Features Australia

Covid ‘science’, lockdowns and flat-earthers

The ‘experts’ have destroyed their own credibility

16 October 2021

9:00 AM

16 October 2021

9:00 AM

As we hurtle towards medical app-artheid with ethically challenged vaccine passports following anti-science lockdowns, answer me this: have you ever known any government refuse to publish expert analysis that supports its policy? Me neither.

Sweden famously framed policy in line with settled science and worldwide experience gained over a century. Florida flirted with the panic-driven mass flight from science, but only briefly. Settled science doesn’t flip overnight. It wasn’t a sudden scientific Eureka moment that resulted in lockdowns but being impressed by China’s elimination of the outbreak in Wuhan. The tactics, although unpleasant, were believed to have been effective. When copied also by Italy, the architects of lockdowns have admitted they realised that Western democracies too could do the same. Few paused to question the reliability of the data and the credibility of official claims. China’s leadership couldn’t have imagined in their wildest wet dreams how successful they would be in wrecking Western economies, social cohesion and democratic institutions and practices. After worldwide publicity of our police brutality, lecturing China on human rights evokes mocking ridicule.

The key to successful lockdown politics hasn’t been science but fear. Victoria proves conclusively to the world, albeit not yet to most Victorians, that lockdowns are indeed a dead end, exactly as predicted by the settled science before madness set in last year. They delay but don’t eliminate Covid, while drawing out the overall health, mental health, social, political and economic damage through repeating lockdown cycles. Follow the money, not the science. As proven by the collusion between the scientific-publishing-technological complex on the lab-leak theory, much of science has been seduced and corrupted by Mammon with Chinese characteristics.

John Tierney recalls how Anthony Fauci and Robert Redfield (the last CDC director) fed alarmism in the 1980s about a heterosexual AIDS epidemic that never happened but greatly boosted both their careers and gained them fat research grants. Alarmists paid no professional or personal price – I read with headshaking disbelief that Neil Ferguson was back before a cross-party UK parliamentary committee on 5 October with more gloom and doom predictions – but many sceptics were pilloried, hounded out of office and ruined professionally. Being proven right years later was little help or consolation. Talk of history rhyming as farce.

Like other respiratory diseases, Covid can be managed as an endemic illness by a mix of natural immunity, vaccination and treatment. Both local elimination and global eradication are unrealistic. The just-approved malaria vaccine was developed over more than three decades by GlaxoSmithKline and has only 30 per cent efficacy. In the 1950s, around 50 million annual cases of smallpox killed millions. After an eleven-year effort that cost just $300 million, smallpox was eradicated by 1980. Dr Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert at the University of California San Francisco, explains why Covid-19 isn’t comparable to smallpox. Unlike Covid, smallpox lacked an animal reservoir; it had sharply distinguishing symptoms whereas Covid overlaps with symptoms from other respiratory diseases; the two have a short versus a prolonged period of infectiousness; and those who survived smallpox had lifelong immunity against it. On the vaccines side of the equation, mRNA vaccines use revolutionary new technology; the safety trials for Covid vaccines were fast-tracked, the subjects in the trial did not reflect the risk distribution of Covid by age and comorbidities and no longitudinal studies have been done yet. Compared to smallpox, Covid vaccines also have much more limited efficacy in strength, reduced risks of infection and transmission, and duration.

University of Melbourne epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely now concedes ‘You can’t deny that Covid just does what it wants. Basically’. No sh-t, Sherlock. Welcome to the dark side of the Covid street where for 19 months we’ve said virus gonna virus. Or, in more formal language, the trajectory of the virus has proven to be remarkably policy-invariant everywhere. Government interventions shape human behaviour without controlling virus behaviour. The New York Times now admits the virus surges and retreats in roughly two-month cycles, with no discernible correlation to lockdowns and mask mandates, that epidemiologists don’t understand. Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, a UNSW epidemiologist, is concerned only 23 per cent of 16–39 year old Victorians are fully vaccinated. Yet Stanford University’s Cathrine Axfors and John Ioannidis estimate the survivability of under-50s is 99.918-99.997 per cent. The cult-like fixation on one-size-fits-all approach to framing Covid policy has worsened health outcomes, hardships and inconveniences for everyone. Experts who hold sway and leaders who implemented their advice have been plain mulish in rejecting the sound recommendations of the Great Barrington Declaration to design protection around the most vulnerable groups.

The stubborn hostility to the undeniable power of natural immunity by the establishment, led by the CDC and Fauci has, says Marty Makary from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, ‘damaged the credibility of public health officials’. ‘Trust the science’ requires trusting scientists and scientific institutions that have become demonstrably politicised and faddish. Public confidence has eroded with flip-flopping advice, cherry-picked data and silencing of dissenting voices. The medical community has failed to counter the idiocy that people with penises and prostate possessors can be persons who menstruate, become birthing parents and chest-feed their babies. The rot has spread to the federal Health Department on Greg Hunt’s watch, when a conservative government worth the name would prioritise the family unit as the glue that holds society together. This craven capitulation to trans-bullies robs half of humanity of their core defining biological identity. Gender identity is not a social construct; nature establishes it with X and Y chromosomes.

When the medical profession has grown a pair and reasserted sanity, it might regain lost credibility on Covid.

US Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra wants to mandate vaccines and denigrates the unvaccinated as ‘flat earthers’. He’s shown ignorance (he confessed to being unaware of the major Israeli study on the power of natural immunity), arrogance (I know better than 100 million Americans) and authoritarianism (do as I tell you, or else). As a concluding thought experiment, imagine the irony if the religious and political authorities when the flat earthers reigned supreme had had at their disposal the vast powers of persuasion, surveillance, censorship, thought control and punishment for non-compliance available to today’s government-pharmaceutical-social media complex. We’d all still be true flat earthers, the Enlightenment would have missed its date with history, plagues and pestilence would periodically kill up to a third of a population and life would still be nasty, brutish and short for most of us.

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