New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian made headlines around the world this week when she put soldiers on the streets of Sydney, but no one revelled in the draconian crackdown more than Beijing.
The Global Times gloated that Foreign Minister Marise Payne had said in June 2020 that ‘some countries’ were ‘using the pandemic to undermine liberal democracy to promote their own more authoritarian models’. Touché.
The use of the military aptly illustrates that the government is not implementing a rational health policy, it is waging an all-out war in which no expense will be spared. As NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant put it at the start of the latest lockdown, ‘We are just focussed on eliminating Covid’.
Helicopters filled the skies. Loudspeakers warned citizens to leave the beaches. An elderly woman was arrested because, in wearing a ‘Not Happy Gladys’ tee-shirt, she was not just exercising, but exercising her right to protest. In Brisbane, also in lockdown, an elderly man was arrested by police who refused to believe that he couldn’t wear a mask because of a heart condition until he collapsed of a heart attack.
It is all justified by the decision of the national cabinet that Covid must be suppressed until 70 to 80 per cent of Australians over 16 get vaccinated. Only then will the return of vaccinated Australians from overseas be uncapped but there will still be lockdowns.
If restrictions were abandoned at 70 per cent, we are told, the doomsday scenario is that there would be around eleven deaths a day, or 4,000 per year, a little less than from flu and pneumonia in 2019. To think that 460 people died every day in Australia in that year without governments grounding the entire nation!
Why the Doherty Institute which modelled the plan has decided on such a high rate of vaccination is a mystery. Sweden has 40 per cent of its population vaccinated, has never been locked down and has no Covid deaths.
It is not as if, by preventing people from dying of Covid, we prevent them from dying at all. Australia had only six Covid deaths this year yet by June deaths there were 2,427 excess deaths, 5.6 per cent more than the 2015-19 average.
Plans are afoot for a vaccine passport, the ultimate Catch-22 of the war on Covid since the vaccine doesn’t stop you catching Covid or transmitting it. Our leaders who imagine that it will incentivise uptake of the jab misunderstand the basis of vaccine hesitancy. Medical authorities dismiss myocarditis as ‘mostly mild’ in the same way that Black Lives Matter protests last year were reported as ‘mostly peaceful’. Yet everyday people share photos and details of the injuries and deaths of their loved ones. A man reports that his son has been in the ICU for three days with myocarditis, chest pain, and elevated troponin from the second dose of his vaccine and that his doctors, he claims, say they’ve seen sixty other boys with similar injuries.
Another confides that an extremely fit middle-aged friend had his second AstraZeneca injection and collapsed just before going out to dinner with a massive clot which will take six months to dissolve with the concurrent risk of a fatal infection.
It’s as if people are being urged to fly to the moon on Apollo 1 – it was consumed in fire before take-off – and demonised for suggesting that they will wait not just for Apollo 11 but SpaceX or Virgin Galactic.
But it is not just current adverse events and deaths that people fear. The threat of Antibody Dependent Enhancement (ADE), which US presidential Covid adviser Dr Fauci warned was a risk with a coronavirus vaccine, has not yet been dispelled. Dr Robert Malone, the father of mRNA technology, says that risk is highest during the waning phase of vaccine immunity which is starting to occur with the first cohorts of the vaccinated in Israel, the US and the UK.
It’s hardly surprising that people are worried when the UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) tabled a report last week which said it was a ‘realistic possibility’ that a variant could appear with a case fatality rate comparable to SARS (10 per cent) or MERS (35 per cent). Is this just ‘fear porn’ of the kind touted by Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, who predicted UK Covid deaths would reach half a million over two years if there was no lockdown? Or is it preparation for a higher level of deaths in vaccinated people? Who knows? It is not reassuring that in June Westminster City Council asked for tenders for the provision of ‘temporary body storage facilities to house deceased in the event of an excess deaths situation’ for London.
Vaccine hesitancy comes down to the question once eloquently framed by former Prime Minister John Howard that seems to echo from a vanished age: who do you trust? Since then, elites, pollsters, media and tech titans have waged a war on the values of ordinary people. We are expected to except that men are women and women are chest-feeders and breeders, that it is racist to claim that all people are equal but not that all white people are racist, and that anyone who contradicts these, or a dozen other absurdities, deserves to be hounded out of their job and denied the right to speak. All this is defended by business, academia, government and scientists who hardly boosted their credibility by claiming for more than a year that the Covid virus came from a pangolin or a bat or Australian frozen beef, anywhere other than the Wuhan Institute of Virology. As a result, institutions and public health officials are probably considered about as credible as scientologists at the mall or Jeffery Epstein’s security guards.
After a worldwide trip around the globe, Covid made a home-coming appearance this week in Wuhan. Yet the truth is that what China unleashed on the planet was not just a laboratory-enhanced Sars-like coronavirus but creeping authoritarianism. It starts out mild but without early resistance risks turning into full-blown health fascism with masked pharmocrats, driven by an insatiable lust for power and profits, calling the shots. It only begs the question, will the extinction of liberalism in Australia be registered as a Covid death or a suicide?
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