If Not Us, Then Who?

PANDA ~ Pandemics Data and Analytics published a Review update of recent science relating to Covid-19 policy in early January. “The unprecedented measures of universal lockdowns, tight institutional lockdowns of care homes, universal masking of the general population, obsession with surfaces and hands, and the accelerated vaccine deployment are contrary to known science, and contrary to recent leading studies. There has been government recklessness by action and negligence by omission. Institutional measures have been needed for a long time to stem corruption in both medicine and public health policy….. 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.[Ref] 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….“.

PANDA were recently attacked by what Nick Hudson describes as a “tabloid-grade hit piece”, referring to PANDA as “misguided charlatans” among other unjustified nonsense. In the article at The Daily Maverick titled “Kung Flu Panda: Dodgy analytics or pandemic propaganda”, journalists Nafeez Ahmed and Rebecca Davis write “a very taudry piece of tabloid journalism”. Hudson has told PANDA members to “put on your thicker skins”, predicting that as PANDA’s reach and capacities increase, more personal attacks will occur. A number of experienced and skilled public health professionals volunteer at PANDA anonymously for this reason. Hudson suggests that between our supporters and detractors, are many who are unsure what to think, who are likely open to logical reconsideration about lockdown as any type of rational response because “Men go mad in herds, but regain their sanity one by one”.

Hudson’s response to the tabloid attack in which The Daily Maverick denied PANDA a right of reply is available in this BizNews article including a podcast style interview. The article and the interview are both testament to Hudson’s voice of calm and reason, representing genuine public health. His main points are:

  • The attack gave PANDA an opportunity to restate and clarify their position.
  • These journalists apparently consider it their job to silence lockdown critics. This confirms that lockdown is an authoritarian strategy which can only work if the general population are misled in order to maintain the narrative.
  • PANDA have offered to debate with lockdown proponents repeatedly but offers are persistently ignored in favour of taudry tabloid journalism and false accusations.
  • PANDA’s Scientific Advisory Board are luminaries in the fields of infectious diseases, epidemiology, education and other public health associated disciplines at internationally renowned institutions.
  • PANDA consists of another 125 voluntary members, also leaders in their relevant fields such as genetics, pathology and biostatistics. Many volunteers act anonymously due to the intense censorship and authoritarianism reinforcing the narrative around lockdown and related restrictions which are not supported by evidence.
  • PANDA do not see any evidence supporting draconian mandates relating to mask wearing. For example in South Africa today, you can be arrested for not wearing a mask. Mask mandates are a very bad social invention which were ruled out, as were lockdowns, in pre-pandemic guidelines written by WHO, CDC and many other journals etc.
  • The main transmission mode of Covid-19 is probably via aerosols, although PANDA’s scientists look for explanations that fit with evidence rather than explanations that fit with an established narrative. Where aerosols play a role, mask effectiveness is implausible as aerosol particles are far smaller than the apertures in mask fibres. Even if larger droplets are stopped by a mask, you still breathe out over those droplets, causing them to aerosolise and drift out into the air where they remain suspended for extended periods of time. This in turn places social distancing rules into question.
  • PANDA’s mathematical modeling has attracted criticism for under-estimating the numbers of Covid related excess deaths [specifically in South Africa]. This criticism is disproportionate given the accuracy of these models, particularly when compared with the exaggerated over-estimates provided by the South African government.
  • PANDA don’t believe the majority of excess deaths being seen are caused by Covid. Serious cases of Covid become progressively ill and distressed, and are highly unlikely to stay at home without seeking medical attention. The video footage from China of people suddenly dropping dead in the streets was obviously false propaganda.
  • Worldwide data show a substantial proportion of treatment-associated deaths in Covid patients [eg WHO recommendations for toxic doses of Hydrochloroquine; and WHO recommendations to ventilate people at high risk of ventilator-associated injury].
  • Governmental use of scare tactics has generated reluctance in hospital attendance of people with non-Covid symptoms, contributing to excess deaths.
  • PANDA believe that public health policy in this pandemic has been extremely destructive, and that the outcomes of the public health response are much worse than the outcomes of Covid-19.
  • PANDA are not engaged in conspiracy theories, but base their information on sound scientific logic, referring to leading specialists in a multidisciplinary team. Sometimes they make errors but their approach is disciplined and evidence-based, questioning and exploring issues beyond the consensus narrative.
  • Many of PANDA’s Scientific Advisory Board have been attacked relentlessly in both social media and mainstream media, by what appears to be a posse of rabid lockdown authoritarians who are concerned with anything but public health.

The interviewer asks Hudson: Why are PANDA, “pretty smart guys”, setting themselves up to become the targets of those who perhaps believe that they are conspiracy theorists, that they’re trying to spread fake news? Hudson’s reply here:

If it’s not us, who will do it? We believe that the whole public health policy response has been shocking, resulting in such destruction, and we have from the word-go predicted that the public health outcomes from the response will be much worse than the disease itself. We stand by that view and we believe there is emerging evidence for precisely that. The evidence base for this is building up over time. In the absence of PANDA, who else?… We are recognised now, on an international level, as being a group that is not captured by crazy conspiracy theories… We have stayed well away from <the cooky elements> and we provide a platform that people can trust. We base our information on facts and our explanations for what is going on, whilst we don’t pretend that they are perfect, are based on sound scientific logic, and we access in a very multidisciplinary fashion, some really top minds in diverse fields, in order to generate our viewpoints. We are very careful with our communications, and sure from hundreds of pages and loads of interviews, from time to time a little error or gremlin slips through, but it is quickly corrected. We have a very disciplined approach in forming a view on all of these complex issues, from variants (or as we call them scariants), asymptomatic transmission, lockdown effectiveness, mask mandate effectiveness, and this type of thing.

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