There are some truly inspiring medical doctors using Twitter to share information about Covid-19. One of the most impassioned I follow is Dr Thomas Binder. He earned a PhD in Virology/Immunology before specialising in Cardiology, has over 30 years medical experience and works as an Associate Professor at a medical university in Austria. There are no profitable interests driving what he has to say about Covid-19. He is prolific on Twitter and states that “It is the responsibility of us doctors to follow our oath & inform the public“.
It’s easy to assume that all scientists and medics are as ethical as Dr Binder. However enormous profits can be made from medicine, particularly when people are afraid and looking for protection during a pandemic. Many with high qualifications will put financial gain or other personal interests ahead of the public interest, and academic credentials can assist in presenting motives as beneficent. For every principled medic / scientist I see on Twitter, I see at least one more promoting a product “to help stop the pandemic”. The variety of products includes masks, software, air cleaners, air filters and testing kits, all of which have “science” to back their claims. The confusion has been chaotic and World Health Organisation have contributed through their constant mixed messaging which seems to suggest an infiltration of political and financial influences.
One example of the conflicts arising between competing interests is vaccine proponents vs testing proponents. Covid-19 vaccine is reported to reduce symptoms rather than stopping infection. This is not an unusual vaccination effect. As one example BCG, the TB vaccine, does not reduce the rate of TB disease, but it provides some protection to young children against developing severe forms of TB such as TB meningitis and TB of the spine. BCG vaccine is therefore recommended for children as a way of reducing serious consequences of TB which they are at higher risk of. BCG is no longer recommended for adults as it does not impact the course of TB disease in this group. The vaccine is also only recommended in populations where TB continues to transmit at rates considered to be of public health concern.
In the case of Covid-19 the vaccine is important for those at risk of developing symptoms, and perhaps suggests vaccination of those without risk is not necessary. However, the strong politicisation of this issue means that normal vaccine schedule risk-benefit analyses are far too controversial and the vaccine is to be recommended for all adults globally, with vaccination priorities being the only acknowledgement of the fact that different populations have a different risk profile. Those asking questions are labeled “anti-vax” and governments and businesses alike are talking of mandating vaccination or withdrawing access to various services from the unvaccinated.
Testing proponents are now promoting the need for frequent testing of those who are vaccinated because with reduced symptoms, they may transmit infection unwittingly. There is no evidence for asymptomatic transmission except a number of papers originating out of China some months ago. All other published evidence states that asymptomatic transmission, as with other respiratory viruses, is not a feature of Covid-19. Despite the very visible biases on show from those with personal gain to be made, scientific salesmen have far better access to mainstream media on pandemic matters, than impartial scientists and specialists.
Today a morning television program asked the question “should the unvaccinated be banned from public places”? A very effective way to insert this issue into public discourse and promote conflict, making excellent clickbait. This demonstrates the way that our media – as irresponsible as they care and/or dare to be – drive pandemic responses. Politicians are driven by their own biased motivations, many scientists also have biased agendas, and there is no strong or coordinated objective leadership coming from anywhere. Individuals speaking out are maligned and silenced and scientific discourse has diminished into one big groupthink, led by layers of kludge.
There are a few hopeful escapes from this kludge, currently marginalised and ignored by all mainstream media, but strengthening each day. PANDA (Pandemic Data and Analytics) is forming out of scientists and specialists with critical thinking and principled objectives. My dream is that they grow into an international, politically independent public health agency with capacity to challenge the unconstrained exploitations currently in motion and causing so much harm. Dr Reiner Fuellmich is an American-German trial lawyer leading the German Corona Investigative Committee. He has years of experience fighting corruption including against big business such as Deutsche Bank and Volkswagen. His interview at this YouTube link highlights his experience and the reasons he is challenging the frauds centred around the global pandemic response. He outlines three main issues his investigative team are focusing on: true risks relating to Covid-19; reliability of the PCR tests used to diagnose Covid-19; and the health and economic consequences of lockdowns.