By Paul Elias Alexander, PhD – a Canadian health researcher and a former Trump administration official at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the COVID-19 pandemic
The Economist reports that “the world economy probably shrank by 4.3% in 2020, a setback matched only by the Depression and the two world wars”.
Cutler writes in JAMA that “the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) pandemic is the greatest threat to prosperity and well-being the US has encountered since the Great Depression… the estimated cumulative financial costs of the COVID-19 pandemic related to the lost output and health reduction are shown in the table. The total cost is estimated at more than $16 trillion USD, or approximately 90% of the annual gross domestic product of the US”.
The World Economic Forum estimates that it has cost $11 trillion USD thus far in the response. AIER provided an even clearer reporting of the disturbing and eviscerating economic and larger societal costs of the lockdowns.
The lockdown is by far the most devastating policy (here and here and here) from among all restriction and containment policies that were employed by governments and they provided no benefit, yet near destroyed economies, caused businesses to close, people to lose jobs, and even people and children to commit suicide.
What is most troubling and angering is that existing public health epidemic and pandemic guidance (Henderson 2006) and disaster preparedness plans (WHO 2019) were already in existence and were essentially shelved.
When you read these disease mitigation plans with laid out public health measures (non-pharmaceutical), you quickly understand that what was done for COVID-19 by global governments was drastically counter to what should have been enacted, and revealed government leaders taking actions that were not underpinned by science and even common-sense.
Lockdowns, school closures, masking and mask mandates, and all of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictive policies societies were subjected to over the last 18 to 19 months have all failed catastrophically. Numerous experts have weighed in on this and the evidence is clear that governments did devastating things to their societies with illogical, unscientific, and unsound policies that will take decades to recover from.
The costs have been staggering (American Institute for Economic Research/AIER) in terms of damage to mental health of populations, the consequential rise in hunger and poverty, the crushing effects on economies, the loss of education, escalated costs to healthcare and the delayed and cancelled care for non-COVID illnesses, and the impact on crime.
The human costs have been staggering and continue. Tens if not hundreds of thousands (and potentially millions) were denied treatment for other medical conditions. “Much of this damage will unfold over time, something we must live and die with for many years to come”.
Lockdowns did not protect the vulnerable, but rather harmed the vulnerable and shifted the morbidity and mortality burden to the underprivileged. We instead locked down the ‘well’ and healthy in society which is unscientific and nonsensical, while at the same time failing to properly protect the actual group that lockdowns were proposed to protect, the vulnerable and elderly.
We shifted the burden to the poor (women, minorities, children) and caused catastrophic consequences for them. “Lockdowns have effectively protected young, low-risk, affluent professionals who can work from home, such as politicians, journalists, and scientists.
They transferred the disease burden onto older, higher-risk members of the working class, who have kept society afloat”. In some sense, what we have done is actually perverse and sickening, with even calls from those more affluent groups to maintain lockdowns as they have ‘settled’ into quite a nice flow and structured life.
They can walk their dogs, tend to the garden, and go for coffee as they wish. The poor were in the worst economic situation to afford the lockdowns and estimates are that it will be decades for them to recover. Wealth disparities placed those who were more vulnerable economically in a difficult position in terms of sheltering from the pandemic. It left them exposed! COVID-19 has emerged as a boon for the rich ‘laptop’ class and a disaster for the poor.
Our lockdowns badly harmed the elderly for it left them confined in their nursing homes and extended the window of exposure to the virus for them. And they were subject to repeated exposure from staff who brought pathogen into the confined settings and drove the hospitalizations and deaths. Lockdowns worked to kill the elderly!
Lockdowns thus reduced the movement of the younger low-risk persons to the same level of movement and mobility as the elderly higher-risk persons and thus equalized the chance of infection between the low-risk and high-risk (young and old). This was catastrophic as it denied movement toward population immunity in most instances.
The lockdown was really the key feature of global governments’ COVID pandemic actions and really worked to decimate societies. They turned out in all locations and nations to have been counterproductive, unsustainable and were, quite frankly, meritless and unscientific.
They have been disastrous and just plain wrong! There was no good reason, no sound justification for this and particularly to harden lockdowns and keep them going after we quickly learnt in the spring of 2020 how to manage COVID and who was the at-risk group (S).
These unparalleled public health actions were enacted for a virus whereby the median/mean age of death begun in February 2020 at about 82 to 83 years of age, and remains so in August 2021. Whereby this was similar to or greater than the typical life-expectancy in most nations of approximately 79 to 80. You have to allow this to sink in.
If you were high-risk and did succumb to COVID-19, you were at almost 100% chance of living past your expected life-expectancy. COVID-19, despite what the media would want you to believe and have stated for 18 months now, does not and have not shortened lives.
So much societal damage for a virus with an infection mortality rate (IFR) roughly similar (or likely lower once all infection data are collected) to seasonal influenza. Stanford’s John P.A. Ioannidis identified 36 studies (43 estimates) along with an additional 7 preliminary national estimates (50 pieces of data) and concluded that among people <70 years old across the world, infection fatality rates ranged from 0.00% to 0.57% with a median of 0.05% across the different global locations (with a corrected median of 0.04%).
The risk of survival for those under 70 years is 99.5%. Moreover, the IFR has been shown to be near zero for children and young adults. While anyone is at risk of being infected, “there is more than a thousand-fold difference in the risk of death between the old and the young”.
What is the way forward? We have written about this prior in AIER and wish to again, given we have had 18 to 19 months of destructive crushing policies and with the Delta variant as the predominant variant within the backdrop of a mass vaccination roll-out. Unless there is an emergent COVID-19 variant that is lethal (more lethal that the very non-lethal Delta variant or any of the variants that preceded it), then the following is the suggested IMMEDIATE way forward:
1) No ‘one-size-fits all’ approach; use an age-risk stratified ‘focused’ protection approach, focusing only on those who are at risk; leave the rest of society alone, and definitely our children
2) Strong and acute protections of the elderly high-risk and vulnerable persons in the society (those with underlying medical conditions, obese persons); double and triple down protections in nursing homes, long-term care facilities, assisted-living facilities, care homes, in private households etc.; this is the very core component of this plan, and if this is not done fully and completely, then the plan will not work; includes stopping staff from infecting elderly in nursing homes as this was and is the source of the outbreaks in such congregated settings; also includes that healthcare systems, hospitals etc. would be geared up and prepared after having 18 months to do so
3) Make available early outpatient drug treatment (McCullough, Zelenko, Risch, Fareed, Smith, Tyson, Oskoui, Merritt, Urso, Ladapo, Vliet, Kory, Alexander, Marik, Tenenbaum, Trozzi, Christian, Dara, Hodkinson et al.) to the full society, under physician supervision; allow physicians to exercise their best clinical judgements in how they can best treat their patients and cease the threats of discipline and punitive actions if they use early sequenced multi-drug treatment (combinations of anti-virals, corticosteroids, and anti-thrombotic, anti-clotting drugs); future research would clarify and define the benefit of these early treatments but it is not possible to overstate the philosophy that since early in-center treatment with already available medications (repurposed) in nursing homes and similar settings is associated with a large reduction in mortality among nursing home residents, there can be no scientifically sound reasons, nor moral rationale for not utilizing these forms of treatment; we are trying to prevent hospitalizations and save lives and strongly believe that this approach can be impactful and merits strong consideration; the combination therapeutics have worked and accumulating early treatment evidence is compelling and deserving of very serious consideration as a therapeutic option, given this emergency. To do otherwise is to fail our people
4) Urgent PSAs on Vitamin D supplementation, on reducing obesity and on the positive impact on risk of healthy life-styles, nutrition, exercise etc.; this includes improved hand-washing hygiene and improved sanitation
5) Message to the population that ‘we are not all at equal risk of severe outcome or death if infected, such that there is a 1000-fold difference in risk between children and older adults; 16-year-old Suzie who is in good health is not at the same risk of illness as 85-year-old grandma who has 2 to 3 medical conditions
6) No mass testing of asymptomatic persons, only testing of symptomatic, ill/sick persons, including where there is a strong clinical suspicion; with this, stop contact tracing where the virus has already spread extensively as it confers no benefit; these have been harmful
7) No isolation/quarantine of asymptomatic persons, only isolation of symptomatic ill/sick persons, including where there is a strong clinical suspicion; no isolation of asymptomatic persons at borders; these have been very harmful
8) No mask mandates, no mask use in school children, no mask use outdoors (it is nonsensical), make case-by-case decisions based on risk
9) No school closures, no university closures
10) No lockdowns whatsoever (and ever in such situations), no business closures whatsoever; open society fully immediately; the crushing harms and devastation from lockdowns as we have seen far outweigh any benefit and the harms are most pronounced among the poorer in society who are least able to afford the restrictions; the lockdown itself kills people, destroys families, prevents education of our children; child abuse was missed by closed schools and the lockdowns promoted child abuse; lost jobs cause stress in the household and with closed schools, children are vulnerable as the visibility is gone and this is catastrophic; there is near zero risk to children from COVID and we are harming them by school closures, it was one of the most devastating misapplications of public policy; most of the decisions made by the governments and their medical advisors were irrational, specious, and in most part reckless and have caused far greater harms
11) Allow the vast majority of society (the healthy persons, the young e.g. children, teens, young adults, middle-aged adults, older adults), the ‘well’, and those with no underlying illnesses, to continue daily lives as close to normality with reasonable common-sense precautions. In other words, we do not impede the low risk of becoming infected and we leave them largely unrestricted with common sense safety precautions. We heighten their risk of transmission (we increase the probability of infection among the younger and low-risk persons, especially our healthy and well children), so to speak. And that at the same time, we secure the high-risk of illness persons so that infection risk is reduced for them. We strongly mitigate the chance of infection in the high-risk. We create a risk differential of contracting the virus that is skewed towards the young and healthy. And we do this harmlessly and naturally.
12) I want to be clear that any mandatory vaccination by a nation or setting is a non-starter, for such has no place in good governance societies that are free. No vaccinations for persons under 70 years of age (it is not needed and contra-indicated once there is no risk); no vaccinations for children as the vaccine offers no opportunity for benefit and only opportunity for potential harms; no vaccination of pregnant women or females of child-bearing age, no vaccination of COVID recovered persons (already cleared the virus and are now immune) or suspected COVID recovered persons; if vaccines are used in persons over 70 as suggested, it must only be used after shared decision-making with their clinicians whereby patients can make informed decisions and consent to being fully informed; consent must be properly administered, offer vaccines to high-risk front line medical staff who interact with high-risk persons; I however believe that this pandemic could have been and can be ended without vaccines e.g. via the simultaneous use of combined strong protections of the elderly and high-risk, early outpatient treatment, isolation of the sick only, hand-washing hygiene, and allowing the low-risk portion of the population to become infected naturally and harmlessly with reasonable precautions as part of normal living; a vast amount of my views on this is based on the lack of safety data and testing for these vaccines, leaving me (and other scientists and doctors) unable to judge the future impact; we are already seeing adverse effects and even deaths recorded (CDC VAERS database that is limited by only 1% adverse event and death reporting) due to the vaccines
13) Those advocating for vaccinations must also have risks on the table. Thus, pharmaceutical companies, vaccine developers, and governments, along with the FDA, must remove the liability protections. No liability equates to no trust by the public and certainly parents. They must come to the table and if they stand by these vaccines in that they are safe, then they (all involved in the manufacture and the advocating and mandating of these vaccines) must remove the liability protections that they benefit from. They must have direct skin in the game and be liable if there is harm as a result of the vaccinations.
14) No vaccine passports (or immunity or antibody passports), no such mandates as these will constrain the rights of citizens under the questionable guise of safety; the vaccines as designed so far do not protect an individual by the provision of “sterilizing immunity.” By sterilizing immunity we mean that there are neutralizing antibodies and there is no further prospect of either getting infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus after a vaccination nor of passing along the virus to others; the evidence is very clear that the vaccines do no such thing and have failed especially against the Delta variant whereby even the CDC states that the vaccinated and unvaccinated carry virus and can spread; a recent seminal and transformational Israeli study by Gazit et al. has revealed that natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162b2 two-dose vaccine-induced immunity; SARS-CoV-2-naïve vaccinees had a 13.06-fold (95% CI, 8.08 to 21.11) increased risk for breakthrough infection with the Delta variant compared to those previously infected
15) The FDA and the CDC with vaccine developers must immediately implement proper safety surveillance systems for these vaccines. This must include data safety monitoring boards post vaccine, critical event committees, and ethics review committees, which at this time, do not exist. With this, a committee to review the existence and proper administration of ethical and full informed consenting by the vaccinee.
16) Terminate the duplicity by public health leaders and medical experts with the misguided reliance on the exceedingly rare concept of asymptomatic spread, re-current infections, and the flawed highly sensitive and ‘false-positive’ RT-PCR test; immediately replace the dysfunctional PCR test or set the cycle count (Ct) threshold to 24 to denote positivity; a positive test must be accompanied by a strong clinical suspicion whereby there are symptoms consistent with COVID-19 being exhibited
17) A ‘case’ is when someone has symptoms and is sick; an ‘infection’ is not a ‘case’ and this effort to deceive the public with the reporting of ‘cases’ must stop immediately so that the public understands the accurate parameters of the emergency
18) Implement immediate testing for antibody and T-cell immunity before vaccinating the designated group, if we are vaccinating the higher-risk persons; we do not vaccinate persons who have active infection or who have recovered from infection, the same way if your child gets the measles infection and get the rash and fever etc., you do not then vaccinate them after they have recovered; you send them to school for they are now immune; use that same logic with COVID-19
19) Cease the illogical, irrational, inaccurate, and nonsensical absurdity that COVID-19 vaccine immunity is superior to naturally acquired immunity when the science is clear that natural exposure immunity is broad, robust, durable, mature, long-lasting and similar to if not way superior to the narrow, and immature immunity conferred by the COVID vaccines; there are six studies I think sets the stage for the core argument that natural exposure immunity is far superior and long-lasting than vaccine-induced immunity in COVID-19 (here and here and here and here and here and here).
These six studies support what I think are the key 34 studies and reports that show natural immunity reigns supreme over the COVID-19 vaccine immunity (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here).
It is worth mentioning that the search for these underpinning studies was not systematic and was meant rather, as a means to quickly gather evidence to assess the potency of natural immunity in this COVID emergency. It is therefore likely that given the search was not exhaustive, then it may have missed some additional (and important) published research. The reader must bear this in mind in any interpretation. I however feel that the presented uncovered COVID immunity research (natural versus vaccine induced) is robust enough to support the thesis
20) Above all, it is way past time to throw away the masks for our children as they have provided no benefit and have and can cause harm to the growing child (emotionally, socially, and health and well-being, the masks are toxic, especially to our children); I plead, unshackle your children, allow them to play free outside with their friends, to breath the fresh air; allow your children again to live naturally with their environments; allow their immune systems (their natural innate immunity system, their mucosal immunity) to be taxed and tuned up daily, challenged by the outdoors, by mingling and socially interacting, by living as normal (January 2020); we are creating a disaster and are likely and may have set our children up for disaster by the lockdowns, the masking, and school closures that have weakened their developing immune systems; remember the risk to children is near zero and you as the parent must make the sensible common-sense decisions to safeguard your child; do not listen to the nonsense the CDC puts out and use the last 18 months of the upside down, flip-flops and nonsensical often wrong statements and guidance by the CDC and even Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins says to turn off the nonsense by the CDC; the CDC is one-year behind the science constantly on all things COVID-19; “They parade around ‘science’ but most of this is discretion. It’s not science,” Makary said of the CDC’s recommendations.
Dr. Makary: ‘Most political CDC in history,’ guidance based on ‘discreti…Charles CreitzJohns Hopkins surgeon Dr. Marty Makary called out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under Biden app…
In closing, I plead to stop the drive to keep our people in fear, cowering under their beds needlessly; stop the mass media hysteria and fear about variants and mutations, as this is a good aspect, as when viruses mutate they typically mutate to much milder versions; moreover, there is no credible available evidence anywhere that the variants are more lethal, none; the vast majority of people who are infected do not have a serious problem with COVID, near 100%; ‘infections’ are not important and they are not a serious problem.
The medical experts and these Task Forces have all been flat wrong!
Every decision has proven disastrous and they have caused far greater suffering and death from the collateral effects of the lockdowns and restrictions. I thus end by appealing to the medical experts who inform governments to broaden the advisement table and allow other voices to be heard.
Allow other scientists and lay persons a seat at the table for as it stands, those currently at the table have only made illogical, irrational, unscientific, nonsensical, often absurd and even reckless decisions that have only hurt lives. We need different perspectives and an open discussion with multiple ideas and viewpoints.
This broadening can only benefit the pathway forward. I call on them to use some common sense and logic and some critical thinking; if it is all about the science, we implore the medical decision-makers to follow the data and science and to use it and use critical analysis of the data; I argue they have not; these decision-makers must understand the impact of their policies and stopping COVID ‘at all costs’ is not a policy and it is not attainable; if a policy is devastating and causing great harm to the population, you must stop it, you do not harden it and reapply it as that is patently absurd and harmful; as such, we also ask our decision-makers to conduct the appropriate hazard analyses and cost-effective analyses that remain absent.
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