Sunday, February 20, 2022

NZCPR Newsletter: Parliament’s Arrogance

A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial: that is when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud.” 
– George Orwell.

Over the last two years, Jacinda Ardern’s Government has instituted a raft of unprecedented emergency restrictions aimed at safeguarding our population from Covid-19.

In March 2020, using exaggerated modelling that predicted tens of thousands of deaths, Prime Minister Ardern made a Captain’s Call to abandon the New Zealand Pandemic Plan that had kept us safe during the 2009 Swine Flu epidemic, to introduce the first ever lockdown of healthy New Zealanders.

It turns out, however, that severely curtailing individual rights and freedoms creates enormous economic and social injury, with mounting evidence now showing that lockdowns have caused more harm than good.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator Dr Peter Smith, an Australian writer and editor in economics and politics, who is highly critical of the loss of freedom during the pandemic, outlines the latest research on lockdowns:

“Three researchers from the John Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise published a meta-analysis of the effect of lockdowns on Covid-19 Mortality in January. You might have seen coverage of it; nevertheless, it’s worth repeating an extracted summary of its conclusion:

‘This study employed a systematic search and screening procedure in which 18,590 studies are identified that could potentially address the belief [that lockdowns reduce Covid-19 mortality] … 24 qualified for inclusion in the meta-analysis [which concluded] that lockdownshave had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted. In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.’

“But we long since knew this, didn’t we? Deaths in light-touch Sweden never exploded as the models or doom merchants on the Left predicted. As at the end of January, Worldometer reports the death rate in Sweden as below that in UK, the US and in Spain. It’s higher than in some countries but lower than most. Similarly, light-touch Florida, South Carolina and Texas had death rates all lower than in New York and many other American states.”

In response to the pandemic, the development of Covid-19 vaccines was fast-tracked around the world. Because producing safe and effective vaccines for a new virus usually takes between three and five years, mass vaccination has never been responsible for ending a pandemic. By the time the trials are over, and the vaccine is declared safe, the disease has either died out or mutated into a less virulent form and become endemic. 

In this pandemic, however, emergency authorisation was given by medical regulators for a range of new Covid-19 vaccines – many of which were using experimental gene editing technology – even though some of their trials were not scheduled for completion until 2023.

As countries raced ahead to inoculate their populations, normal precautionary controls were abandoned on the presumption that the risk of the disease outweighed the unknown risk of the vaccine – even for pregnant women and children.

When it comes to assessing new vaccines there are two main considerations. Firstly, effectiveness – will the vaccine sufficiently boost the immune response to fight off the virus and avoid transmission, hospitalisation, and death? And secondly, safety – are the risks of taking the vaccine significantly less than the risk of catching the virus.

Jacinda Ardern chose Pfizer, a messenger RNA genetic vaccine, for New Zealand’s mass vaccination programme. Concerns about the new technology and the fact that the vaccine had been rushed to market before the trials had been completed, were allayed when the PM confirmed, just before the 2020 general election, that under her watch vaccination would be voluntary.

Her assurance upheld New Zealand’s Bill of Rights – Section 10: “Every person has the right not to be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation without that person’s consent”, and Section 11: “Everyone has the right to refuse to undergo any medical treatment.” 

However, once she had won the election, Jacinda Ardern broke her word and announced vaccinations would become mandatory for many workers. 

While some still claim that vaccination is a choice, making people choose between vaccination and losing their livelihood is coercion, not choice – the tactics of a totalitarian regime. 

Despite the high personal and financial cost, some said no to the vaccine, while others complied, albeit reluctantly. But most trusted the Government and willingly took the jab.   

So, who are these people protesting in Parliament grounds?

The Prime Minister claims they are anti-vaxxers, but if she actually spoke to them, she would find many are vaccinated but strongly oppose mandates, believing people should have the freedom to choose what they put in their body.

Many other protesters are heartbroken public servants – doctors, nurses, teachers, members of the Police and Armed Forces, who have willingly complied with past vaccination requirements for themselves and their children, but as a result of concerns over the use of new genetic vaccines before their trials have been completed, have been forced out of jobs they love by the mandates. 

Furthermore, the rationale for mandates no longer adds up as Newstalk ZB’s Drivetime host Heather Du Plessis-Allan explained earlier this week: “Ask yourself this: what is the rationale now for people losing their jobs because they won’t get the jab? You could argue that they must be punished because they will put a strain on our health system. That was true when we had low jab rates, but we’re now 94% double-jabbed across the country. Do we really think a tiny percent of people is going to overwhelm the health system?” 

She also highlighted research published in the Lancet medical journal showing those who are fully vaccinated can spread Covid just as readily as the unvaccinated: “Fully vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections have peak viral load similar to unvaccinated cases and can efficiently transmit infection in household settings, including to fully vaccinated contacts.”

Essentially, this means there is no longer any justification for mandates, and not only should they be removed, but, where possible, employees, forced out of jobs, should be offered them back.

The Speaker, Trevor Mallard, who is responsible for the Parliamentary precinct where the protest is being held, has handled the situation badly, maligning the protesters as “feral” and engaging in childish acts of petulance by turning on sprinklers and blaring loud music across the grounds.

As expected, his actions have not only galvanised support for the protesters, but strengthened the view that many of our Members of Parliament are not only arrogant, but hypocrites – as Newstalk ZB’s Political Editor Barry Soper points out, “Mallard seems to have forgotten the much more violent protest he was once involved in, back during the Springbok tour of 1981, where they camped on Parliament’s front lawn for the more than the 40 days the rugby players were in the country.” 

Those MPs who are refusing to even meet with the protesters, seem to have forgotten that they were elected to listen to the concerns of constituents and represent their views in Parliament.

Not only have our political elite shown themselves to be tone deaf about the protest, they also appear to be equally uninformed about Omicron, which is now sweeping through the country at a great rate of knots.

Apart from telling everyone to get their booster shots, ‘the pulpit of truth’ has provided scant information to New Zealanders about Omicron.

The knowledge of those who have successfully treated Omicron is being ignored in this country, which is why the experience of people like Dr Shankara Chetty of South Africa, who holds qualifications in medicine, surgery, genetics, biochemistry and microbiology, is so important.

Having treated almost 8,000 Covid patients in his rural practice, including many who arrived critically ill by ambulance, he reports that none have died, been hospitalised, or needed oxygen. As a result, Dr Chetty is now recognised as a world authority on Covid treatment, but you won’t read about him in our mainstream media.

Once he understood that if Covid patients were going to become seriously unwell, that change occurred on Day 8, he realised it is a biphasic illness. The first phase is a self-limiting viral illness, and the second phase only occurs in the minority of patients who are hypersensitive to Covid’s spike protein. In those people, it triggers a severe allergic reaction in the lungs, which, if left untreated, can spiral into a life-threatening cycle of hyper-inflammation and hyper-coagulation.

Dr Chetty treats the first phase as any cold or flu, according to the symptoms. But for those patients developing the second phase – a hypersensitivity pneumonitis – a toolbox of treatments is needed, which includes antihistamines to suppress the allergic response and steroids to reduce the swelling.    

In an interview not to be missed – see HERE – Dr Chetty discusses Omicron: “There is little to fear from Omicron, as it is a mild variant, and there is no reason to panic. In South Africa, there is no increase in hospital and ICU admissions, despite the increase in cases.”

When asked how to differentiate between Delta and Omicron, he explains, “The symptoms are very different. With Delta we are seeing the respiratory symptoms. We are noticing the deterioration on the 8th day which can be severe. With the Omicron variant we are noticing that patients don’t have respiratory symptoms per se. They have a sore throat on the first day which by the second or third day resolves completely. But the overriding symptom they present with is fatigue, headaches.”

He explains that few people infected with Omicron develop the Day 8 allergic response, but if they do, and are treated with antihistamines and steroids, there should be a full recovery. He also mentions that in some countries, because every hospital admission is tested for Omicron, if patients are infected – even though they have been admitted for other medical reasons – they are counted as hospitalised Omicron cases, misrepresenting the variant as far more dangerous than it really is.

And when it comes to fearmongering – using the threat of Omicron to force people to get booster shots – Dr Chetty has some strong words: “I think it’s absolutely nonsensical… The only thing vaccines have shown some benefit in, is to prevent severe disease and death. Omicron does not cause severe disease or death; it causes mild illness… I don’t see the point to mass vaccinate the population to prevent severe disease and death from a variant that does not cause severe disease and death. And of course, notwithstanding that the vaccine can have severe side effects… The risk of the variant does not warrant taking such a risk as a mass vaccination campaign. It’s nonsensical.”

Dr Chetty believes it will be virtually impossible for anyone to avoid being infected with Omicron and he suggests that the lasting natural immunity it confers – which is far superior to that acquired from vaccination – will provide important herd immunity protection if more deadly variants emerge in the future.

That’s why governments around the world are moving to lift mandates and all other Covid restrictions once Omicron has displaced the far more dangerous Delta as the dominant strain.

No-one in their right mind would try to enforce mandatory vaccination and quarantine requirements over something as dangerous as a cold, and yet, that’s what New Zealand politicians are now doing.

It’s for these reasons that the protesters in Wellington and other countries including Canada, the USA, Israel, Europe, and Australia are right to demand the removal of mandates.

The political elite in Wellington have misjudged the situation by maligning and dismissing the protesters. Their misrepresentation of those who are standing up for what they believe, will simply harden their resolve, and result in more good Kiwis like Sir Russell Coutts going to Wellington to support a movement that is aimed at ending forced vaccinations and restoring human rights, dignity, and the freedom of choice for New Zealanders.

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*Do you support the protesters’ demand to remove the vaccine mandates?

Dr Muriel Newman established the New Zealand Centre for Political Research as a public policy think tank in 2005 after nine years as a Member of Parliament. The NZCPR website is HERE. We also run this Breaking Views Blog and our NZCPR Facebook Group HERE

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