And did you know that legally the media can lie? A Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the U.S." Note: Click to enlarge any image in my blog.
To be fair, I'm not saying every news source is lying; but the majority are reporting the lies (as told to them) without doing any research of their own.
The source I used (although similar or exact statements are found in countless news sources) was The Wall Street Journal post Risk of Zika's Spread by Olympics Is 'Very Low,' WHO say (updated June 15th, 2016).
Lie Number One
"Brazil is hosting the Games during its winter, when the concentration of mosquitoes that spread Zika and other viruses is low, the panel noted."
First of all, slightly cooler weather prompts insects to come indoors – and what better place than a stadium full of warm bodies? Ever notice how spiders make it into your home on rainy days?
FACT: Last year  was the hottest year on record according to the NOAA. Click to enlarge:
But the WHO and IOC are referencing data from a largely-funded "study" that omitted last years' temperatures.
The study states:
"To account for these factors, we included a 5 km x 5 km resolution measure of the EVI derived from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS, Boulder, Colorado) imagery (Wan et al., 2002; Lin, 2012), summarized from gap-filled, 8-day, 1 km x 1 km resolution images acquired globally for years 2000 through 2014."
Wow, that's an impressive amount of technical mumbo jumbo.
But I agree, it is gap-filled.
Now go back and compare the years 2000 to 2014 with the hottest year on record (2015). And if that doesn't convince you, consider what Dr. Lantos, director of the Bioethics Center at Children's Mercy Hospital, said:
"Winter weather is unpredictable. Last year, Rio saw more cases of dengue fever, another mosquito-borne disease, in August than in the months of March, April, and May combined."
Lie Number Two
"Olympic official say they are taking preventive measures and Zika cases are declining."
On this CBC article (and others) I respond to comments similar to this one. Click to enlarge:
Since I don't tweet, I checked out what Dr. Attaran knew. Sure enough, he tweeted: "Brazil says no Zika in Rio, but in just one week Rio's probable cases rose by over 6,000." One of the studies that Dr. Attaran pointed to states (on page 3) translated from Portugese:
FACT: The analysis of incidence of probable cases (number of cases / 100,000 inhabitants), according to geographical regions, shows that the Northeast region had the highest incidence rate: 113.3 / 100,000 inhabitants.
Got that Vascgm Gm? The Northeast region had the highest incident rate.
Lie Number Three
Mario Andrada, a spokesman for the Rio organizing committee said, "I'm 110 percent confident that we can protect everybody that comes to see the games. But we are 100 percent committed to respect people's decisions [on whether or not to come to Rio]. One pregnant woman [getting infected] is too many."
FACT: It doesn't matter if women live on the moon during the Olympic Games. Because if men go to Rio (get infected with Zika by mosquitoes or via unprotected oral, vaginal, anal, and possibly by deep kissing) they become carriers.
Then, if these men (who visited Rio) go to the moon (where all the women went during the Rio Games in August and September) and there is some "leak" of bodily fluids (via oral, vaginal, anal sex and possibly saliva), the women get infected and so will their babies.
On Earth: What about local mosquitoes that bite these men when they return from Rio (infected) and then the local mosquitoes transmit Zika to other men, women, and children?
It drives me nuts that even the CDC keeps emphasizing that women who are pregnant should avoid Brazil (and similar statements).
FACT: "British researchers reported the case of a man whose semen tested positive for the Zika virus 62 days after the onset of his illness."
FACT: WHO initially advised only 4 weeks of condom use. They doubled that recommendation at the end of May 2016 (after the scientific community kept drawing their attention to it).
Lie Number Four
Pro golfer Rory McIlroy is dead wrong (and I'd love to know who lied to him) when he stated: "... even if I do contract Zika, it's not the end of the world. It takes six months to pass through your system and you're fine."
FACT: Harvard's John Ross, MD, FIDSA said, "The Zika outbreak in French Polynesia was associated with a 20-fold increased risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome ... Two-thirds of patients lose the ability to walk and 25 percent need a mechanical ventilator because of weakness of the respiratory muscles. Although most people make a partial or full recovery, 20 percent are still unable to walk at six months after diagnosis."
Yeah. One in four need a lung-blower (to quote Kramer on Seinfeld) and one in five cannot walk 1/2 a year later. Charming! Who forgot to let Rory know?
And if you think for a second that the French Polynesian strain of Zika must have been worse, you are wrong.
FACT: The Brazilian strain is clearly the worst yet. In a Harvard T.H. Chan post Zika virus in Brazil may be mutated strain it states:
"The outbreak in Brazil seems to be from the Asian strain, which may have evolved to be better at invading nerve cells or at evading the immune system."
"... studies have shown it can be passed from mothers to babies in utero and also that it can infect the nervous system. What is worrying is that we don't know what may have changed, and why."
So whenever you hear politicians or the IOC or WHO chiming in with terms like "Historically, the temperatures ... or "Previous Zika outbreaks ... or "History tells us ..." remember that we are dealing with an entirely new beast here. Keep this visual in mind (click to enlarge):
Stay up-to-date on my new Facebook page Zika: Let's Stop a Global Pandemic.
My petition to help: Participating Countries, Athletes and Citizens: Boycott the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics. Note: You don't have to donate and your email is protected. For postal code or similar, you can put "sorry no".
Half of my royalties from my Don't Go to 'You Know Where' Collection will be donated to Galveston National Laboratory in support of Zika research. Note: I had to leave out any reference to the Olympics or Rio in my products, tags, titles, or descriptions since the Olympic Committee managed to have four of my products removed from the marketplace.