Martin Kulldorff explains the rationale of the covid skeptics who feel compelled to speak out.
It has been hard to find any prominent NZer prepared to resist the covid fear-mongering and the Covid elimination strategy. Fortunately, those so vehemently in favour of fear and ‘zero covid’ plans have recorded their opinions for when the future comes looking to find blame.
I had no choice but to speak out against lockdowns. As a public-health scientist with decades of experience working on infectious-disease outbreaks, I couldn’t stay silent. Not when basic principles of public health are thrown out of the window. Not when the working class is thrown under the bus. Not when lockdown opponents were thrown to the wolves. There was never a scientific consensus for lockdowns. That balloon had to be popped.
Instead of understanding the pandemic, we were encouraged to fear it. Instead of life, we got lockdowns and death. We got delayed cancer diagnoses, worse cardiovascular-disease outcomes, deteriorating mental health, and a lot more collateral public-health damage from lockdown. Children, the elderly and the working class were the hardest hit by what can only be described as the biggest public-health fiasco in history.
An examination of over 80 Covid-19 studies reveals that many relied on assumptions that were false, and which tended to over-estimate the benefits and under-estimate the costs of lockdown. As a result, most of the early cost/benefit studies arrived at conclusions that were refuted later by data, and which rendered their cost/benefit findings incorrect.
Research done over the past six months has shown that lockdowns have had, at best, a marginal effect on the number of Covid-19 deaths. Generally speaking, the ineffectiveness of lockdown stems from voluntary changes in behavior.
Lockdown jurisdictions were not able to prevent non-compliance, and non-lockdown jurisdictions benefited from voluntary changes in behavior that mimicked lockdowns.
The limited effectiveness of lockdowns explains why, after one year, the unconditional cumulative deaths per million, and the pattern of daily deaths per million, is not negatively correlated with the stringency of lockdown across countries.
Using a cost/benefit method proposed by Professor Bryan Caplan, and using two extreme assumptions of lockdown effectiveness, the cost/benefit ratio of lockdowns in Canada, in terms of life-years saved, is between 3.6–282.
That is, it is possible that lockdown will go down as one of the greatest peacetime policy failures in Canada’s history.
We should be concerned
6 April 2021
Like many gravitating to the Covid Plan B webpage, I am increasingly concerned about our government’s and indeed the global approach to the management of the Covid-19 pandemic. There are so many aspects of the present situation that seem so completely surreal.
From the philosophical perspective, I am deeply concerned about the adulteration of the scientific method. Am tired of hearing the media admonish us to trust the science and trust the experts. I constantly need to remind those around me that science is a tool, a method which if correctly applied will answer questions in a meaningful way bringing us progressively closer to an approximation of truth. It is primarily a process of observation and to make our observations meaningful these must be conducted in a carefully controlled manner.
By contrast, the force dominating our present world view is a deceitful yet carefully contrived facsimile of science. It uses all the vestiges, regalia and language of science without meeting the fundamental criteria. The policies and interventions which are being foisted upon us in the name of this pandemic are based not upon controlled observation, but rather upon narratives, rhetoric and data derived from some rather dubious uses of modelling. To make the distinction I will refer to this alternative paradigm of polemics and extrapolation as scientism. It is a sleight of hand, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the proverbial cuckoo in the nest of the scientific method.
Examples of scientific fraud that have been perpetuated on our populous over the course of the present pandemic are sadly numerous. But I wish to focus here on the novel reversible gene therapy which is being deployed to our New Zealand population under the auspices of the disarming banner of the term “vaccine”. Vaccines are central to our medical approach to the prevention of severe human disease. However, the present technology has never been used for this application on prior occasions. It is disingenuous to include this technology within the trusted envelope of the term “vaccine” without evidence that it is both safe and effective for use in this capacity. The suggestion that an individual’s access to employment, ability to access services and ability to travel could depend upon their participation in this uncontrolled human experiment should be deeply alarming to anyone who places any value on human rights.
I have deep concerns about the speed at which these experimental “vaccines” are being presented as the only solution to the pandemic. No one has been able to answer the question as to how we can be confident that the recurring problem of antibody dependent enhancement which plagued our prior attempts to produce vaccines to other coronavirus variants in animal studies has been overcome. The main safety concern may not lie in the deployment of these “vaccines” but rather in the exuberance of the inflammatory response which follows the subsequent exposure of a patient to covid-19 or a future coronavirus variant.
Science aside, I am alarmed at the campaign of propaganda directed at the public through our mainstream media. The media’s phrasing of Covid-19 is hyperbole at best or worse – blatant fear mongering. By prefixing reports with phrase selection “the deadly virus” it is little wonder that many of our fellow New Zealanders are living in the state of fear that paralyses rational decision making. I am unaccustomed to living in an environment in which rational discussion has become verboten. Never have I seen anybody who dares to ask legitimate questions, shutdown so vehemently and labelled “controversial” or a “conspiracy theorist”.
It seems quite clear that we are only “allowed” to conform to the narrative being presented to us by our government and our trusted mainstream media. We once lived in a free society, with free speech and open dialogue, this no longer seems to be the case. Should we be concerned? I am.
The author: I do not wish to disclose my identity, at least for the time-being. I have undertaken a protracted tertiary education which includes degrees in science (cellular and molecular biology and biochemistry) medicine and dentistry and a doctoral degree with research in molecular biology. I am lucky to be a member of the fortunate educated.
A banal report from the Children’s Commissioner about life in lockdown for NZ kids has a few interesting findings when you dig into it.
By and large, it appears that our kids dealt reasonably resiliently with what the report stupidly claims to be “unprecedented times”
From their survey, half of kids’ parents worked at home and half went out to work – that’s a lot different from the “work from home” message that dominated the perspective of the Government.
Only 8% of kids list the public health messages as a memorable feature of the period.
The absolutely dominant feature and commonality among all kids is that they really missed and disliked the physical separation from their friends, particularly via school. That speaks to a reality of the lives of almost all of us – and something denied by lockdown and social distancing: we simply cannot live for very long separated from each other.
“…benefits [of lockdown], however, are overshadowed by the negative consequences of the lockdown. First and foremost is the direct impact on their health. Emergency departments in the UK experienced unprecedented reductions of >50% in attendances during lockdown.  In Scotland, children’s emergency department attendances fell proportionally more than any other age-group. This raises concerns that children with critical illnesses were not accessing health services on time and, therefore, suffering potentially avoidable harm.
60% of paediatricians responded within 7 days and, and 241 (32%) of 752 emergency department paediatricians had witnessed delayed presentations. Free text responses revealed diabetes mellitus (new diagnosis/diabetic ketoacidosis) as by far the most common delayed presentation, followed by delayed presentations of sepsis and new cancer diagnoses.
There were also nine deaths, resulting mainly from sepsis and malignancy, where delayed presentation was considered by the reporting paediatrician to be a significant contributing factor – higher than the total number of childhood covid-19 deaths reported over the same period in England.
Thanks to good record keeping and research in the UK that country is now counting the cost of lockdown on health.
The Spectator reports:
A study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found delayed and cancelled breast cancer treatments will cause between 281 and 344 additional deaths. For colorectal cancer, there were an extra 1,445 to 1,563 deaths, lung cancer an additional 1,235 to 1372 deaths and 330 to 342 more oesophagal cancer deaths.
A University of Leeds study estimated that there have already been an extra 2,085 deaths from heart disease and stroke as a result of people not accessing timely medical help. A study by the University Hospital of Northern Tees reveals that the number of endoscopies — used to investigate and diagnose bowel cancer — fell to just 12 per cent of their normal level between 24 March and 31 May
The National Blood and Transplant Service looked at the period between 23 March and 10 May and found that, compared with the same period in 2019, the number of organ donors fell by 66 per cent and the number of transplants fell by 68 per cent. This year, 87 people died while waiting for an organ transplant, compared with 47 last year.
And in a report by the ONS, an extra 25,472 people have died at home than would otherwise be expected from the average past five years.
Sunetra Gupta talks about her most recent study showing preexisting resistance to Covid19, and that 15-20% sero-positivity in the population could retard Covid19 prevalence and probably already is.
She also refers to some strange behavior of people opposed to looking into these matters.
No matter how dangerous you think Covid19 might be, this academic analysis dissects the dangerous speed and nature of the authoritarian responses by otherwise democratic governments.
Its says the political ‘global copycat response’ signals an ‘pandemic of authoritarianization’ with “the potential to unleash humanitarian crises no less devastating than COVID-19 in the long run”.