On 11 June, I got the most patronising, individual choice-shaming and self-congratulatory letter to over-70s from the PM, Health Minister and Chief Medical Officer urging vaccination: ‘Australia has shown the world’ how to ‘save lives, protect livelihoods and live as normal a life as possible’ – ‘for politicians, public servants, celebrities and the rich’, they meant but forgot to add. Coming from a culture that has refined emotional blackmail into an exquisite art, that’s saying something.
Let’s look at the three Stooges – sorry, signatories. On 7 May, Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said India’s weekly Covid cases could be sixty million, not the official two million. He cannot possibly have access to better data than Indian authorities. In March 2020 he warned of 50,000-150,000 Australian Covid deaths; the total is 910. Greg Hunt is yet to rake him over the coals for alarmist fear-mongering detached from reality. In fact, where the bloody hell is Hunt? He’s largely been MIA during the crisis. Meanwhile, in an address on 14 May, Scott Morrison said the average of 1,314 deaths per million (DPM) in the OECD – ‘countries like us’ – shows there would have been over ‘30,000 more fatalities here’ except for his decisive and brilliant leadership. No, he didn’t say the last part but it was the implied subtext. His statistical sophistication reminds me of an old joke: This river is ten feet at its deepest, the average depth is only four feet, I’m six feet tall, so I can cross it safely. The EU average of 1,649 DPM is meaningless in Europe’s vast spread. In any case, why OECD and not island countries like Iceland, NZ and Taiwan that can quickly close borders?
The reliably tone-deaf Morrison has incarcerated us for fifteen months, criminalised attempts by citizens to return from Covid-ravaged India, but jetted off himself to Queenstown, stopped en route in Singapore, is angling for an invitation to the White House and has hobnobbed with the G7 high-and-mighty in Cornwall. In a contemptible display of hypocrisy, the leaders and spouses socialised in open violation of restrictions still in place for locals. Oh the chutzpah – leaders who’ve destroyed their economies lecturing the world on economic recovery, who’ve locked their people lecturing China on freedoms. How good is that?
Health experts extol the relative benefits of vaccines, stress the negligible absolute risks of side-effects, ignore similarly negligible Covid risks for the young, healthy and previously infected, and exhort everyone to ‘get the jab’ to benefit all Australians. The collapse of the conspiracy theory narrative about the Wuhan lab leak possibility, accompanied by heavy mainstream media scorn and social media censorship, has eroded faith in ‘experts’. MIT researchers discovered that lockdown-sceptical communities score high on scientific rigour and are adept at data-based charts and analyses that ‘would not be out of place in scientific papers’. So please, don’t talk down to us. Engage us on real-world data, not discredited models.
The two key questions are: Is the risk from Covid for me greater than the risk from the vaccine? What benefits do I get in return? On the first, Harvard’s Martin Kulldorff and Stanford’s Jay Bhattacharya, who’ve been more right than the doomsayer scientists, write: ‘it makes no sense to require vaccines for recovered patients. For them, it simply adds a risk, however small, without any benefit’. On the second, the cases of Mark and Anneli Killian and Sarah and Moe Haidar raise the question: why bother? Fully vaccinated with multiple Covid-negative tests, they were prevented by Queensland Health, which always puts ‘the safety of the Queensland community first’, from being with a dying father or newborn baby until after quarantine. Governments clearly don’t believe their own propaganda on the wonders of vaccine efficacy.
There’s been one confirmed Covid and two vaccine-related Australia deaths in 2021 so far. The equation doesn’t compute into a compelling case for vaccination. Should we simply ignore the reality of serious and numerous post-vaccination side-effects, no knowledge of long-term effects and the lobbying hold of Big Pharma on lawmakers, regulators and medical researchers? Rebecca Weisser has catalogued the long list of potentially grave side-effects that concern highly credentialled experts in this magazine. Former Pfizer VP Mike Yeadon says because the availability and efficacy of safe and effective medicines for treating Covid, including hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, has been suppressed, the efficacy of the vaccines is unclear and their safety trials have not been completed, emergency use authorisation for them is ‘fraudulent’.
A Lancet study calculates that for one additional person to be protected against Covid, around 100 will have to be vaccinated. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky tweeted on 25 June that among 12-17 year olds, one million vaccinated protect one death. Can you spot the selfish ones? Besides, naturally acquired immunity from earlier related infections may last longer and offer better protection against mutating variants. A new study of 52,238 workers in the Cleveland Clinic Health network set out to prove that previously infected people would benefit from vaccination. However, of the 1,359 previously infected but unvaccinated subjects, not one was infected over the five-month study period. This is a stronger conclusion than a Lancet article which showed 80-90 per cent relative risk reduction against reinfection among 3,249 participants. Professor Makary of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine says ignoring the power of immunity through infection costs lives by not prioritising the allocation of vaccines to the most vulnerable.
From 1 May 2020 to 30 April 2021 there were 1,133 Australian road deaths – 25 per cent more than Covid. In January to March 2021, Australia had 1,605 (5 per cent) more deaths than the 2015-19 average, giving an annualised 6,400 above average excess deaths, including 559/590 extra cancer (4.9 per cent) and dementia (20 per cent) deaths. These are very likely the result of the obsession with coronavirus as the only health priority. On 9 June, Australian Medical Association president Omar Khorshid urged state governments to back vaccine passports. Could the AMA please focus on what’s killing Australians in large numbers in the real world, instead of obsessing over hypothetical killer variants of a disease that ranks well down on the list of Australia’s leading causes of death? As with all health threats, let’s come to a common understanding on the acceptable threshold of risk and learn to live with it. Of course, with the flexibility to adapt if the threat suddenly surges.
If unhindered and hassle-free domestic and international travel was permitted, without requiring additional testing and quarantines for those without symptoms, I’d take the jab, if necessary annually.
Absent that, I do not consent.
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.
You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10