Pillars of Public Health

PANDA ~ Pandemics Data and Analytics invited me to become a member three days ago! This stemmed from my opinionating on Twitter. The movement has largely grown out of recruitments from Twitter, with like minds gravitating towards each other. There are more than a hundred of us, with various skills to offer such as mathematicians, virologists, immunologists, epidemiologists, clinicians, lawyers, communications specialists and more general public health practitioners (where I fit in). My first meeting was a Zoom with one of the founders, explaining the way things work and sharing links so that I can start working out how to navigate activities and consider where I might be useful.

The day I joined, PANDA released their document: Preliminary Protocol for Reopening Society. The press release for this document reads in part:

For decades, it has been acknowledged by the world’s premier health authorities that amid a pandemic, the functioning of society should be maintained, and human rights upheld. Governments and health organisations have at their disposal country-specific pandemic preparedness plans, as well as the World Health Organisation pandemic guidelines, which provide a roadmap outlining how to keep society functioning, while also mitigating the impact of a disease or virus.

In 2020, SARS-CoV-2 brought an almost-instantaneous rewriting of disease management principles as countries, with few exceptions, disregarded existing pandemic plans and replaced them with policies of ‘lockdown’.

Legal papers have been served on Professor Christian Drosten at Universite Charite in Berlin. An English version of what they have to say is available here. It will be interesting to see if and when the mainstream media choose to acknowledge these events are unfolding? Cease and Desist Papers Served on Prof Dr Christian Drosten by Dr Reiner Fuellmich 15 December 2020.

Martin Kulldorff is an Infectious Diseases Epidemiologist at Harvard University and a member of the Advisory Board of PANDA. His knowledge, humility, integrity and persistence have been exemplary throughout this year. Somehow a few hours ago he managed to summarise public health into twelve tweets, all of which hold firmly true for me.

Twelve Forgotten Principles of Public Health

#1 Public health is about all health outcomes, not just a single disease like #COVID19. It is important to also consider harms from public health measures. https://collateralglobal.org/

#2 Public health is about the long term rather than the short term. Spring #COVID19 #lockdowns simply delayed and postponed the pandemic to the fall. The Invisible Pandemic: Johan Giesecke, The Lancet, May 30 2020

#3 Public health is about everyone. It should not be used to shift the burden of disease from the affluent to the less affluent, as the #COVID19#lockdowns have done. OPINION: Canada’s Covid-19 strategy is an assault on the working class, Toronto Sun, November 29 2020

#4 Pubic health is global. Public health scientists need to consider the global impact of their recommendations. Virus-linked hunger tied to 10,000 child deaths each month, AP News, July 28 2020

#5 Risks and harms cannot be completely eliminated, but they can be reduced. Elimination and zero-COVID strategies backfire, making things worse. Quarantine Fatigue is Real, May 11 2020

#6 Public health should focus on high-risk populations. For #COVID19, many standard public health measures were never used to protect high-risk older people, leading to unnecessary deaths. We Should Focus on Protecting the Vulnerable from COVID Infection, Newsweek, October 30 2020

#7 While contact tracing and isolation is critically important for some infectious diseases, it is futile and counterproductive for common infections such as influenza and #COVID19. On the Futility of Contact Tracing, Inference Review, September 2020

#8 A case is only a case if a person is sick. Mass testing asymptomatic individuals is harmful to public health. The Case Against Covid Tests for the Young and Healthy, Wall St Journal, September 3 2020

#9 Public health is about trust. To gain the trust of the public, public health officials and the media must be honest and trust the public. Shaming and fear should never be used in a pandemic. Facts – not fear – will stop the pandemic, December 3 2020

#10 Public health scientists and officials must be honest with what is not known. For example, epidemic models should be run with the whole range of plausible input parameters. A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data, Stat News, March 17 2020

#11 In public health, open civilized debate is profoundly critical. Censoring, silencing and smearing leads to fear of speaking, herd thinking and distrust. The COVID Science Wars: Shutting down scientific debate is hurting the public health, Scientific American, November 30 2020

#12 It is important for public health scientists and officials to listen to the public, who are living the public health consequences. This pandemic has proved that many non-epidemiologists understand public health better than some epidemiologists. / END

On 7 December Professor Kulldorff joined Professor Jay Bhattacharya on a podcast with Megyn Kelly, who in the same podcast talks with Dr David Dowdy, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University. The Megyn Kelly Show: COVID Truth on Lockdowns, Vaccines and Schools, with the Great Barrington Declaration Doctors.

Another PANDA member is Kevin McKernan who co-authored the Corman Drosten Review Report. Bretigne Shaffer interviews Kevin about this peer review and the issue of PCR testing which is now under serious scrutiny, at Kevin McKernan on the review of the Corman-Drosten review that he co-authored.

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