Early Spread Evidence in one Document
This dispatch is for any researcher, journalist or official interested in the topic of early spread.
CORRECTION: My correct email address is: email@example.com. The first version of this story had a typo in my email address. Because of this, I’ve been told some emails have “bounced.” Anyone with information relevant to this topic is welcome to contact me.
Will Jones, the senior editor of the excellent website The Daily Sceptic, asked me to summarize all of my evidence of possible “early” cases of Covid-19 in one document.
Will asked me to present the cases by name, dates of likely infection, location and to cite sources (links) that provide details that might support these claims. He also asked me to rate the confidence I have that each of these cases are/were legitimate.
Will also asked me to include any notes I thought were important in analyzing the veracity of these claims.
The document turned out to be lengthy primarily because of the length of my “notes.”
Even though the length of this project will no doubt reduce the number of my readers, I do think it’s important to summarize all of this information in one document. My hope is that any serious researcher interested in “early spread” evidence will be able to find important details in one document, which will be archived on the Internet hopefully for many years.
Summary of Evidence …
Per my research, there are at least 130 known cases of “antibody-positive” infection in America, with most infections occurring in the calendar year 2019.
The real number of “known” infections would be approximately double this number as no one knows the identify of the unknown people who infected these 130 people.
So I think this document provides evidence of approximately 260 infected Americans (the number would actually be slightly smaller as some spouses obviously infected another spouse).
As highlighted in my most recent article, officials at the CDC said there was no evidence of cases in America before “latter January” 2020. Officials said they had looked for evidence of infections in November and December 2019 and could not find any evidence that they could “confirm.”
This document thus provides evidence CDC officials clearly do not consider important or significant … but I do.
These early cases occurred in at least 16 U.S. states.
I did not count likely or possible early cases in the crew of The U.S.S Teddy Roosevelt, although I am confident some of the antibody-positive crew members were infected before “latter January” 2020.
I also included links to studies that identify 353 early cases in France, 111 in Italy and one case in the U.K.
If one counts early cases in China, this would be antibody evidence of infections that occurred prior to 2020 in at least five countries (China, America, Italy, France and the UK). At least to this author, the vast geographic disbursement of likely early cases literally connotes virus “spread.”
I list the cases chronologically. It’s clear from this research that Americans were being infected by November 2019, but probably even earlier.
Chronological Summary of Possible/Likely
Cases of early Covid-19 Infection
Cases: 39 - From first tranche of Red Cross Antibody Study
Dates of infection: December 10th, 2019 (latest possible date of infection) to October or September 2019.
Places: California, Washington and Oregon.
Evidence: Positive antibody test, per CDC Red Cross Antibody Study.
Sources: Red Cross Antibody study.
Blood from the first tranche of approximately 1,900 units of blood was collected Dec. 13-16, 2019.
Per multiple sources, it takes “one to 3 weeks” for detectable levels of antibodies to be detected via the assays.
Thirty nine donors (out of approximately 1,900) tested positive for IgM and/or IgG antibodies.
No breakdown is given on the number from this 39 who tested “negative for IgM” and “positive for IgG.” The presence of the IgM antibody means the donor was infected within the previous 30 days. A negative IgM result in combination with a positive IgG result means the donor was infected at least 30 days prior to blood donation.
This author’s assumption is that some of these 39 positive results were negative IgM and positive IgG, meaning the latest dates of infection would be Nov. 6 to November 13, 2019 (30 days prior to blood sample collection).
Blood donors are not supposed to donate blood if they have been sick in the prior two weeks. If donors followed this guidance, this also pushes back the date of likely infection.
None of the 39 individuals who donated blood that was positive for Covid antibodies was interviewed by CDC officials. This means we don’t know if any had Covid symptoms in the weeks or months prior to their blood donation. Nor did contact tracers interview any “close contacts” or people in their household who might have had Covid symptoms. We also don’t know if any of these people had been to China or not (the assumption would be they had not).
It is also unknown when these antibody tests were performed. The results were published on Nov. 30, 2020 - 11 1/2 month after the blood had been collected.
When these samples would have been tested for antibodies is an important unanswered question. Antibody tests were being administered in China in January 2020 and other countries by February.
Question 1: Did the U.S. government lack the ability to test for antibodies by late February or early March 2020?
Question 2: Would the lockdowns have been ordered if officials knew that 2.03 percent of a random sample of American blood donors had already been infected by November 2019?
Cases: 1 “Shane” from Marin County, California
Dates of infection: Fall 2019.
Place/location: Shane said he lives in Marin County, California but thinks he may have been infected on a trip to Italy and the Mideast.
Evidence: Two positive antibody tests, according to Shane.
Sources: New York Times Reader Comments from a series of moderated posts by a subscriber who identified himself as “Shane” from Marin County, California. The post was made on May 7, 2020.
Bill Rice analysis of Shane’s possible case - (See “Case 3” in this article).
Writes Shane: “I had COVID-19 last fall, far earlier than anyone else I’ve heard of. I suspect I caught it while on an overseas trip to Italy and the Middle East – I’ve taken two antibody tests in the past month, both of which confirmed I was infected.”
“For me the worst symptom by far was the dry, unproductive cough. The cough was so intense, so relentless, it left me with bruised ribs and a horrible searing pain in my chest, which also felt as if someone were sitting on it. The fever at one point reach 104.9 upon which I began hallucinating – seeing my dogs talking to me and forgetting how to open a sliding glass door. Horrible chills which led to my teeth chattering so hard my jaw ached were also another noxious gift of Covid.
“What I most remember about my experience with Covid is pain, pain from coughing, pain in my body and head, pain everywhere around me, like a smothering red blanket. At times I felt I was going to die during that week and even today I must admit I am surprised I didn’t.”
Adding credibility to his claim, Shane’s post cited two labs where he claims to have received his positive antibody tests.
“The local health centre in West Marin is where I took the latest one. The other one I took directly at the manufacturer’s location – ARCpoint Labs in Richmond. That one is only 87% accurate and not FDA approved so that’s why I took the more recent one, which was done through Quest Labs I believe.”
Note: Quest labs offers an ELISA blood test, said to be the “gold standard” of antibody tests.
I found this link on the Quest Labs website at its “Antibody test” section:
May 4, 2020 Fact sheet
What does it mean if I have a positive test result?
“If you have a positive test result, it is likely that you have or previously had COVID-19 and that you have developed an antibody response to the virus … There is also the small possibility that this test can give a positive result that is wrong (a false positive result).”
Comment: According to Quest Labs, anyone who test positive with this assay, “likely” had Covid at some previous point in time. The possibility the results were a false positive is "small.”
From Quest website:
How accurate are Covid 19 tests?
“Lab test accuracy is measured in two ways—specificity and sensitivity. The antibody tests currently offered by Quest Diagnostics have specificity values of 99.6% to 100% which keeps false positive results to a minimum. The antibody test sensitivity values are approximately 90% to 100%.”
Based on Shane's self-reported symptoms, the fact he says he received two positive antibody tests (and wasn’t sick after the “fall), and the fact “Shane” seems educated and would have no obvious reason to make this story up out of thin air, I believe Shane did have Covid when the thinks he had it.
I should note I have emailed the NY Times “news tip” email address at least three times, suggesting the newspaper follow up on this “news tip.” I have never received a reply to these emails, but assume the newspaper could have easily found Shane’s email address, telephone number or street address (and real or full name) from its subscription records.
I don’t know why this newspaper wouldn’t be interested in following up on Shane’s possible early case given that it would be the first known case in the world if “confirmed.”
Cases: 1 - Mayor Michael Melham
Dates of infection: Nov. 19 to Nov. 21, 2019 (or perhaps earlier).
Place/location: Atlantic City, NJ (or Belleville, NJ).
Evidence: Two positive antibody tests.
Fox News website:
Four-minute YouTube interview with Mayor Melham:
Bill Rice, Jr. article/analysis:
I confirmed in an email exchange with Mayor Melham that he later got a second positive antibody test. This second test was not a “rapid” test. The blood was sent off to a lab for analysis, per Mayor Melham.
Michael Melham, the mayor of Belleville, NJ, first experienced Covid symptoms at a convention of New Jersey municipal officials that was held Nov. 19-21, 2019 in Atlantic City. (The assumption is Mayor Melham was infected at this conference. However, it’s also possible he was infected before he arrived at the conference).
Mayor Melham says he heard from “numerous” or “many” other people who attended the same conference, telling him they also got sick at the same conference.
Despite telling his story in the media, Mayor Melham was never contacted by state or CDC public health officials.
The latest Mayor Melham could have been infected would probably be Nov. 19, the first day of the conference. It usually takes a day or two after infection to develop symptoms.
We don’t know who the unknown person was who infected Mayor Melham or the unknown person who infected that person. The assumption is that the chain of infection that resulted in Mayor Melham having Covid symptoms (and later testing positive for antibodies two times) began in mid-November if not earlier.
The fact Mayor Melham received two positive antibody tests, had definite Covid symptoms, was never sick after November and has no apparent incentive to make up a story lead me to conclude with high confidence that Mayor Melham had Covid on or around November 20 (with other unknown NJ residents having it before him).
The fact “many” other people got sick with the same symptoms at the same event strongly suggests that some kind of “super spreader” event might have occurred at this convention.
Not only did officials not interview Mayor Melham (or keep testing him for antibodies), they also didn’t make any effort to contact the other people who told the mayor they think they also had Covid.
Case: 1 - Uf Tukel from DelRay Beach, Florida
Dates of infection: Late November 2019.
Place/location: DelRay Beach, Florida.
Evidence: One positive antibody test.
Confidence: Strong or high.
Palm Beach Post article, May 16, 2020:
Mr. Tukel is one of 11 people from one subdivision of DelRay Beach Florida who tested positive at a local medical clinic that began offering antibody tests in March. His case in “late November” was the earliest case in this group.
Cases: 67 - from 2nd tranche of Red Cross antibody study
Dates of infection: January 2020 at latest, but more likely December 2019 or even earlier.
Places/location: Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Iowa.
Evidence: Positive antibody tests, per CDC Red Cross Antibody Study.
Blood collection for this tranche of donated blood occurred between Dec. 30, 2019 and January 17, 2020.
Again, as it takes one to three weeks for detectable levels of antibodies to form, the assumption is the majority of these infections occurred in December 2019 and possibly earlier. However, it’s possible some of these 67 infections occurred in January 2020.
As noted above, it would have been important information if authors of this study had included a break-down of positive and negative results by antibody antigen. That is, any individual who tested negative for the IgM antibody but positive for the IgG antibody could be assumed to have been infected at least 30 to 40 days prior to donating blood.
The author believe the majority of these infections occurred in December 2019 but it’s possible that some number of infections occurred earlier (in November or even October).
It is perhaps unlikely that any person who had symptomatic Covid donated blood during this time frame (Dec. 30 - January 17) as blood donors are not supposed to donate blood if they have recently been sick or had flu-like symptoms.
Critics who dismiss the findings of the Red Cross antibody study cite their belief that the antibody tests were likely producing “false positives.” The theory is that the positive antibody results were from “cross reactivity” to another coronavirus. This theory seems to postulate a lack of confidence in the CDC’s chosen antibody tests.
I believe it’s perhaps more likely that the serology tests undercounted the number of people who had previously been infected. That is, there were likely more “false negative” results than “false positive” results.
This means I think there were probably more than 106 blood donors who had previously been infected by this virus. The percentage of true positives would be higher than 2.03 percent in California, Oregon and Washington and higher than 1.44 percent in all nine states.
The fact it takes one to three weeks for detectable levels of antibodies to form and the fact that a small percentage of people never develop detectable levels of antibodies supports this theory.
There is also a subjective or arbitrary component to all diagnostic assays, meaning how the “cutoff values” are established influences the final results.
I believe it’s possible the antibody tests could have been “set up” to produce lower number of positives. This would be the opposite of what happened later with PCR tests, which seemed to have been “set up” to produce the highest number of “positive” cases (by setting cycle thresholds at 40 or higher).
In summary, I think the “prevalence” percentages included in the Red Cross antibody study were the lowest figure they could be.
Extrapolated to the U.S. national population of 331 million, a difference of 1 percentage point would translate to approximately 3.3 million more “early cases” in America.
Cases: 10 more in DelRay Beach, Florida
Dates of infection: December 2019.
Evidence: Positive antibody tests.
Three of these cases occurred in the same families (both spouses were positive) and one child, a detail which suggests that the virus was contagious and was spreading “person to person.”
The clinic/lab began testing at an unspecified date in “March” 2020, which is earlier than most antibody tests began to be administered in America. Widespread antibody testing began in late April and early May.
According to the manager of the health clinic, the clinic had administered approximately 500 antibody tests between some point in March 2020 and publication of the Palm Beach Post article on May 16. Approximately 40 percent (200 cases) were positive, according to the manager.
The manager stated that the clinic had passed along these results to the Florida Department of Public Health, which would not confirm this and has never reported how many positive antibody results had been reported to this agency that could trace to before March.
If this clinic/lab was reporting numerous “false positives” to its clients/customers, this would seem to open this company up to potential liability. But, as far as I am aware, no one has sued the lab for giving clients large numbers of “false positive” results. The State never brought any action against this lab. The lab and its manager seem to stand behind the results they were producing.
I have repeatedly emailed reporters and editors of The Palm Beach Post, asking why the paper didn’t follow up with its “early spread” stories and never received an answer. I did finally get one response from a “data” reporter who didn’t answer my key questions but did confirm that the State health agency still refuses to release information on possible early cases.
My assumption/belief is that there are many “early cases” that have been reported to state health agencies that have never been announced or revealed to the public.
Cases: 2 - Tim and Brandie McCain
Dates of infection: December 24 (or earlier) 2019.
Place/location: Sylacauga, Alabama.
Evidence: Multiple positive antibody tests.
Confidence: Extremely strong.
Tim and Brandie McCain, a married couple in their late 30s, first experienced flu-like symptoms on Dec. 26, 2019. They also both experienced strange back pain as early as December 15, which may or may not have been a Covid symptom. Since it reportedly takes at least one to two days from infection to “onset of symptoms,” I believe the McCains were infected no later than December 24, 2019.
Tim McCain was hospitalized in critical condition for 24 days in a Birmingham hospital.
Per my research and reporting, Tim McCain experienced all 11 Covid symptoms and every clinical marker of a “severe case.”
Tim’s wife was also very sick in late December, but was never hospitalized.
Tim and Brandie received antibody tests on April 30 and May 1, 2020 (from Abbott Labs, an ELISA test). Both results were positive for Covid via the IgG antibody and both were negative for the IgM (recent) antibody.
Tim only got one positive antibody test. His wife later got at least two more antibody tests and both were positive, meaning she has now had at least three positive antibody tests, all from different clinics and different tests.
The McCains’ roommate at the time, Ben Calfee, was also as “sick as I’ve ever been in my life” at the same time as the McCains, but Calfee never got an antibody test.
Officials with the Alabama Department of Public Health are aware of the McCains’ possible early cases (I interviewed the No. 2 official with the agency), but the agency has never interviewed the McCains or sought Tim’s medical records.
The fact the McCains live in a small (population: 13,000) rural Alabama town is also significant in my opinion. This is not the type town you would expect to find Covid outbreaks in December 2019.
I also note that I sent my feature story on the McCains to more than 25 national publications and none were interested in the story (until UncoverDC.com finally published it).
Cases: 2 - Jean and one person who was not named in press reports
Place/location: Snohomish County, Washington.
Evidence: Positive ELISA antibody tests (administered by labs at the University of Washington).
Confidence: Very strong.
Source: The Seattle Times.
Jean, 64, a retired nurse, and one unnamed person from Snohomish County had Covid symptoms in December 2019 and later tested positive for antibodies via an ELISA antibody test administered through the University of Washington.
Jean lives in a rural area of Washington.
Per The Seattle Times, local officials also identified 65 other possible early cases that they did not investigate.
These two Washington cases are the only case I have found where some (local and state) public health officials did an “investigation.” However, these two cases are still only listed as “probable” and have never been “confirmed.”
Possible cases reported to this journalist
by readers of my Substack page …
Note: A story of mine published by the Daily Sceptic and the Brownstone Institute included a blurb asking readers who thought they may have had an “early” case of Covid to contact this reporter. This article was picked up by Citizen Free Press and resulted in more than 20,000 readers seeing this article and solicitation.
After CFP picked up my article, I received 104 emails providing testimonials. Among these 104 personal stories, were at least seven people who reported they had symptoms of Covid and later tested positive for antibodies.
The information that follows is based on the claims of the respondents. While my confidence levels is not as “strong” about these claims, I tend to believe these respondents are likely telling the truth about their symptoms and positive antibody results.
I also think it is significant that one article read by approximately 20,000 random readers produced at least seven “early infection” possibilities. If 200,000 readers happened to have read this article, I might have received 10 times as many possible “early cases” (which would be 70 more possible cases). Two million readers might have produced 700 more possible early cases.
It should also be noted that very few people in America received antibody tests in late April or May 2020. That is, most people who could have received a positive antibody test didn’t get a test.
I also believe an unknown percentage of people who received “negative” antibody results in late April or later perhaps did have Covid many months earlier. Per numerous studies, detectable levels of antibodies wane or fade in as little as two or three months.
For example, people who had Covid symptoms in mid-December 2019 and received an antibody test in mid-May 2020 would have gotten their tests five months after their symptoms. It’s very possible that “detectable” levels of antibodies would not be present 150 days later.
Indeed, all antibody tests results include language stating that a “negative” result does not preclude the possibility of prior infection.
For these and other reasons, I think antibody results are not capturing every person who had been previously infected.
Source for the following is this Substack article I published on October 4, 2022.
Cases: 1 - Rachel Benedetto
Place/location: Metro New York.
Date of infection: Christmas 2019.
Evidence: Two positive antibody tests (in April and June 2020).
Confidence: High (based on two positive antibody test results).
Cases: 2 - Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Taylor
Place/location: Austin, Texas.
Date of infection: November 2019.
Evidence: Positive antibody tests in May 2020.
“In May of 2020, I had a test; my blood was crawling with antibodies … My wife nursed me during my illness. She never developed symptoms, but she had antibodies in May 2020 as well. “
Case: 1 - Sean (last name not provided).
Place/location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Date of infection: November/beginning of December 2019.
Evidence: Positive antibody tests after giving blood sometime in summer of 2020.
“I also contracted Covid end of November/beginning of December 2019 after returning from a trip to France. Was really sick for about 4-5 days. After giving blood sometime in the summer of 2020, I found out I had the antibodies.”
Case: 1 - Jim Rust
Date of infection: Late November 2019.
Evidence: Positive antibody test after he donated blood to the Red Cross in December 2020.
“In December 2020, I donated blood to the Red Cross. When the blood work was analyzed, low and behold the Covid spike protein was detected. To my knowledge, I have not contracted the dreaded virus since …”
Mr. Rust is “pretty sure” his wife had the virus after him. However, for purposes of this summary I do not include her as a likely case since she did not receive a positive antibody test.
Cases: 1 - Gene Tarlton
Place/location: Not provided.
Date of infection: October 2019.
Evidence: Positive antibody test “flagged” by the Red Cross when Mr. Carlton donated blood in “May or June 2020.”
Mr. Tarlton says his blood was “flagged” by the Red Cross for antibodies in May or June 2020. Per my research, the Red Cross did not begin to test blood for Covid antibodies until June 15, 2020. Still, this would fit the parameters given by Mr. Tarlton.
“I caught Covid 19 in October 2019. Went to donate blood in May or June of 2020 and blood was rejected at that time because I had Covid antibodies.”
Cases: 1 - John Perry
Place/location: Miller Creek, NC.
Date of infection: Early January 2020.
Evidence: Positive antibody test he received from his internist in March 2020.
Mr. Perry, who lives in South Carolina, reports he got sick with Covid symptoms in “early January” 2020 while working on a job-related project in Miller Creek, NC.
“I was tested for antibodies in March of 2020 at the behest of my Internist just to see if their "experimental test" as he called-it, would work on me given that he was sure I had endured the Covid in January given my symptoms. I tested positive in March even though at the time they were not sure the antibodies remained in your system more than thirty days.”
Mr. Perry’s case stands out as he reports that employees from the SC Public Health Department and the North Carolina Department of Public Health both later contacted him, asking him about details of his illness. He said his doctor reported his positive case via a data base accessed by the SC Department of Health, with this information later passed along to state health officials in North Carolina.
Excerpt from Mr. Perry’s account:
“The NP who called me (from the NC Dept. of Public Health) asked a lot of questions about where I was when I caught that first case of Covid (of mine) and I told her, Miller Creek, NC.
“She said they were tracing-back the NC outbreak possibly to Boone, NC and she even went as far as to tell me a couple of the female U.S. ski team members had been training in China but had returned in time for Christmas (of 2019) and had gone to various places ... two of them to Boone, just a few miles away from Miller's Creek. So I asked her if there were verifiable cases in Boone of 2019 and she said, ‘Maybe; who knows? we'll see’ and she thanked-me for my time and said a nice goodbye.”
From this testimonial, it seems that Mr. Perry’s internist immediately reported this possible early case to state health officials (in March 2020). At some point, this information became known to public health officials in North Carolina. Presumably the CDC would have also been aware of this “early case.”
See my recent article where CDC officials stated in a May 29, 2020 press conference that they were not aware of any possible early cases in America before “latter January” 2020.
I believe CDC officials probably were aware of this and other possible early cases, including the members of the referenced U.S. ski team (who might have spread the virus or been infected in December 2019). This bolsters my belief CDC officials were concealing evidence of early infection and were not telling the full truth when they said they’d found “no indications” of early spread before “latter January” 2020.
Possible early cases on the U.S.S. Roosevelt aircraft carrier
In my most recent article, I included several paragraphs discussing the possibility at least two crew members of the U.S.S. Roosevelt aircraft carrier very possibly had Covid when that ship left port from San Diego on January 17, 2020.
This conjecture is based on the fact that 12 crew members tested positive for antibodies after self-reporting Covid symptoms at least 40 days before they gave blood for an antibody study. The blood was collected from 382 crew members April 20-24, 2020.
Significantly, crew members filled out a questionnaire reporting the dates of their “onset of symptoms.” One crew member reported symptoms 98 days before he or she donated blood and another crew member said he or she had symptoms 99 days prior to donating blood for the antibody tests.
Both crew members would have had Covid symptoms by January 17, the date the ship left America. This would be before or the same date of the first “confirmed” case in America and be the first cases where the positive person had not recently been to China.
In this author’s opinion, many more possible early cases would likely pre-date the ship’s first port-of-call (in Vietnam in mid-March 2020) if more than 382 crew members had been tested for antibodies. Only 382 of 4,850 crew members (7.8 percent of the crew) were tested for antibodies.
Cases: 2 (unconfirmed)
Place/location: San Diego, California.
Date of infection: Mid-January 2020.
Evidence: Positive antibody tests.
No Roosevelt crew member was interviewed by Navy or CDC officials about their onset of symptoms. My confidence is “high” that at least one crew member already was infected with this virus when the ship left port only because 92.8 percent of crew members were not tested for antibodies. In this author’s opinion, if 100 percent of the crew had been tested and filled out questionnaires about the dates of their onset of symptoms, many more likely early cases would have been identified by this study.
I also believe it’s possible the size of the antibody study was intentionally kept small to preclude even more compelling evidence of early spread.
Other possible/likely early cases in France and Italy
This summary focusses on possible early cases in America only. However, it should be noted that strong or compelling “antibody” evidence of “early spread” can be found in this study of archived blood from France (353 possible early cases) and this study produced by a team of academic researchers in Italy that detected 111 possible early cases.
And one possible early case in the UK ….
I also found a likely/possible early case (from November 2019) by reading the Reader Comments from an article published by the UK’s Daily Mail on May 16, 2020.
Cases: 1 - “Just lil old me”
Place/location: Lancashire, England.
Date of infection: November 2019.
Evidence: Positive antibody test received in late April 2020.
Wrote the poster “Just lil old me:”
“I was very, very poorly in November. Double pneumonia and in ICU. I tested negative for flu but obviously not tested for Covid as it was not known about at that point. I paid for an antibody test 3 weeks ago (which would have been late April 2020). It shows i had Covid-19. I haven't been poorly since November with anything so I obviously had it then. I hadn't been out the country or even my own town so how did I get it?!”
One presumes that a reporter for The Daily Mail could have found this poster’s contact information as she had to register to make posts on-line. The fact she says she was hospitalized in ICU for double pneumonia in November could be confirmed (or debunked). This person could probably provide evidence she had indeed received an antibody test three weeks before she made this post.
Such journalistic inquiries would be worth the effort as this lady would also be one of if not the very first “confirmed” cases in the world and would be, by many months, be the first “confirmed” case in the UK.
If you have information …
Anyone with information relevant to this on-going investigation can contact the author by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. If preferred, the identify of sources can and will be kept confidential.
Also, See Reader Comments for an additional “bibliography’ of articles I’ve written on the topic of early spread which I think may be of interest to readers interested in this topic.