27th February 2021
Emma McArthur’s comment re: the disastrous attack on science and ethics by governments during this pandemic
EXTRACT FROM A SUPERB EMAIL RECEIVED FROM Emma McArthur
The appalling attacks upon anyone who asks reasonable questions about government policy have been a consistent (and most concerning), feature of the response to COVID-19. Be it questions about lockdowns, masks, Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine, or vaccines, the reaction from the media and government has been the same – you must be a ‘tin-foil hat’, ‘anti-5G’, ‘right-wing extremist’ or ‘anti-vaxxer’. (Feel free to throw in any other appropriate slander, there are too many to count!)
One only needs to look at the attacks on Craig Kelly to see how this is working. It is not unique to Australia either. Free speech and scientific debate are dying (if they are not already dead). Yet, it is vitally important for our democracy that all voices are heard and respected. This includes people who are concerned about vaccination. Perhaps if our society stopped judging people and listened to their concerns, we may learn something.
For the record, the rallies that took place on Saturday 20 February, widely reported as ‘anti-vax,’ were in fact anti-mandatory vaccination rallies. People are rightly concerned about the unknown safety of the new and experimental vaccines for SARS-CoV-2. However, these rallies were also concerned with issues of coercion and compulsion to vaccinate, as well as bodily autonomy and informed consent. They were attended by many people who have broader concerns about the government response to COVID-19.
When considering the Federal Government’s position that the vaccine is safe, and that it is the only way out of this current state of emergency, there is a fundamental point that must be acknowledged.
State and federal governments have consistently proved that they cannot be trusted throughout the response to SARS-CoV-2. For example, the situation regarding HCQ and Ivermectin demonstrates that government claims about following scientific evidence are not true. One of Australia’s top immunologists, Professor Robert Clancy, backed up Mr Kelly’s claims.[i] I find this most concerning.
Nor did state or federal governments follow our existing pandemic plans when SARS-CoV-2 arrived.[ii] Much of the response has gone against pre-existing knowledge on how to deal with a highly transmissible respiratory virus – including the WHO guidelines, published in 2019.[iii] For example, mandatory lockdowns were not featured in any pandemic plans or guidelines; widespread mask wearing by healthy people in the community was generally not recommended (and certainly not mandated), because there was little evidence to support it; and according to the WHO and others, contact tracing, testing, and quarantining the healthy, is a damaging waste of resources once a virus is widespread (as well as ethically questionable).[iv]
The evidence for these interventions does not exist, and yet they have been MANDATED by supposedly democratic governments.
For a further example, there is a summary of evidence regarding border closures on the Department of Health website.[v] It is an interesting read. This document makes it obvious why international border closures were not recommended in the guidelines, including WHO guidelines. The Federal Government disregarded this evidence along with everything else. (As an aside, I would like to know how the Australian response can be consistent with International Health Regulations?)[vi]
Australian state and federal governments are not alone of course, this is a pattern we have observed around the world, and the WHO also failed to adhere to its own pandemic guidelines.
Why did the Australian Government, the WHO, and most Western democracies, ignore scientific evidence and follow such a peculiar path in response to a respiratory virus such as SARS-CoV-2?Who is benefitting from it? (When you consider the socioeconomic fallout that is occurring, it certainly is not global citizens who have anything to gain. For example, the 142 million children predicted to fall into poverty in the developing world in 2020 alone.)[vii]
These questions are also vitally important to the vaccine debate. Given the Australian Government’s track record outlined above, how can Australian citizens be expected to trust government advice regarding the safety of the vaccines, especially when we know they have only been trialled for a matter of months?[viii] [ix]
Also, how can the Australian public make an informed choice, when we know the Australian people are not being properly informed by the government or the media?
As you have repeatedly pointed out, the risk from COVID-19 is being overstated, and the response is clearly not proportional.
An analysis by John Ioannidis, published on the WHO website, suggests a median infection fatality rate of 0.23% for COVID-19. Ioannidis also concludes that ‘most locations probably have an infection fatality rate less than 0.2%’. For people under 70, the median IFR was estimated to be 0.05%.[x] This is not dissimilar to influenza and yet we have never seen such an extreme response to influenza.
Another significant detail that the government seems keen to obscure, is the steep age-gradient in mortality. (As highlighted by Mr Morrison’s recent statement, ‘everyone’s at risk of quite severe disease on this, potentially’).[xi] The risk of death from SARS-CoV-2 infection is small for most people, especially children and young people. However, elderly people with comorbidities are at much higher risk of death or serious illness. Most deaths worldwide have occurred in this group.[xii] [xiii]
In his Sydney Morning Herald article, on 4 February 2021, Professor Clancy stated the following:
‘There are useful lessons from influenza, for which vaccines give partial immunity, of short duration, and with a poor response in the elderly. Early evidence suggests similar outcomes are probable with COVID-19 vaccines.
Herd immunity is unlikely. If it occurs it will likely be of short duration, requiring annual vaccination for continued immunity. Vaccines will be at the core of community management, but they are not enough on their own.’
This statement suggests the vaccine may not protect the most at-risk group and also disregards herd immunity. Professor Clancy says ongoing community vaccination will be needed (but does not address the issue of potential cross-immunity).
The government’s approach is precisely this, to to vaccinate everyone, including those not at risk (presumably to protect those at risk), annually, forever.[xiv] [xv]
Brendan Murphy has also said it is not yet known whether the vaccine will prevent onward transmission.[xvi] If, as Professor Clancy asserts above, the elderly do not put up a good immune response to vaccination, and the vaccination may not prevent transmission, then it is pertinent to ask what is the point of the vaccination? Surely, it may not protect the elderly anyway?
Therefore, why is the government spending millions of dollars on experimental vaccines, for a virus that presents no risk to most people, that may not even protect those most at risk?
The government claims that it has prioritised safety, [xvii] and Brendan Murphy is telling the Australian public that the vaccines are properly regulated.[xviii] However, the vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 have only been given provisional approval by the TGA.[xix]
If the government is assuring the Australian public that these vaccines are ‘safe’, they are lying, because long-term safety data does not exist. Moreover, there have been concerning reactions in previous animal studies of other mRNA vaccines that have been raised in the literature.[xx]
Any doctor who gives this vaccine to a patient without warning them of these facts, or explaining potential risks, is not following informed consent requirements. The Helsinki Declaration[xxi] would also seem to be relevant here, given that these vaccines have not been subjected to full and proper evaluation.
Can a doctor really uphold their Hippocratic Oath if they are administering a vaccine to an individual who is not at risk from SARS-CoV-2, when clinical trials have been accelerated, and no long-term safety data exists?
Australia also has a history of coercion to vaccinate such as ‘no jab, no pay’ legislation.[xxii] Whatever you think about vaccines, denying income to parents to coerce them to vaccinate their children is surely abhorrent and against public health ethics. Yet, this legislation was championed by politicians and the media at the time.[xxiii]
This raises the question as to whether Australia will insist on vaccinating children for SARS-CoV-2, even though the virus poses almost no risk to them whatsoever? (There are already trials underway overseas, and Brendan Murphy has already suggested children will need to be vaccinated.)[xxiv]
For the Australian people to be fully informed, the above questions need to be answered.
In addition, urgent answers are also needed to the following questions:
- How does a vaccine pass ethics approval if there is no proven benefit to the most at-risk group, particularly as the disease poseslittle risk to most people? (Never mind the fact that there are already potential treatments available that are being denied to the Australian public.)
- Is it ethical to vaccinate children for a disease that presents negligible risk to them, even more so with a vaccine that has not been subjected to proper evaluation?
- Will a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine be added to the mandatory vaccination schedule for children?
- Will Australian citizens be unable to work, go to the pub or travel without a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine – either through coercion or force?
- Will the immunity from vaccination be as protective as natural infection, particularly given the novel technology in some vaccines?
- Left alone, won’t SARS-CoV-2 become just another endemic respiratory virus that lives alongside human populations? (The WHO said this was the most likely outcome.)[xxv]
- What about claims regarding cross-reactive t-cell immunity from exposure to other coronaviruses? Have any studies been undertaken in Australia to assess this?(There is plenty of evidence emerging to suggest this may be a factor elsewhere.) [xxvi] [xxvii]
I believe Australian citizens must be able to give proper informed consent to any medical intervention, and I do not want the children of Australia to suffer the potential long-term consequences of a rushed vaccine. I also do not want to be coerced to take a vaccine I do not need, that has limited safety data.
History offers a cautionary tale, such as the many children who contracted polio from vaccination.[xxviii] (I personally know someone who was paralysed for life). Or the children and teenagers who developed narcolepsy because of the swine flu vaccine.[xxix]
COVID-19 poses little risk to our children and we should not use them as guinea pigs. I would argue that this equally applies to most of the Australian population, who are also not at risk.
Mr Jones, I cannot help but wonder what this all means for the future of our democracy?
More importantly, does it make me a conspiracy theorist, or ‘anti-vaxxer’ for asking these questions?
The Federal Government has proved itself to be untrustworthy throughout the response to SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, how on earth can it be trusted with vaccination?
I ask the question again, who is benefitting from all of this? Because it certainly does not appear to be the Australian public.