Invited by the association Unity is strength 88, researcher and mathematician Vincent Pavan* gave a lecture at Épinal: “Covid-19: mathematical and epidemiological corruptions”. A thorough dissecting of the scientific frauds of the crisis.
“We can debate everything, except the figures” asserted peremptorily the government advertising for the summer of 2021. But Vincent Pavan is not at all of this opinion. This researcher in mathematics is even well placed to know that we can make the numbers say what we want, especially if we tweak them a little, or even a lot. He clearly demonstrated this during his conference at Épinal: “Covid-19: mathematical and epidemiological corruption”. A powerful synthesis of what he denounces as two years of scientific fraud.
To begin, let’s go back. We are in 2009 and we are told of the H1N1 flu pandemic. “It was the dress rehearsal for the Covid, tells us Vincent Pavan. All the ingredients were already there, with a total exaggeration of the dangerousness of the virus, established on the basis of delusional simulations announcing millions of deaths”. These projections are above all the work of a certain Neil Ferguson, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London, already known for having announced a largely overestimated mortality rate during the 2005 avian flu. .
In France, the same type of mathematical model was used at the time by the Institute for Health Surveillance and Inserm, or by the School of Advanced Studies in Public Health. The figures produced are so out of the ordinary that the Senate inquiry committee on the management of the H1N1 pandemic noted in its excellent 2010 report that “the lack of correlation between the modeled estimates and the observed reality is striking” and that “the hypotheses formulated on the basis of the models have no predictive value”. In short, scientific bullshit. The case seems settled.
But in 2020, belote again. Neil Ferguson and his simulations are back to tell us again millions of deaths, including 500,000 for France. “In fact, he modeled from an old code from 2006, vaguely readapted, comments Vincent Pavan, and he wrote a report, “Report 9”, which is not a scientific article reviewed by peers, but just an Imperial College document”. And our mathematician explains to us that this code contains so many input parameters (930 in total) that we can make it say anything and everything. In statistics, we speak of “overfitting” or “overinterpretation”: the more parameters a model contains, the less it is able to generalize and predict reliably.
In addition, mathematics has its limits: “They are quite tautological and serve above all to demonstrate that a four-legged animal is a quadruped,” explains the speaker. In other words, the result of the formulas on arrival depends on the data entered in the formulas on departure”. Any hypothesis omitted or discarded from the outset will therefore be absent from the final result, which will necessarily be biased. For example, for the 2009 models, the Senate report underlines that at no time “it was not considered that the A (H1N1) virus could be less virulent than that of the seasonal flu”. Challenging…
Similarly, in 2020, Ferguson assumes that the only way to curb or stop the Covid-19 epidemic is to implement non-pharmaceutical interventions (isolation, quarantine, social distancing measures, etc.) while waiting the arrival of a vaccine. Strangely, no treatment is envisaged. And, even more bizarrely, the inevitable arrival of the life-saving vaccine is scheduled 18 months later. “How does he know? ” is surprised Vincent Pavan, while the development of a vaccine generally requires ten years.
Commands more than science
It was then that another actor entered the French scene: Simon Cauchemez. A member of the famous scientific council to inform the decisions of our leaders, he is a student of Ferguson hired in 2013 at the Institut Pasteur to found the Mathematical Modeling Unit for Infectious Diseases there. In an opinion from the scientific council of March 12, 2020, Simon Cauchemez endorses his master’s simulations and takes up the recommendations of Report 9, namely a series of barrier measures and alternating periods of confinement and deconfinement pending a vaccine. What will be done.
In the process, Simon Cauchemez is commissioned to show the effectiveness of containment. Let’s be clear: “This is an order, it’s not science”, underlines our researcher. Order executed from May 2020 with an initial study published in Science and co-signed by Cauchemez. Vincent Pavan demolishes it in two sentences: “This article is one of the greatest scientific scams of the 21st century. It contains almost a mathematical error on every line. Damn! In addition, the authors rely on the theory of R0 (basic reproduction rate of the disease), itself derived from the theory of Kermack and McKendrick dating from 1927. Theories that simplify reality and do not take into account of human diversity, in particular the existence of super-contaminators, which will however end up being admitted later during the crisis.
No doubt to complete the order, Cauchemez will sign another article published in September 2020 in The Lancet. This will unsurprisingly conclude that the containment measures in France have been successful.
The “chimera” of herd immunity
In October 2020, Simon Cauchemez and Arnaud Fontanet (another epidemiologist member of the scientific council and of the Institut Pasteur) published in Nature an article on the collective immunity to be achieved to control the Covid-19 epidemic. For Vincent Pavan, collective immunity is neither more nor less than a “scientific chimera”. Moreover, the two authors once again rely on the questionable theory of R0 and “carry out calculations that appear complicated, but which ultimately boil down to a rule of 3” to estimate the percentage of collective immunity to be achieved. in order to stop the spread of the disease, “and this, without taking into account the low contagiousness of Sars-CoV-2 nor its very low lethality”. But above all, they promote vaccination as the surest way to reach an effective threshold of herd immunity, provided that at least 70% of the population are vaccinated with two doses. An assertion which will be used to justify all the mass vaccination policy put in place thereafter. In reality, this vaccination rate will be reached in France in September 2021, with absolutely no effect. We have since known that the vaccine does not prevent transmission and that its effectiveness is very relative, which was never considered by the authors. Between theory and reality, there is a chasm.
A survey instead of a scientific study
Another example of scientific fraud pointed out by Pavan: the ComCor study by Fontanet et al. , which was used to justify, after the fact (!!!), the closure of bars and restaurants in France. It’s hard not to see it as an order from the government, to which cafe owners and restaurateurs had been asking for weeks what scientific evidence he had made his decision on. In fact of scientific study, it is rather a survey carried out in partnership with the Cnam and the Ipsos Institute on the lifestyle habits of the French, with a cohort of Covid patients and a cohort of non-sick. Based on their answers, the study attempts to determine the places of life most conducive to contamination. A rather unscientific method in itself: why not take microbiological samples in the field instead? Moreover, Vincent Pavan noted contradictions in the figures presented, leading to aberrations. The mathematician split a counter-expertise that remained unanswered, but which was obviously taken into account by the authors, since the version of the study published in The Lancet in June 2021 no longer contains the conflicting figures. Only, impossible to access all the data of the study to check the calculations… The association Freedom Infochaired by Vincent Pavan, and the association Common sense will end up filing a criminal complaint against X for forgery and use of forgery, fraud and influence peddling.
An unverifiable pre-publication
Ditto for the pre-publication signed Bosetti et al. (and in which we find Cauchemez and Fontanet) put online on June 28, 2021 on the Institut Pasteur website. Based on a so-called mathematical model, this shows that the unvaccinated would be 12 times more contagious than the vaccinated. Although not reviewed by peers (and it never will be), this pre-publication will nevertheless serve as scientific guarantee for the government to set up the health pass the following month. However, nothing stands up in this study, essentially tells us Vincent Pavan, who torpedoed it on July 22, 2021 during public meeting No. 15 of the Independent Scientific Council. “The conclusions only confirm the initial hypotheses, the equations are illegible with typographical errors and missing terms, moreover cabbage and carrots are compared, and it is impossible to access the codes used to verify them” . How to do worse?
Once again, the criticism of our troublemaker seems to have been partly heard, since a second version of the article will be posted on September 6, 2021 with a slight modification: the unvaccinated are no longer there than 4 times more contagious than the vaccinated. But how do the authors arrive at this new result? We don’t know it any more than with the first version. New complaint against X filed by Freedom Info with the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office. The two cases, defended by Me Ludovic Heringuez, are still in progress. But a problem appears: is justice able to decide on questions that are fundamentally part of the scientific debate?
* Vincent Pavan is a lecturer and researcher in mathematics at the University of Aix-Marseille, Polytech department. He is also a member of the Independent Scientific Council, president of the Réinfo Liberté association and co-author with Ariane Bilheran of the book “Le Débat Interdict – Langage, Covid et totalitarisme” (2022, Guy Trédaniel Publisher).
 Neil Ferguson predicted up to 200 million deaths worldwide from the H5N1 bird flu in an interview with the Guardian in August 2005