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Concerning Conflicts of Interest Discovered Among UK Governments COVID-19 Advisors

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A new article published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) by Journalist Paul D. Thacker highlights the conflicts of interest that exist between the United Kingdoms COVID-19 advisors.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are Facebook fact-checkers able to suppress peer-reviewed published science? Should not all information be open, free to view and transparent? Should people not be able to ponder for themselves as to what's happening with COVID?

Before you begin...

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Many doctors, scientists, journalists, citizens and publications and various medical journals have been calling into question what we are being told about COVID-19 on various different fronts. Be it the severity of the virus, lockdown measures, mask mandates and more, it’s quite clear that there is a great divide among the citizenry as well as the academic community as to what’s really going on here.

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Scrolling through the twitter feed of Carl Heneghan, a Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford and Editor in Chief of BMJ (British Medical Journal) Evidence-Based medicine, and an NHS General Practitioner working in urgent care I came across a publication in the BMJ titled “Conflicts of interest among the UK government’s covid-19 advisers.” It was written by journalist Paul D. Thacker.

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I wanted to post it below as it’s an interesting read. It reminded me of another publication I recently came across in the BMJ by their executive editor, and editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization Dr. Kamran Abbas. The publication was titled “Covid-19: politicisation, “corruption,” and suppression of science. You can read that here if interested.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. – Abbas

Below is the publication from Thacker.

Little is known about the interests of the doctors, scientists, and academics on whose advice the UK government relies to manage the pandemic. Attempts to discover more are frequently thwarted, finds Paul D Thacker

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As the number of UK deaths caused by covid-19 reached 50 000 in early November, England enacted a second national lockdown to control the epidemic. Boris Johnson’s government put these measures into action after months of controversial and sometimes confusing policies, including the “rule of six,” regional tiered controls, and directions to “stay alert.” At the same time, the government has faced mounting questions about procurement decisions, from personal protective equipment to testing kits, from vaccine deals to the services of logistics companies.

Calls for greater transparency around such decisions have included those bodies focused on science and health, such as the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), as well as taskforces charged with advising on vaccines and testing. Although Downing Street has become more transparent in disclosing the advice of SAGE, it has kept members’ financial conflicts of interest unpublished and shown little concern that advisers to the coronavirus Vaccine Taskforce have financial interests in pharmaceutical companies receiving government contracts. When The BMJ sought further information on these bodies, such as lists of members’ interests, the information was denied or requests were unanswered.

Information withheld

After months of criticism about SAGE secrecy, the government reversed course this summer and began releasing the names of SAGE members, minutes of meetings, and some of its policy papers. Still, the government has refused to release to The BMJ the financial interest forms signed by SAGE members, leaving the public in the dark.

Criticism over SAGE’s secrecy first appeared in a Nature editorial1 in March. In April, the government’s chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance sent a letter to parliament2 stating that SAGE’s membership, recommendations, supporting documents, and meeting minutes would be published, but only after the group ceased meeting about covid-19. Vallance argued3 that secrecy protected SAGE members and shielded them “from lobbying and other forms of unwanted influence which may hinder their ability to give impartial advice.”

Rob Weissman, president of Public Citizen, an American non-profit organisation focusing on government transparency, was troubled by this statement because, he says, corporate interests are always granted access to government decision makers: “It’s never a secret from the companies. The secrecy is selective. Secrecy becomes the way to selectively make information available to the powerful, and connected corporations, while the public is kept in the dark.”

Within days of Vallance’s statement, the Guardian published the names of SAGE members, which included two political advisers to Downing Street, one of whom was the prime minister’s now former chief political adviser, Dominic Cummings.

As pressure increased for greater openness, the government finally relented in late May with a pledge for SAGE transparency, publishing dozens of documents, including minutes from the group’s first meeting on covid-19 in late January. Reversing his previous statement to parliament, Vallance said, “Openness and transparency around this disease is a social imperative, which is why it’s important we don’t wait to publish minutes and evidence.”

Vallance’s decision puts SAGE more in line with recommendations made by the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee in 20114 that SAGE membership should not be kept secret. He has, however, ignored the same committee’s call to publish SAGE members’ declarations of financial interest.

Independence and balance questioned

Meanwhile, the matter of SAGE’s independence persists. “It’s not independent,” says Martin McKee, professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “It cannot set its own agenda. They can only answer questions the government sends them. They should have more freedom to reshape the questions.” The term “independent,” does not appear anywhere in the 64 pages of current guidance5 that governs SAGE.

Multiple experts contacted by The BMJ also argued that SAGE appears unbalanced, favouring certain types of scientific proficiency over others. Some claim that SAGE has relied too much on disease modellers who have been given priority over behavioural researchers. Others point out that public health experts, who best understand how to control communicable diseases, should have been given more seats at the table. Meanwhile, it remains tough to confirm if the government is following SAGE’s advice.

“They’re not ignoring SAGE,” says Linda Bauld, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, who is not a member of the committee, “They’re selectively taking their advice.” Bauld says that after the government sends questions to SAGE and gets the group’s feedback, the government then works in other considerations, such as economics, public opinion, and politics. But unlike the advice from SAGE, these other inputs that inform policy are never made public, making it impossible to know if the government has ignored scientific expertise. She adds that SAGE is now more transparent than the Scottish government advisory group, which publishes minutes of its meetings, but which she says contain little information and are not useful.

Like other specialists The BMJ contacted, Bauld also wondered if SAGE requires members to report their financial conflicts of interest. “I’ve not seen that information published anywhere,” she says. The BMJ then contacted the Government Office for Science (GOS) to ask whether SAGE members were required to fill in financial disclosure forms. We also requested copies of any such forms for current members. A spokesperson for GOS confirmed that SAGE members must declare their financial conflicts of interest and provided us with an empty template copy of the SAGE disclosure form.

The BMJ is making this form available to the public.6 GOS declined to provide SAGE members’ signed disclosures, adding that they are looking at options to make these declarations public while complying with relevant data protection legislation. The BMJ is now seeking the financial disclosure forms of SAGE and Vaccine Taskforce members through freedom of information requests.

“Citizens need to be able to trust the advice of professional scientific advisers. We need transparency,” says Margaret McCartney, a Scottish general practitioner and former BMJ columnist who has campaigned for financial transparency. “Public trust is paramount and I know there are a huge number of scientists and doctors working extremely hard just now. I don’t want those efforts wasted because there hasn’t been enough openness.”

Interests exposed

In many cases, the UK government’s lack of financial transparency in combating covid-19 has resulted in negative headlines. In April, the government announced7 that it was placing Vallance in charge of a new Vaccine Taskforce to expedite research to produce a coronavirus vaccine. Among the named members were AstraZeneca, the Wellcome Trust, and John Bell of Oxford University. The following month, the government announced that Kate Bingham would chair the taskforce, while taking temporary leave from her job as managing partner at SV Health Investors, a life sciences venture capital firm. Bingham is married to the Conservative minister Jesse Norman.

By July the UK government had signed a coronavirus vaccine deal for an undisclosed sum with GlaxoSmithKline, securing 60 million doses of an untested treatment that was still being developed. In September, media outlets reported that Vallance had £600 000 (€661 000; $800 000) worth of shares in the company. The government responded to say that,8 while he heads the government’s Vaccine Taskforce, Vallance “has no input into contractual and commercial decisions on vaccine procurement, which are taken by ministers following a robust cross government approvals regime.”

Days later, the Daily Mail broke another story, this time focusing on Bell. On top of his role with the Vaccine Taskforce, Bell also headed the National Covid Testing Scientific Advisory Panel and chaired the government’s new test approvals group. But the Mail discovered something The BMJ had first reported in 20129—that Bell had substantial financial interests, now amounting to £773 000 worth of shares, in pharma company Roche, which had sold the government £13.5m of antibody tests in May. Following the deal, Bell appeared on Channel 4 News and Radio 4’s Today, calling the tests a major step forward. Yet Public Health England found the tests unreliable.

Bell told the Mail that he had no role in the deal and that he had disclosed to the government “a long list of my interests.” According to the Mail, “He said that he did not sit on the advisory body involved in the decision to purchase the Roche antibody tests, adding: ‘I did not know about the Roche contract until it was signed. I advised on diagnostic home testing kits, not these ones.’”

Disclosure denied

The BMJ asked the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which announced the Vaccine Taskforce, to confirm that Bell had reported his “long list” of financial interests. We also asked to see any forms Bell had filled in as evidence. Contradicting its own press release which listed Bell as a taskforce member, a BEIS spokesperson told The BMJ, “Sir John Bell is a member of the expert advisory group to the Vaccine Taskforce, rather than a member of the taskforce itself.”

The spokesperson added that the expert advisory group is not involved in commercial decision making, and that those involved must declare their conflicts of interest. The spokesperson did not respond to The BMJ’s request for copies of Bell’s declarations.

The BMJ also approached Oxford University, Bell’s employer, to ask for documents that confirm he had disclosed his “long list” of financial interests. Stephen Rouse, Oxford University’s head of communications, responded, “Professor Sir John Bell has always declared his financial interests and board membership at Roche, in accordance with the university’s conflict of interest policy for all staff.” Oxford did not respond to The BMJ’s repeated request to see evidence of this disclosure. The BMJ is now seeking the financial disclosure form of John Bell through a freedom of information request to Oxford.

Lagging behind the US?

Much of the transparency The BMJ and others have sought around advisory committees in the UK is automatically provided in the US. “We have strong rules that require transparency, openness of proceedings, and rules in place to deal with conflicts of interest that are automatic,” says Rob Weissman, president of Public Citizen, an American non-profit organisation focusing on government transparency.

Not that these rules are impenetrable: Weissman points out that the US vaccine taskforce, called Operation Warp Speed, is being directed by Moncef Slaoui, a former GlaxoSmithKline executive who has been criticised by senators for his pharma investments. The Trump administration bypassed normal government hiring procedures by bringing in Slaoui as an unpaid special adviser, who is therefore not required to disclose his interests. “The arrangement was improper and he should be dismissed immediately because of this conflict,” Weissman says. Even if a person is well intentioned, he says, direct financial investments create bias that is impossible for anyone to remove.

Covid cronyism: transparency is “even more important” in a crisis

In these exceptional times when, for example, contracts are being awarded outside usual procurement rules, it is essential that government decisions are properly documented and made transparent to maintain public trust. So said the National Audit Office10 (NAO) earlier this month in its report into government procurement during the covid-19 crisis.

It highlighted “a lack of transparency and adequate documentation” on some key decisions, including how the government identified and managed conflicts of interest. The report said it was “even more important to have a clear approach to managing conflicts of interest when contracts are awarded directly to suppliers without any competition.”

Because so many covid-19 contracts have been awarded to companies with ties to the Conservative Party, the government has faced charges of cronyism.

“You want these things to work,” says Peter Geoghegan, a journalist who has been covering the UK’s failed covid-19 contracts for Open Democracy, the Guardian, and the London Review of Books. “It’s taken a long time for the penny to drop about how this isn’t working.” Digging up untendered covid-19 contracts involved diligent spade work. Contracts can be published on different websites, which are not easily searchable. Furthermore, the government has been ignoring requirements to publish contracts within 30 days, meaning that it took many months after the pandemic started before the untendered contracts became public.

In awarding contracts, a cross government process called the “high priority lane” assessed commercial leads brought in by officials, ministers, MPs, and lords through a special mailbox and which were treated as more credible than leads going through ordinary channels, the NAO reported.

Critics of UK contracting tell The BMJ it is impossible to trace the influence of lobbyists in the decisions to award contracts because little lobbying information is published or even collected in the first place. “Considering the gravity of decisions under ministers’ consideration, there should be much greater transparency over who’s trying to influence them, how, and over what decisions, than is currently the case,” says Alex Runswick, senior advocacy manager at Transparency. “We know more about lobbying activity in rural Ireland than we do in Whitehall.”

Passed in 2014, Britain’s lobbying law requires only rudimentary information to be reported, most importantly, the name of the lobbyist, their company, and address, and the names of clients. In the US, lobbyists must disclose much more information and forms are disclosed quarterly. For each client, lobby companies must disclose the names of their lobbyists; list the matters or specific bills that were lobbied on; who was lobbied, such as a specific congressional committees, government agencies, or White House offices; and how much was spent lobbying, meaning lobbyist salaries and expenses.

“It tells you more than nothing, but not much more,” says Weissman of the UK lobby disclosure forms. He says that the US system requires such extensive information, because any one company has broad interests before the government. Pharma companies are considered the most powerful lobby in Washington and they lobby on everything from drug safety to labour laws to healthcare policy, tax matters, contracting law, defence spending, and government subsidies. “You’ve got no way to assess what they’re actually up to,” Weissman says of the UK lobbying law.

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Ontario (Canada) Gives Police Authority To Pull Over Vehicles To Find Out Where They Are Going

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Ontario government has just announced very strict lockdown and stay at home orders. They've also given police the power to pull people over to find out where they are going and where they live.

  • Reflect On:

    Is this really about the virus? Why are so many experts, and so much science that opposes what government is saying completely unacknowledged?

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As authoritarianism spreads, as emergency laws proliferate, as we sacrifice our rights, we also sacrifice our capability to arrest the slide into a less liberal and less free world. Do you truly believe that when the first wave, this second wave, the 16th wave of the coronavirus is a long-forgotten memory, that these capabilities will not be kept? That these datasets will not be kept? No matter how it is being used, what’ is being built is the architecture of oppression. -Edward Snowden (source)

Ontario, Canada has just announced stronger lockdown measures after current lockdown measures and stay at home orders have not done anything to slow the spread of covid when taking cases into account. Under the new orders, most non-essential businesses, manufacturing and construction will be closed, this includes non-essential curb side pick ups as well for retail businesses. Outdoor recreational facilities like parks, basketball courts, tennis courts and golf courses will now be closed and essential businesses, like grocery stores, will be limited to a certain capacity.

For the first time, the Ontario government has given police officers the power to pull vehicles over without cause, demand their ID and home address as well as ask where they are going and why. This also applies to citizens who are outside. This is effective immediately for a period of 6 weeks.

I just came across this via the live press conference. Part of the changes in the recent announcement were to give police more authority to handle non-compliance, something that’s been a big part of this pandemic as many people, doctors and scientists continue to disagree with the actions being taken by governments, while others agree. The government has also put restrictions on travel between provinces.

We have made the deliberate decision to temporarily enhance police officers’ authority for the duration of the stay at home order. Moving forward, police will have the authority to require any individual who is not in a place of residence to first provide the purpose for not being at home and provide their home address. – Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said in the press conference.

The Ontario government continues to blame the citizenry for non-compliance when, in reality, there is a tremendous amount of science and data that’s been published in various medical and scientific journals from around the world showing that lockdowns have not been helpful in stopping the spread of COVID.

Furthermore, there is research showing lockdowns have killed more people than covid, and will have devastating results for years to come. Not only that, an estimate from the United Nations World Food Program indicates that pandemic lockdowns causing breaks in the food chain are expected to push 135 million people into severe hunger and starvation.

The ease to which people could be terrorised into surrendering basic freedoms which are fundamental to our existence…came as a shock to me…History will look back on measures – as a monument of collective hysteria & government folly.” – Jonathan Sumption, former British supreme court justice. (source)

This is quite confusing, if lockdowns and restrictions aren’t necessarily helping to curb the spread, why is government, especially the Ontario government, acting like they are effective and necessary tools? This is a discussion that has not been had within the mainstream. Renowned experts in the field who are presenting this data have been completely ignored, censored and in many cases ridiculed.

Another point that’s being used to justify restriction measures is the fact that hospitals in Ontario are at capacity, and ICUs are full. This has always been a concern in many countries, especially in Ontario, Canada. For example, in 2017 more than 50 percent of hospitals in Ontario were above 100 percent capacity. There are examples all over the world for the past decade. That being said, is covid adding to this, or is it simply something we’ve always seen in hospitals? Is the only difference big media coverage?

What about the fact that PCR testing may yield an enormous amount of false positives? Testing positive does not mean you have the virus, or that you can spread it, especially if you are asymptomatic, yet this entire lockdown is based on testing asymptomatic people and asymptomatic cases. What about the death count and the fact that Ontario Public Health has admitted to the fact that they are marking deaths as “covid” when it’s not even clear if covid caused or contributed to the death? What about the fact that the survival rate of the virus is 99.95 percent and above for people under the age of 70, or that prior infection can provide more immunity than the vaccine?

Again, the point is,there are many concerns that are being completely ignored and unacknowledged.

In the case of covid, it’s quite clear that people of all backgrounds and professions are split. You even have world renowned experts in the field split on these issues, with many opposing and supporting measures. As a result, this has many people confused, and it begs the question, should government really have the authority to put mandates into place that restrict our movement, rights and freedoms?

Is this really about the virus, or about the benefits that big tech, health and government will reap and have been reaping from this pandemic? When measures go against the will of so many people, should government not be allowed to mandate such measures and instead, present their science and make recommendations to people, leaving them the choice to act in ways they see fit?

Are we living in an age where government and big tech are doing the thinking for us, telling us what is and isn’t and trying to control our lives more and more every single year? How do we stop this if it’s true? Why do we continue to comply? One thing is certain, covid has been a great catalyst for more and more people to really question what type of world we are currently living in.

So what’s the solution to this? Is it mass/collective organized peaceful non-compliance? A Belgian court has ruled that the current COVID-19 measures being deployed don’t have a sound legal basis. The State has 30 days to lift restrictions or face fines. Can something like this happen in this situation? We will wait and see what happens as, no doubt, many people are going to be upset and showing it.

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Florida Education Minister Urges Schools To Drop Mask Mandates

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CE Staff Writer 9 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said schools should make mask-wearing voluntary in the 2021-2022 school year, stating that they should simply be optional.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is one narrative being pushed hard, while the other is being heavily ridiculed and labelled as "dangerous" by mainstream media and government?

Before you begin...

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What Happened: Earlier this week, Florida’s education commissioner directed all schools to drop mask mandates for the next school year because, according to him, they are not necessary and can simply be an optional measure for students and parents. According to him, mask policies “do not impact the spread of the virus” and they “may impede instruction” for some students. The decision is not up to him, however, as each individual district will ultimately decide whether or not they want to impose mask mandes for next school year.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently convened a round table on public health. At that discussion, Professor of Medicine at Stanford University Dr. Jay Bhattacharya stated that “masks have not only been not effective but have been harmful.”

The video of this discussion was removed from YouTube, and then ridiculed by mainstream media. This has been a big problem throughout this pandemic. We have big tech “fact-checkers” censoring and removing any kind of narrative that does not fit within the framework or narrative that government health authorities are telling us. If things were so obvious, why would they need to censor world renowned experts?  It’s been a common theme, and Bhattacharya is one of many who have been subjected to this type of treatment.

He’s one of the three initiators of The Great Barrington Declaration. The other two are  Dr. Sunetra Gupta, PhD Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at the University of Oxford and Dr. Martin Kulldorff, PhD, Professor of Medicine at Harvard, Infectious Disease Epidemiologist. You can watch an interesting discussion with all three of them here if interested.

Bhattacharya responded to the criticism in a recent piece he wrote for the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) stating the following:

I attended a public-policy roundtable hosted by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis last month. The point was to discuss the state’s Covid policies in the months ahead. That 600,000 Americans have died with Covid-19 is evidence that the lockdowns over the past year, including significant restrictions on the lives of children, haven’t worked. Florida reopened in May and declined to shut down again. Yet age-adjusted mortality is lower in Florida than in locked-down California, and Florida’s public schools are almost all open, while California’s aren’t.

My fellow panelists—Sunetra Gupta of Oxford, Martin Kulldorff of Harvard and Scott Atlas of Stanford—and I discussed a variety of topics. One was the wisdom of requiring children to wear masks. The press asked questions, and a video of the event was posted on YouTube by local media, including Tampa’s WTSP.

But last week YouTube removed a recording of this routine policy discussion from its website. The company claimed my fellow panel members and I were trafficking in misinformation. The company said it removed the video “because it included content that contradicts the consensus of local and global health authorities regarding the efficacy of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Yet the panelists are all experts, and all spoke against requiring children to wear masks. I can’t speak for my counterparts, but my reasoning was a cost-benefit analysis. The benefits of masking children are small to none; the costs are much higher.

The scientific evidence is clear.

He then goes on to cite site some science.

Kari Stefansson, senior author of a study  study from Iceland conducted early in the epidemic when masking was uncommon showing that incidents of covid in children is far less than adults, stated that children are.

“less likely to get infected than adults and if they get infected, they are less likely to get seriously ill. What is interesting is that even if children do get infected, they are less likely to transmit the disease to others than adults.”

According to Bhattacharya, “many studies in the scientific literature reach a similar conclusion: Even unmasked children pose less of a risk for disease spread than adults.”

For example, Jonas F Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute wrote letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Open Schools, Covid-19, and Child and Teacher Morbidity in Sweden” has found that:

“Despite Sweden’s having kept schools and preschools open, we found a low incidence of severe Covid-19 among schoolchildren and children of preschool age during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic…No child with Covid-19 died…Among the 1,951,905 children who were 1 to 16 years of age, 15 children had Covid-19, MIS-C, or both conditions and were admitted to an ICU, which is equal to 1 child in 130,000.”

You can read more about this specific story here, as he has quit his research due to the harassment he received for simply presenting data.

Why This Is Important: There are the points made above, and then there are papers outlining the supposed dangers and ineffectiveness of masks. Many have been published in peer-reviewed scientific/medical journals prior to covid, and during covid.

For example, one paper titled “Facemasks in the COVID-19 era: A health hypothesis” concludes:

The existing scientific evidences challenge the safety and efficacy of wearing facemask as preventive intervention for COVID-19. The data suggest that both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to block human-to-human transmission of viral and infectious disease such SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, supporting against the usage of facemasks. Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects. These include hypoxia, hypercapnia, shortness of breath, increased acidity and toxicity, activation of fear and stress response, rise in stress hormones, immunosuppression, fatigue, headaches, decline in cognitive performance, predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, chronic stress, anxiety and depression. Long-term consequences of wearing facemask can cause health deterioration, developing and progression of chronic diseases and premature death. Governments, policy makers and health organizations should utilize prosper and scientific evidence-based approach with respect to wearing facemasks, when the latter is considered as preventive intervention for public health.

I’ve written about a study published in the New England Medical Journal by Harvard doctors that outlines how it’s already known that masks provide little to zero benefit when it comes to protection in a public setting. According to them,

We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.

The papers cited above are a few of many, there are a plethora of them available within the scientific literature.

Yes, there are also studies that claim and explain why they believe masks are an effective tool to mitigate the virus, and we know that organizations like the Centres For Disease Control (CDC) deem them to be extremely effective and necessary.  The point is, why are those who point out, explain, and provide evidence and reason for the idea that masks are not effective being heavily censored, vilified, and ridiculed? What’s going on here? Why is proper critique and discussion being completely shut down and why are those who are creating awareness about these issues labelled as “dangerous anti-maskers.” This, in my opinion is quite frankly unscientific.

Perhaps I can explore one possible explanation. Perhaps any type of information, data or evidence, no matter how credible, that opposes the measures and narrative of government and big media threatens various business/agendas in these powerful circles. It begs the question, does government and government affiliated health/business really look out for what’s best for its citizens? The COVID pandemic has definitely served as a catalyst for more people to ask that question who wouldn’t have prior to the pandemic.

This is just my opinion, but in presenting it I put our platform, Collective Evolution, at risk being punished in various ways for simply sharing it. We’ve not only been falsely smeared by fact checkers but have also been hurt financially on social media simply for bringing forth facts that the mainstream doesn’t wish to address.

The Takeaway: At the end of the day, it’s very difficult to determine who is right or wrong, which is why we need open dialogue. The fact that simple discussion and pieces of evidence that change the narrative, or threaten it, is being shut down, censored and completely ridiculed is quite concerning. The mainstream media continues to fail to have appropriate conversations surrounding all things COVID while forcing their narrative on the public. This in turn has created a great divide among the citizenry when really, we should all be coming together and respecting everybody’s decision to act as they please.

When things are not so cut and dry, it’s questionable whether or not we should really give governments the ability to control our lives in the manner they have done with this pandemic.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. –

Dr. Kamran Abbasi, executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal, editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, and a consultant editor for PLOS Medicine. He is editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and JRSM Open. Taken from his published a piece in the BMJ, titled “Covid-19: politicisation, “corruption,” and suppression of science.”

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Ontario, Canada To Impose Stricter Measures: Lockdown & Stay At Home Orders Are Not Working

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CE Staff Writer 5 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Ontario (Canada) government is set to impose even more restrictions and enforcement on the citizenry despite already being in lockdown and stay at home order mode. The announcement will be made this afternoon.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do governments continue to ignore the vast amount of research and data that's been published showing lockdowns and other restrictions do nothing to stop the spread of covid, and are probably doing more harm than covid?

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What Happened: Ontario, Canada is and has been well into a province wide lockdown and stay at home order. Most businesses, if not already permanently closed from going out of business, have been reduced to curb side pick-ups only, while essential stores, like grocery stores, have remained open. This has been ongoing, on and off, as all of you know for more than one year now.

This afternoon, the government is set to announce even more restrictions.

According to CTV News Toronto,

Sources tell CTV News Toronto and CP24 the latest data, which is expected to be released on Friday, shows that based on Ontario’s current trends there could be between 12,000 to 18,000 new daily infections by the end of May, with up to 1,800 patients in intensive care. The measures under consideration include shutting down construction to just critical infrastructure projects and placing limits on non-essential manufacturing and warehousing. Additional restrictions on religious services are also being considered by cabinet.

Ontario is also considering more enforcement with regards to fines for those who disobey rules, and perhaps shutting down curb side pick-ups of some non-essential retailers.

Cases, however, are still accelerating exponentially. A lot of “fear-mongering” and concern is being raised by government public health officials, doctors and scientists. On the other hand, you have a number of doctors and scientists who are not as concerned, explaining that the number of cases, and rising case numbers are not as big of a threat as it’s being made to be, especially given the fact that infection can provide an immunity that is stronger than the supposed immunity a vaccine can provide. They have also been pointing out that we are dealing with a virus that has a very low mortality rate, 99.95 percent and higher for people under the age of 70, to be exact.

Many in the field have been creating awareness around the catastrophic impacts of lockdowns, providing data showing that lockdown measures around the globe may have already killed more people than covid itself, and will have lasting impacts for years to come while they affect most aspects of humanity. Furthermore, they’ve also presented a wealth of data showing that lockdowns are not effective at all at stopping the spread of the virus, that they are, essentially, useless.

This is quite confusing, if lockdowns and restrictions do nothing to curb the spread, why is government, especially the Ontario government, acting like they are effective and necessary tools? Why do they also completely ignore the idea that lockdowns may be completely ineffective and more harmful? This is a discussion that has not at all been had within the mainstream, and renowned experts in the field who are presenting this data have been completely ignored, censored and in many cases ridiculed.

Another point that’s being used to justify restriction measures is the fact that hospitals in Ontario are at capacity, and ICUs are full. This has always been a concern in many countries, especially in Ontario, Canada. For example, in 2017 more than 50 percent of hospitals in Ontario were above 100 percent capacity. There are examples all over the world for the past decade. That being said, is covid adding to this, or is it simply something we’ve always seen in hospitals? Is the only difference big media coverage?

Why This Is Important: Sure, many people might agree with lockdowns and other mandates. It’s hard to hear, however, the Ontario government constantly blaming portions of the population for the fact that they are not being effective, without ever considering, as again something that’s been shown time and time again in several countries, that lockdowns are simply not effective in stopping the spread. If this is the case, it renders lockdowns useless and paints a bad picture for government, which would be the fact that they’ve done nothing but put people in harm’s way.

In the case of covid, it’s quite clear that people of all backgrounds and professions are split. You even have world renowned experts in the field split on these issues, with many opposing and supporting measures. This as a result has many people confused, and it begs the question, should government really have the authority to put mandates into place that restrict our movement, rights and freedoms? Is this really about the virus, or about the benefits that big tech, health and government will reap and have been reaping from this pandemic? When measures go against the will of so many people, should government not be allowed to mandate such measures and instead, present their science and make recommendations to people, leaving them the choice to act in ways they see fit? Are we living in an age where government and big tech are doing the thinking for us, telling us what is and isn’t and trying to control our lives more and more every single year? How do we stop this? Why do we continue to comply? One thing is certain, covid has been a great catalyst for more and more people to really question what type of world we are currently living in.

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