a story about us - who really have a "shoestring" budget (ProMED told me a few years ago that their budget was 70k per year).

          How a blogger in Florida put out an early warning about the coronavirus crisis
          March 14, 2020 at 7:00 a.m. EDT

          Look at the comparable articles. Works from home. Volunteers. Low budget. lol Apparently some people didn't like that Washington Post article posted 10 days ago.

          And while I am on a rant....

          We were first in the world to publish English accounts of the H1N1 pandemic and the H7N9 outbreak. There are more....Also - which the infectious disease establishment in the U.S. ignores.

          We do not promote ourselves. We do not constantly beg for money. We have many HUMBLE doctors and researchers from around the world who contribute as volunteers. They never try to grab credit for anything.

          Guess what? I don't have to be politically correct. Making this situation public can't hurt me professionally because this is not my profession. I do not have a linkedin page. I do not have a resume.

          Thank you to all of our selfless and humble volunteers on this site who give of themselves for years and never ask for anything - not even credit.

          That is what volunteerism is really about. Giving something and expecting nothing back.


          • #6
            I am sure the Washington Post would love to see this. Maybe I should forward it over there.

            February 06, 2020 (It appears ProMED had only 45 posts up to this date on mystery pneumonia/coronavirus, even though they claim now they thought it was "SARS Revisited" on day one. See above post #4) We had approximately 1,300 posts by this date.

            Buoy Health, HealthMap team up to quell coronavirus fears, collect epidemiological data


            “Basically, what we did was we called the CDC with [Brownstein]’s help.


            Brownstein said. “So what is exciting is we have a government agency identifying issues and meeting in response, scientific communities helping build models and improving access to data, and then those companies leverage that information to work directly with consumers and help them make better choices....




            There is so much more over the years. Now you all can begin to see what we have been up against and why the infectious disease establishment consistently tries to diminish our contributions to global health.

            Announcement: Interactive CDC DengueMap Available Online


            August 13, 2010 / 59(31);993

            CDC, in collaboration with HealthMap, has created a new online tool for displaying global dengue activity.....


            Last edited by sharon sanders; March 24, 2020, 06:22 PM.


            • #7
              Hi Sharon,
              I would like to take a moment to thank yourself, all the other senior moderators and editors, and of course the entire community of posters and contributors here at FluTrackers. I have been a member since the very early days and often check in just to "keep a finger on the pulse". I also, am not a doctor, nor a geneticist, nor a nurse, nor a mathematician/statistician. I am a scientist though, and like most other scientists, I follow the data and observations, using them to draw conclusions. I quickly adapt my interpretation as the data indicates I need to.

              ​​​​​​I also, like many others, have always understood the threat that infectious disease outbreaks can "theoretically" represent to our fragile planet and home. In order to be best prepared and aware of infectious disease risks, you need accurate and timely information, you need clarity and transparency, you need facts and figures. What we don't need is early cries of "the sky is falling down" or "there's a wolf amongst the sheep". This is the true value of FluTrackers and why it is my primary source of early information and data. Because I know that others feel the same way. They see the early alarm, yet, instead of panicking, they tune in and watch for updates. They become alert to the event unfolding and report/share information as it is gathered. They share interpretations and investigations, share advice and openly debate in a constructive manner to determine the true nature and risk.

              This allows every member of this team (and all the silent watchers) the opportunity to better understand and more appropriately respond to these potential threats, rather than merely call panic quickly and boast about who called it first. For my own safety and sanity, I prefer to hang out here and thus, I wish to say thank you. Thank you everyone who contributes to FluTrackers to make it what it is.

              Michael S Cox


              • #8
                Thank you Dr. Cox.

                I corrected a typo in post 6 above. It appears ProMED made about 45 posts from December 31 - February 5. Not the 4 I mistakenly typed. In that same time frame we had about 1,300 posts. In the first week of the outbreak a very concerned ProMED made 5 posts.

                It has been a long haul to get any recognition from the infectious disease establishment. Year after year while we watch others take credit, then promote themselves for donations, and even sales, we just plod on. Not asking for money, Not promoting the site.

                For example the Health Map / ProMED cabal did not invite or notice us about their first digital disease detection conference:

                ddd 2012 - The 2012 Harvard International Conference on Digital Disease Detection



                Boston, USA - United States


                1. 4th Edition of Innovations and State of the art in DEMENTIARESEARCH
                2. International Neurodisorders and Therapy Conference
                3. 3rd World Pediatric Infectious Disease Congress
                4. International Conference on Robotics and Digital Manufacturing 2020
                5. 2020 Eighth International Conference on Digital Information Processing and Communications
                Topics/Call fo Papers

                HealthMap is proud to present the 2012 Harvard International Conference on Digital Disease Detection.

                Over the past fifteen years, Internet technology has significantly changed the landscape of public health surveillance and epidemic intelligence gathering. Disease and outbreak data is disseminated not only through formal online announcements by government agencies, but also through informal channels such as social networking sites, blogs, chat rooms, Web searches, local news media and crowdsourcing platforms. These data streams have been credited with decreasing the time between an outbreak and formal recognition of an outbreak, allowing for an expedited response to the public health threat. Collectively, these online sources create an image of global public health that is fundamentally different from the one produced by traditional public health surveillance infrastructure.

                Sponsored by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this conference is being held to unite digital disease detection researchers and practitioners in formalizing this emerging field.

                Conference Location:

                Joseph B. Martin Conference Center -AT- Harvard Medical School
                77 Avenue Louis Pasteur
                Boston, MA 02115



                We were a "major player" before 2012. What kind of conference was there on digital disease detection without FluTrackers? We were one of the leaders in the world. Not invited. No notice of this impending conference.

                One of our members sent an email and asked of we could attend. And someone responded that we could. While I initially thought about attending, I decided it was not worth it for FluTrackers.

                Denying us in this outbreak is the final straw for me. I am not staying silent about the disrespect we get anymore. I have so many more supported stories about how we have been treated over the years. It is just disgusting.

                I want to publicly thank Lisa Schnirring, Dr. Mike Osterholm, and the rest of the team at CIDRAP who have always acknowledged our contribution to global public health. I want to also thank Dr. Judy Stone and Dr. Jeremy Brown for their acknowledgements too.


                • #9
                  I, along with many others, have been a member here at since the very beginning in 2006. As Sharon noted, was the first organization to track the outbreak of “viral pneumonia” in China in December 2019. Today, we know that disease as COVID-19, and it is causing a worldwide pandemic. It is unfortunate that mainstream media does not recognize the contributions of the members of FluTrackers.

         was also the first organization to start compiling information on “atypical pneumonia” in Mexico on April 17, 2009 (link). By the 21st of April 2009, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention had identified two “swine flu” cases in California (link), and shortly thereafter the World Health Organization declare the first influenza pandemic (H1N1) of the 21st century (link). At the time the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) suggested calling this pandemic strain the “North American Influenza” (link). The name did not stick, but the irony is that the President of the United States continues to call the SARS-CoV-2 virus which is causing the COVID-19 pandemic the “Chinese virus” (link).

                  It is disheartening that the thousands of hours of efforts contributed by FluTrackers members have not been clearly acknowledged by the media. Among the many disease tracking websites from a decade ago, only FluTrackers with its diligent volunteers has survived. They deserve more recognition and a debt of gratitude.

                  I edited my Brief History of the First Three Weeks of the COVID-19 Pandemic to clearly give credit to, and all its members, for being the first organization to recognize the public health threat posed by the viral pneumonia reported in the Chinese press at the end of December 2019. Now less than two months later, it is a worldwide pandemic.


                  • #10
                    Well I for one have used what I learned on this site to help prepare our health system for this pandemic. After having been through H1N1 I understood importance of monitoring for new diseases and preparing for them. Now I am in a leadership position and can help others in my institution based on knowledge about disease and interventions learned here.

                    So thank you Sharon for your work as well as the other senior moderators.


                    • #11
                      Promed mail?? They wouldn’t have any reports if not for us!
                      Everyone knows where the news is at.. including the CDC and the WHO.



                      • #12
                        Pourquoi ?tre en ce lieu ?
                        Pourquoi ?tre, en ce lieu, quand on est retrait? ?
                        Voil? ce que j'ai re?u ce matin:
                        C'est le cadeau d'un jeune avec qui je vais ? la p?che, et qui fait un peu d'informatique.
                        Cela m'a mis de tr?s bonne humeur.