A Prescription for Dealing with the Pandemic: Less Fear, More Reason

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A Prescription for Dealing with the Pandemic: Less Fear, More Reason

The lockdowns and vaccine mandates imposed in response to the pandemic are ineffective and an infringement of our Charter rights, Madeline Weld argues. Instead of censorship of opinions contrary to the official narrative, there should be a public debate about public health policies

The lockdowns and vaccine mandates imposed in response to the pandemic are ineffective and an infringement of our Charter rights, Madeline Weld argues. Instead of censorship of opinions contrary to the official narrative, there should be a public debate about public health policies

Saturday, November 20th was a crisp day in Ottawa, but there was an impressive turnout on Parliament Hill for the demonstration against coerced Covid vaccines and rolling lockdowns. The several thousand people present indicated an unexpectedly high level of rebellion in a generally compliant civil servant city. Speeches on the Hill were followed by a short march to the CBC headquarters on Sparks St., where there were more mostly impromptu speeches and the crowd chanted its dissatisfaction with the mainstream media’s suppression of dissenting viewpoints on Covid vaccines and lockdowns. The chanting protesters, many bearing signs, then marched south down Bank St. to a neighbourhood called the Glebe, some 2 km away, then back to the Hill.

In addition to being barred from most public venues and prevented from boarding trains and planes, those who will not submit to the vaccine mandate can lose their jobs and their livelihoods, and are vilified as selfish and socially irresponsible every day in the media.

That day, I and my companions experienced government-mandated discrimination. Tired and cold after hours of standing and marching, we walked into a downtown restaurant that someone at the rally told us served the unvaccinated. But government inspectors must have gotten to them, because it was no vax, no service. Many downtown restaurants advertised this policy right at their doorway, but even two nearly empty fast-food places would not let us eat in.

In addition to being barred from most public venues and prevented from boarding trains and planes, those who will not submit to the vaccine mandate can lose their jobs and their livelihoods, and are vilified as selfish and socially irresponsible every day in the media. What’s worse, many Canadians are on board with this, having succumbed to the fear-mongering that the unvaccinated present a threat to public safety and place an inordinate burden on the healthcare system.

If there is indeed a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” it is not borne out by statistics from Israel and Wales, which have seen a lot of “breakthrough” cases of vaccinated in hospitals. A recent study found that increases in Covid-19 were unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2947 US counties. Vaccination does not stop the transmission of the virus; it merely reduces the symptoms. The promotion of ongoing booster shots points to the ineffectiveness of the vaccines in offering long-term protection.

Emergency reactions such as lockdowns may have been excusable in the early days of the Covid outbreak (remember “two weeks to flatten the curve”), but it has long since become obvious that the virus presents little risk of severe illness or death for those who are not elderly and do not have comorbidities. The death rates in various countries have not shown a year-to-year rise because of Covid, although it may have hastened the deaths of the elderly (as did some of the lockdown measures). In Canada, the life expectancy at birth is about 82 years. According to Statistics Canada, in 2019 (i.e., pre-Covid), the average age of death was 76.5 years, while the average age of Canadians who died of Covid in 2020 was 83.8 years. This is not the 1918-19 Spanish flu. The latest omicron variant might even be a blessing in disguise. It is highly infectious but very mild, with about 40% or more of the infected being asymptomatic. Unlike its predecessors, it prefers the upper respiratory tract to the deep lung tissue. This easily transmitted but mild variant seems like just the ticket to boost the population’s natural herd immunity against future SARS CoV-2 variants, allowing us to regain our diminishing freedoms. Unfortunately, the response of governments has been to impose yet more restrictions as a just-in-time Christmas present.   

It is noteworthy that the federal government claims not to be forcing anyone to get a Covid shot, but is now referring to what we used to consider to be our rights as “privileges” that we will get back once we get the shots. Privileges such as holding a job, participating in society, and travelling.

The costs of the lockdowns in this country have been considerable. According to one study, delayed health care during the pandemic may have led to thousands of excess deaths unrelated to the virus, as well as increased incidents of mental health disorders and substance use. The study concluded that during the period of August to December 2020, there may have been 4000 such deaths, in addition to significant backlogs in medical procedures. In a press release of November 8th, 2021, Statistics Canada published provisional data indicating that from March 2020 to the beginning of July 2021, there were an estimated 19,488 excess deaths in Canada, or 5.2% more deaths than would be expected were there no pandemic, after accounting for changes in the population, such as aging.

But despite all that some might ask, why don’t people like me just get the jab?

In the first place, the government has no right to force me to take an untested medical treatment. Does anyone remember the Nuremberg Code? Apparently not the Ontario Human Rights Commission. As the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms will argue in its constitutional challenge in Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice, the province’s Covid-19 vaccine passport mandate “takes away the long-standing rights of citizens to make informed decisions about their own medical care.” It is noteworthy that the federal government claims not to be forcing anyone to get a Covid shot, but is now referring to what we used to consider to be our rights as “privileges” that we will get back once we get the shots. Privileges such as holding a job, participating in society, and travelling.

Like many of the “vaccine-hesitant,” I am not an anti-vaxxer. I’ve had lots of shots, from childhood to young adulthood and beyond, taking the recommended boosters (e.g., tetanus) and travel vaccines (e.g., hepatitis a and b, yellow fever, typhoid). What I don’t like about the Covid vaccines is that they force a person’s own cells to make a protein that their own immune system will attack. To me, that sounds like asking for trouble. The mRNA (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) or DNA (carried by an adenovirus vector in Johnson & Johnson) enters cells that use this foreign genetic material to synthesize the spike protein, which leaves the cells and is taken up by “antigen-processing cells” that present it to the immune system. Traditional flu vaccines in contrast use dead or attenuated viruses to provoke an immune response. In addition, the spike protein that our cells are now being forced to make is itself a toxin, and is the cause of some the non-respiratory effects, such as heart inflammation and blood clots, seen in Covid-19 infections.

There are no long-term studies assuring us of the safety of the vaccines. There can’t be, because Covid hasn’t been around long enough. Those of us taking the vaccine are the subjects of the largest human trial ever carried out. There have been no in vitro or animal studies for genotoxicity (studies on mutations in various kinds of cultures), teratogenicity (for birth defects), or oncogenicity (for cancer) for Covid vaccines. There have been no restrictions on giving the vaccines to groups that were excluded from the randomized controlled trials (pregnant women, women of childbearing potential, Covid survivors, and those previously immune). There is some evidence that the spike protein could have prion-like actions in neurodegeneration. Auto-immune and neurodegenerative diseases can take a long time to manifest themselves, so it could be some time before we know the impact of the vaccines in that area. And if everyone has been forced to take the vaccine, there will be no control group. I’m volunteering to be in the control group.

A confidential Pfizer bio-distribution study in rats shows that the injected lipid nanoparticle-enclosed mRNA does not just stay in muscles cells in the shoulder. It enters the circulation and is taken up primarily (not surprisingly) by the liver, but is also found in other organs, the next highest levels being in the spleen, adrenal glands, and ovaries. This confidential study from Japan was obtained by Dr. Byram Bridle, an associate professor of viral immunology at the University of Guelph, who in May 2020 won a grant for $230,000 from the government of Ontario to work on vaccine development. Byram concluded in an interview in May 2021 that “we made a big mistake,” and that the spike protein that the vaccines force our cells to make was causing the same heart inflammation, blood clots, and other dangerous side effects that the intact virus causes in Covid-19 infections.

There has been a shocking increase in the number of athletes collapsing on the field or court while playing their sport. Virtually all professional sports teams have been forcing their players to take the vaccine, and no one has offered any other explanation for this development. There have been more “events” over a recent four-month period than in the previous 20 years, amounting to a greater than 60-fold increase.

When the spike protein infects heart muscle cells and causes inflammation (myocarditis), it impedes normal heart function, leading to heart attack-like symptoms. If left long enough, myocarditis can lead to acute heart failure. The spike protein can also infect the sac surrounding the heart, causing an inflammation called pericarditis, which results in a squeezing pressure on the heart, reducing its efficiency. Many doctors have reported increases in heart inflammation since the vaccine rollout. The journal Circulation published an article in November, 2021, with the title, “Mrna vaccines dramatically increase endothelial inflammatory markers and ACS [acute coronary syndrome] risk as measured by the PULS cardiac test: a warning.” A study by Public Health Ontario, co-authored with University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Sunnybrook Hospital’s Institute for Clinical Evaluative Studies, U of T’s Department of Family and Community Medicine, and Toronto’s University Health Network, pre-published online on December 5th, looked at the “Epidemiology of myocarditis and pericarditis following mRNA vaccines in Ontario, Canada, by vaccine product, schedule and interval.” This paper was praised as “courageous” by San Francisco Dr. Vinay Prasad in an 8-minute video released on December 13. He notes, among other things, that the incident rate among young men was highest when a Moderna first dose was followed by a Pfizer vaccine; the resulting case rate of about 1 incident per 1200 doses was among the highest in the world. 

Myocarditis is very uncommon in children. According to a 2001 article, it represented only 0.3% of 14,322 patients seen over a 23-year period at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Evidence that the vaccine is causing this inflammation in children is provided by the Canadian Paediatric Society, which has issued guidelines for youth who get myocarditis or pericarditis following the mRNA vaccine. As various doctors have pointed out, damaged heart muscle is not replaced. And yet, children over 12 are already being forced take the vaccine or face exclusion from public venues and participation in sports, and now the pressure is on to vaccinate children as young as five. And this for a demographic that has a vanishingly small chance of suffering serious ill effects from the disease that the vaccine is supposed to protect them from.

There has been a shocking increase in the number of athletes collapsing on the field or court while playing their sport. Virtually all professional sports teams have been forcing their players to take the vaccine, and no one has offered any other explanation for this development. There have been more “events” over a recent four-month period than in the previous 20 years, amounting to a greater than 60-fold increase. As soccer fan Terrance Viso wrote in an email to Dr. Steve Kirsch, “I’ve been watching Football/Soccer for over 30 years and I can only remember 2 players collapsing previously with heart complications, both of which were undiagnosed genetic defects…. Now the landscape has changed. These events are happening on what appears to be a weekly basis.” 

There were 20,244 Covid vaccine-related deaths reported to the US Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), based on data from December 10, 2021 (accessed December 19, 2021). This included 36 deaths in the 12- to 17-year-old age group, and a total of six deaths in the age groups below that (all age groups with an essentially zero chance of dying from Covid). For the same time period and accession date, there were a total of 155,506 serious, non-fatal adverse events reported to VAERS.

The German newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine reported that Dr. Peter Schirmacher, director of the Pathological Institute of the University of Heidelberg, concluded that the vaccine was the cause of death in 30 to 40 percent of the 40 people who died within two weeks of getting the vaccine on whom he conducted autopsies. (Some of the content of the German article can be seen here.) Schirmacher also said that the vaccine seemed to have spurred the development of autoimmune disease and caused cerebral vein thrombosis in some of the deceased. He called for more autopsies on vaccinated individuals. Schirmacher’s findings were brushed off by the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut and some senior immunologists, but the Federal Association of German Pathologists supported him. 

There are many medical practitioners who disagree with the vaccine mandates. They have spoken out in various ways through declarations such as the Great Barrington Declaration and the Rome Declaration, civil rights organizations such as Canadian Frontline Nurses, Care Not Cuts – Concerned Ontario Doctors, America’s Frontline Doctors, and the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC). Many of these dissident doctors have had extremely successful careers and were highly respected in the medical establishment. What would motivate them to risk their careers and reputations if they did not have serious concerns about the vaccines and their enforced imposition on the population? Take for example Dr. Peter McCullough of Dallas, Texas, an expert in heart and kidney and the most widely published medical scholar in his field, editor or co-editor of two major journals (Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine and Cardiorenal Medicine), founder of the Cardio Renal Society of America, and former vice-chair of internal medicine at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. These are the letters after his name: MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA, FASN, FNKF, FNLA, FCRSA. His employment with Baylor University Medical Center was terminated in February for speaking out against Covid measures and vaccines and advocating for early treatment with hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin. As a result of his dissent from Covid vaccine orthodoxy, former medical superstar McCullough has become a “modern-day quack” in the eyes of the medical establishment. Some of the other prominent opponents of mandatory Covid vaccines are Dr. Harvey Risch, Dr. Robert Malone, Dr. Luc Montagnier, Dr. Byram Bridle, Dr. Meryl Nass, and Dr. Ryan Cole, among many, many others. Dr. Charles Hoffe of Lytton, BC, lost his hospital emergency room privileges and half his income for promoting “vaccine hesitancy” after reporting many serious adverse effects from the vaccines among his primarily First Nations patients.   

Even if all these doctors are wrong, should they not be allowed to express their opinions where they can be challenged in open debate? As Paul Kingsnorth writes in an article in Unherd: “In an honest society, all of this would have been subject to robust public debate. We would have seen scientists of all opinions openly debating on TV and radio and in the press; views of all kinds aired on social media without fear of censorship; journalists properly investigating reports of both vaccine successes and vaccine dangers; serious explorations of alternative treatments; public debates about the balance between civil liberties and public health, and what “public health” even means.” Interestingly, Dr. Steve Kirsch has had no takers on his offer of two million dollars for anybody from any major academic medical centre or government agency to debate him on vaccine safety and efficacy.

Given the devastation that Covid has had on society, the political and medical opposition to the therapeutic and preventative use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and Ivermectin seems incomprehensible.

In 2005, chloroquine, used for decades to treat malaria, was reported in Virology Journal to be a potent inhibitor of the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus (SARS CoV) that emerged in 2003. It was much more deadly but less infectious than the current SARS Cov-2. SARS CoV-2 has about 80 percent genome sequence identity to the original SARS CoV and hydroxychloroquine is a less toxic derivative of chloroquine. It should not be surprising, then, that HCQ was found to be effective in inhibiting SARS CoV-2 in vitro. A lot of doctors are attesting that it is also effective on their patients, despite the opposition of the medical establishment. These doctors have been admonished or punished by their professional bodies, because apparently only Trump supporters can believe that HCQ can be effective against Covid in the early stages (acting as an ionophore for zinc, which inhibits the virus.)

Equally disturbing is the suppression of Ivermectin. In medical use since the early 1980s, it has been called a “wonder drug” because of its safety and efficacy against parasites. Indeed, the authors of a 2011 paper write it was so safe, with such minimal side effects, that “even illiterate individuals in remote rural communities” could administer it with very basic training. One of the authors, Satoshi Omura, was one of the developers of ivermectin and four years later would co-win the 2015 Nobel Prize for Medicine for ivermectin’s role in eliminating river blindness and lymphatic filariasis. Ivermectin is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines (under 6.1.2 Antifilarials). Ivermectin has been found to inhibit SARS CoV-2 in vitro, and a 2020 review paper found it inhibited a number of RNA and DNA viruses.  A real-time meta-analysis of 71 studies on Ivermectin for Covid treatment found it 83% effective for prophylaxis and 66% for early treatment (accessed December 18). The Front Line Covid Critical Care doctors have produced a summary document about its effectiveness and safety. Given its low toxicity and virtual absence of side effects, as well as laboratory evidence that it inhibits SARS CoV-2 in the early stages of infection, it seems odd that medical authorities would take such a hard line against its use by practicing physicians. How is it that in 2021 physicians with many years of education and training are censured and can even lose their licence for using a drug that in 2011 was described as safe enough to be administered by illiterate people? It seems to be doing a good job of controlling Covid in India’s poorest state of Uttar Pradesh, where only 20% of adults are fully vaccinated.

Given the devastation that Covid has had on society, the political and medical opposition to the therapeutic and preventative use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and Ivermectin seems incomprehensible.

Covid vaccines are being used through an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) issued by the US Food and Drug Administration. EUAs are legal only if there are no adequate alternatives to treat a disease. Comparable authorizations (such as Canada’s interim orders) also apply in other countries. The patents for HCQ and ivermectin have long since expired so these drugs are relatively cheap. Vaccines cost hundreds of millions of dollars to develop and their profitability would be massively reduced if cheap easily available drugs were used to treat Covid. Whether or not this has any bearing on the fierce opposition to HCQ and ivermectin, I am not entirely comfortable with the fact that the vaccine producers have immunity from liability for any harms their vaccines might cause. What do pharmaceutical companies have to lose if this giant medical experiment turns out to be a boondoggle?

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told her citizens that the government “will continue to be your single source of truth” and they should “dismiss everything else.” I think not, Jacinda, especially since you openly admit that you want to create two classes citizens: vaccinated and unvaccinated. At this point, taking the word of government and medical authorities and ignoring information that is not from “trusted news sources” strikes me as akin to taking the word of religious authorities and ignoring anything not approved by them.

Günter Kampf, of the Greifswald Medical School in Germany, says in a letter in The Lancet that “stigmatising the unvaccinated is not justified.” After providing evidence that vaccinated people also play a significant role in transmitting the virus, he says it is “wrong and dangerous to speak of a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” He notes that both the US and Germany have engendered negative experiences by stigmatizing part of the population and called on high-level officials and scientists to stop the stigmatization of unvaccinated people.

Kampf’s is a welcome call for sanity in a world where one is almost ready to believe that mass hysteria is being fomented by those very people, as they tighten their authoritarian grip on society. Surely this is an issue that humanists and their organizations could weigh in on, on the side of reason.

  

 

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