February 2 was Groundhog Day except that every day is Groundhog Day in Australia. We are trapped in 2020, going in and out of lockdown like a demented cuckoo clock. A year may have passed but what have we learned?
The Western Australian premier still hasn’t figured out that Covid is transmitted between people so he has made it mandatory to wear masks even if no one is around, as if you could catch the virus from trees or toilet seats. The Victorian premier has extended the state of emergency until the end of the year but why stop there? Just make it permanent and put it on the rego plates — ‘Victoria – The State of Emergency’? The Queensland premier has finally noticed that locking out the rest of the country has devastated the tourism industry and wants those she locked out to give her a handout.
In federal parliament, Liberal MP Craig Kelly is still under attack for supporting the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and ivermectin to treat Covid and the ABC has branded his promotion of the scientific studies to back up his claims ‘misinformation’.
In Australian hospitals, Gilead Science’s dud, but dear, drug Remdesivir is still being used even though the World Health Organisation damned it as ineffective and the British Medical Journal says it may be the next Tamiflu, a drug that shortened influenza by only a few hours and whose manufacturer is being sued under the US False Claims Act.
Yet while Australian state governments continue to trash their economies in a futile attempt to eliminate Covid, beyond our shores wiser heads have taken a different approach: If you can’t beat it, treat it.
Facebook’s independent Oversight Board has reversed a decision that the company took banning a post that supported HCQ. Why? Perhaps because the board members are better informed than the millennial censors Facebook employs. It includes people such as the vice chancellor of the National Law School of India University who presumably is well aware that India has used HCQ throughout the pandemic, which has now been contained with one of the lowest infection fatality rates in the world.
In England, the WHO has commissioned Professor Andrew Hill to do a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of ivermectin, which has been studied in 35 trials and shows a 90 per cent improvement in 10 prophylaxis trials and an 84 per cent improvement in early treatment. It is already being used in Slovakia, South Africa and Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in India, with more than 200 million people, and will be evaluated in a large clinical trial across the UK. Hill told the Financial Times that the purpose of his report was to forewarn people that ivermectin was coming, ‘to get prepared, get supplies, get ready to approve it.’ Perhaps the ABC and the Labor party can get ready to apologise to Craig Kelly.
And while the WHO team in Wuhan is being taken to visit museums, Dr Steven Quay, a top medical scientist, has published a paper concluding that there is a 99.8 per cent chance that Sars-Cov-2 escaped from a lab, that some of the early patients may have been part of a vaccine trial and that if this is the case, the research may have been part of a bioweapons program. This confirms the work of numerous scientists including a group of internet sleuths who use the jocular moniker DRASTIC (Decentralised Radical Autonomous Search Team Investigating Covid-19) and who, over the last year, were able to piece together the evidence to show that the original bat virus was found in an abandoned mine in Mojiang and brought to Wuhan where it was made more infectious at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. It escaped between September and November 2019 and the Chinese government and its scientific shills in top Western universities have been engaged in a shameful cover-up ever since.
All of this confirms what has been revealed in these pages over the last year but the fact that it is gaining increasing acceptance shows, as Abraham Lincoln apparently didn’t say, that you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
The good news is that the US has just signed a $300 million deal with an Australian company to produce rapid at-home tests which, when combined with ivermectin — another great Aussie discovery —will end any justification for lockdowns.
Naturally, all those who are enjoying lockdowns or profiting from the pandemic will do their best to block their ears including President Biden, whose campaign received almost four times as much money from Big Pharma as Trump. And despite the brilliance of Australian scientists, Australia’s governing classes show no signs of doing anything other than playing Follow the Leader. Never has Donald Horne’s pronouncement that ‘Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second rate people who share its luck,’ been truer than today.
Yet Australia cannot afford to waste any more time and money on lockdowns. The threat from China is real. We must copy the Taiwanese, who managed this pandemic so well because they learnt from the first Sars outbreak. And the lessons that we need to learn are sobering.
Some pharmaceutical companies were so driven by the profit motive that they stopped at nothing to discredit generic drugs and doctors, scientists, regulators and the editors of medical journals, who had direct and indirect financial conflicts of interest, went along with this charade which cost more than two million people their lives. The pharmaceutical industry is now so powerful that some Western governments are not prepared to push back, especially those politicians who rely on its largesse to pay for their campaigns, as in the US and France. India, with its huge generic drug industry is one country that still puts its people first while the Chinese Communist Party wields more power than any corporate, foreign or Chinese, and uses pharmaceuticals for its own nefarious ends.
Australia stands up to pharmaceutical companies when negotiating drug prices for Medicare in a way that Senator Bernie Sanders can only dream of but we have to take the same approach to guaranteeing the funding of research and development through to approval for repurposing generic drugs.
To do that we cannot rely on third-rate bureaucrats to run our pandemic response. We need top-flight, top-dollar epidemiologists and economists. Between Chinese bioweapons, lax lab standards and Big Pharma salivating at the prospect of the motza to be made from the next pandemic, we don’t have a moment to waste.
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