6 October, 2020
Last month Dr Martin Feeley was forced to resign from his Health Board position after publicly stating that the virus was not dangerous and lockdown policies were doing more harm than good.
Only a few days ago, Dr Marcus De Brun – an Irish GP who resigned from his government post in protest over their Covid policies – deleted his twitter [archive link] and declared he was “stepping back” from public debate concerning the pandemic.
These individual examples paint a grander picture – slowly but surely the medical experts countering the “pandemic” narrative are being censored, removed and pushed out of the conversation. When the last dissenting voice is finally shut down, the establishment will claim the “science is settled.”
Well the science is not settled and, to help remind everyone of that, here are 10 more experts questioning the Coronavirus crisis.
Dr Dolores Cahill is an Irish research scientist specialising in immunology and oncology, and professor of Translational Science at the University College Dublin School of Medicine. Sh has been a science advisor for three national governments – Ireland, Sweden and Germany – and is the Vice Chair of the Scientific Committee of the Inovative Medicine Initiative.
She has also been asked to resign from her post at the IMI due to her stance on Covid19.
What she says:
[…] Then the second thing is we can see that in Ireland, as in globally, half of the people who die are over 80 and that we’ll say children and anyone under 50 – unless they have chronic conditions like cystic fibrosis – they will have no issue. So what I am saying is there is no need for the lockdown and that we could all actually go back to work.
Interview with Computing Forever, 11th May 2020:
Public talk from 22nd September 2020:
Prof Carl Heneghan is a British general practitioner physician, director of the University of Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, and a Fellow of Kellogg College. He is also Editor-in-Chief of BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine. He is one of the founders of AllTrials, an international initiative calling for all studies to be published, and their results reported.
What he says:
In the course of our evidence gathering activities, we have gone through a few thousand papers reporting studies on all aspects of Covid-19 spread. We found that not very many defined a case of Covid, which is a sign of sloppiness when that is what you are looking for. Those that did, reported different definitions and ways of ascertaining what they meant by a ‘case’.
Now this may seem a pedantic academic remark, but in reality, it underlines the chaos which has crept into Covid-19 science and decision-making.
[…] What does a Covid 19 case mean and how do different nations define a case? We looked at the definition of a case given by the World Health Organisation, the US and EU Centres for Disease Control, China, Italy, Spain, France.
[…] The UK government definition is based on clinical symptoms, and testing is recommended for cases who are well enough to remain in the community. No guidance is given as to how to interpret such a test or any decisions. Interestingly the Public Health England explanation of the methods for counting cases is as follows:
‘If a person has both a negative and a positive test, then only their positive test will be counted. If a person is tested as positive under both pillar 1 and pillar 2, then only the first positive case is counted.’
An asymptomatic person who tested positive could have two confirmatory negative tests, but would still count as a confirmed case. But in Wales, data is deduplicated on 42-day episodes; if someone is tested twice, 43 days apart, they will be included in the case count measure twice.
[…] We have already written about the inappropriate use of the PCR test as currently used, and the delightful vagueness of the statement is pregnant with consequences. Arbitrary thresholds may be so high that the UK may be heading for perpetual lockdown, as every minute fragment and debris of the coronavirus will count as positive.
We deduce that a reported ‘case’ is most probably simply the result of a positive PCR test. The new guidance is meaningless unless it provides a clear threshold for the limits of detection. For many whose test turns up positive, there may be nothing recorded about any clinical symptoms.
– “What does a case of Covid-19 really mean?”, The Spectator 14th September 2020*
It is essential to adjust for the number of tests being done. Leicester and Oldham have seen significant increases in testing in a short time. Leicester, for example in the first two weeks of July did more tests than anywhere else in England: 15,122 tests completed in the two weeks up to 13th July.
The potential for false-positives (those people without the disease who test positive) to drive the increase in community (Pillar 2) cases is substantial, particularly because the accuracy of the test and the detection of viable viruses within a community setting is unclear.
– COVID cases in England aren’t rising: here’s why, CEBM 2nd August 2020
*Co-authored with Dr Tom Jefferson, who appeared on a previous edition of this series.
Dr Karol Sikora is a British physician specialising in oncology and professor of Medicine at the University of Buckingham. He is a founder and medical director of Rutherford Health, a company providing proton therapy services, the former director of the World Health Organization Cancer Program and Director of Medical Oncology at the Bahamas Cancer Centre.
What he says:
In summary, our view is that the existing policy path is inconsistent with the known risk-profile of Covid-19 and should be reconsidered. The unstated objective currently appears to be one of suppression of the virus, until such a time that a vaccine can be deployed.
This objective is increasingly unfeasible (notwithstanding our more specific concerns regarding existing policies) and is leading to significant harm across all age groups, which likely offsets any benefits.
[…] [B]ehavioural interventions that seek to increase the personal threat perception of Covid should be reconsidered, as they likely contribute to adverse physical and mental health impacts beyond Covid. Consideration should also be given to whether policies that are intended to ‘reassure’, may in fact reinforce a heightened perception of risk. Providing the public with objective information on the actual risk they face from Covid-19, by age and health status, would be preferable.
– “Boris Johnson Must Urgently Rethink His Covid Policy”, The Spectator 21st September**
Interview with UnHerd, 18th May 2020:
**Co-authored with Dr Carl Heneghan (above) and Dr Sunetra Gupta, who appeared in a previous edition of this series.
Dr Michael Yeadon is a British doctor and research scientist, the former chief science officer with Pfizer, and co-Founder of Ziarco Pharma Ltd.
What he says:
I believe I have identified a serious, really a fatal flaw in the PCR test used in what is called by the UK Government the Pillar 2 screening – that is, testing many people out in their communities.
[…] [The UK] Government decided to call a person a ‘case’ if their swab sample was positive for viral RNA, which is what is measured in PCR. A person’s sample can be positive if they have the virus […] They can also be positive if they’ve had the virus some weeks or months ago and recovered. It’s faintly possible that high loads of related, but different coronaviruses…might also react in the PCR test.
But there’s a final setting in which a person can be positive and that’s a random process. This may have multiple causes, such as the amplification technique not being perfect and so amplifying the ‘bait’ sequences placed in with the sample, with the aim of marrying up with related SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA. There will be many other contributions to such positives. These are what are called false positives.
[…] Because of the high false positive rate and the low prevalence, almost every positive test, a so-called case, identified by Pillar 2 since May of this year has been a FALSE POSITIVE. Not just a few percent. Not a quarter or even a half of the positives are FALSE, but around 90% of them.
– Lies, Damned Lies and Covid Statistics – the Deadly Danger of False Positives, LockdownSceptics.org, 20th September 2020
Dr Jean-François Toussaint is a French doctor and professor of physiology at the Université Paris-Descartes. He is also director of the Institute for Biomedical Research and Sports Epidemiology (IRMES) and a former member of the High Council of Public Health.
What he says:
In addition to those directly linked to the essential measures to combat SARS-CoV-2, the social, economic and health consequences of generalized confinement will be considerable. It is to be expected that all of these effects will lead to a decline in life expectancy in the coming years.
[…] [The Lockdown] was guided by estimates that were proposed on March 12…In this work, however, many things were wrong: the models were wrong, the projections were wrong; the simulations are still not reproducible, the justifications remain unfounded. And the studies currently published repeat the same errors: naive and outdated models, unstable algorithms, useless predictions…Yet it is on such simulations that the paralysis of half of humanity was played out.
An inappropriate response can lead to the death of an individual. At the level of a society, it can cause its collapse and block the future of our children.
– “First assessment of Covid-19: Have we succumbed to panic?”, UP Magazine 28th May 2020 (translated from French)
Dr Priyad Ariyaratnam is a British surgeon, medical researcher and NIHR Clinical Lecturer & Speciality Registrar in Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Hull York Medical School.
What he says:
Although it is important to mitigate loss of life wherever possible, we can never reduce risk to zero. The majority of people will survive from their natural immunity defences.
While waiting for a vaccine then, I don’t believe that we should be destroying the income and livelihoods of millions of people, preventing children’s education and social development unnecessarily or cancelling treatment for other diseases such as cancer, as this will cause more harm than the virus in the long-term.
– Three reasons why a coronavirus vaccine might not be possible, The Spectator 23rd May 2020
*[W]e have learnt during this pandemic that there are alternative and less draconian methods, such as those successfully employed in nations like Sweden and Taiwan, that can be integrated with lessons we may have learnt in the UK (such as the importance of protecting care homes) to create effective and more socially acceptable strategies that the population is more likely to adhere to.
While it is important that we do not take the threat of this virus lightly and do all we can to protect the most vulnerable in our society, it is equally important that many of the rights we take for granted – such as the right to work, the right for our children to receive the optimum education and the right to peacefully assemble – are not compromised unnecessarily. If not, we may be setting a very dangerous precedent.
– The coronavirus crackdown sets a dangerous precedent, The Spectator 25th September 2020
Dr Martin Feeley – who you may remember from the introduction – is an Irish physician and former Senior Doctor with Ireland’s Health Service Executive and clinical director of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group.
After giving an interview in which he questioned the “draconian” loockdown on September 12th, he was pressured into resigning on September 18th.
What he says:
The media reaction to these cases, ie, with the gravity appropriate to reporting deaths from a major catastrophe, borders on hysteria. Opening a newscast with the number of people testing positive for a condition less dangerous than the flu, which many don’t even know they have, is scaremongering.
– “‘Draconian’ restrictions around Covid-19 condemned by HSE doctor”, Irish Times 12th September 2020
The Irish experience is very similar [to the United States] – up to mid-August 94 per cent of deaths were in patients with underlying medical conditions. A Stanford-led group analysed over 100,000 Covid-19-related deaths in Europe, including Ireland, and the US and concluded that “deaths for people under 65 without predisposing conditions were remarkably uncommon”.
Another important feature is the number of people who contract the virus and remain completely asymptomatic. In extremely well-defined scenarios such as the Diamond Princess cruise liner and the Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier almost 66 per cent of the positive tests were completely asymptomatic, while a report from China suggests 78 per cent of cases were asymptomatic.
– “Young and healthy need to be allowed to live their lives”, Irish Times 24th September 2020
Dr Beda M. Stadler is a Swiss molecular biologist and former director of the Institute for Immunology at the University of Bern. Stadler carried out basic research in the field of allergology and autoimmunity and applied research for the production of recombinant human or artificial antibodies.
What he says:
I could slap myself, because I looked at Sars-CoV2- way too long with panic. I am also somewhat annoyed with many of my immunology colleagues who so far have left the discussion about Covid-19 to virologist and epidemiologist. I feel it is time to criticise some of the main and completely wrong public statements about this virus.
Firstly, it was wrong to claim that this virus was novel. Secondly, It was even more wrong to claim that the population would not already have some immunity against this virus. Thirdly, it was the crowning of stupidity to claim that someone could have Covid-19 without any symptoms at all or even to pass the disease along without showing any symptoms whatsoever.
[…] Those young and healthy people who currently walk around with a mask on their faces would be better off wearing a helmet instead, because the risk of something falling on their head is greater than that of getting a serious case of Covid-19.
Dr Stefan Hockertz is a German researcher in the field of biology, biotechnology and pharmacology, and a former professor of toxicology, pharmacology and molecular immunotoxicology the University of Hamburg, as well as member of the Fraunhofer working group for toxicology and environmental medicine.
Dr Hockertz has also worked as the director of the Institute for Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University Hospital Eppendorf, and the founder and managing director of TPI Consult, a biotech research company.
What he says:
The data from clearly delineated populations, such as from the cruise ship Diamond Princess, or all traced contacts of the first 100 Taiwanese cases (Cheng et al., 2020) speak a clear language that is supported by a new modeling study: the virus does not infect everyone indistinctly.
Obviously, natural immunity can prevent a lot of infections which is the reason, why Gomes and colleagues estimate that only 7%–18% infected persons in a population are enough to reach herd immunity. This is actually good news helping science to understand this infection, and it was our goal to point to this feature of the infection, which was already visible in the Wuhan data.
– “A reply to Dr. Pan and Dr. Wu”, letter printed in the journal Toxicology issue 441, August 2020***
Were the public health measures indeed causal, as is widely assumed, in halting the spread of the virus? The data do not seem to support this conclusion. Why then would the reproduction number R0 fall under 1 already on the 24th of Jan, just one day after traffic lockdown, when the median incubation time is assumed to be roughly 5 days? Why would a person have a 29% lower chance during the second period to become a severe or critical case, when no public health measures were in place, if the lockdown and following measures were in fact causal for not only containing the virus but also preventing severe cases?
– “Wuhan Covid19 data – more questions than answers”, letter to the journal Toxicology issue 440, July 2020***
***Both co-written with Dr Harald Walach, a German psychologist and professor of research methodology in complementary medicine at Viadrina European University Frankfurt.
Docs4OpenDebate is collection of healthcare workers based in Belgium. Last month they posted an open letter to the Belgian government demanding an end to lockdown, in that time the letter has accrued over 13,000 signatures – 561 one of whom are medical doctors. Their inclusion could justifiably turn this from “10 Experts” into “570 experts”, but that feels like overkill.
What they say:
Covid-19 is not a cold virus, but a well treatable condition with a mortality rate comparable to the seasonal flu. In other words, there is no longer an insurmountable obstacle to public health.
There is no state of emergency.
[…] An open discussion on corona measures means that, in addition to the years of life gained by corona patients, we must also take into account other factors affecting the health of the entire population. These include damage in the psychosocial domain (increase in depression, anxiety, suicides, intra-family violence and child abuse)16 and economic damage.
If we take this collateral damage into account, the current policy is out of all proportion, the proverbial use of a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
We find it shocking that the government is invoking health as a reason for the emergency law.
As doctors and health professionals, in the face of a virus which, in terms of its harmfulness, mortality and transmissibility, approaches the seasonal influenza, we can only reject these extremely disproportionate measures.
We therefore demand an immediate end to all measures.
– “Belgian Healthcare Workers Call for End to Lockdown”, 5th September 2020
BONUS: Dr Sucharit Bhakdi, the first expert featured on our very first list, has since published a book on the coronavirus crisis. Corona: False Alarm, is available in English and German from all major book sellers.
Altogether our collection of experts now numbers over 40, and it’s far from exhaustive. In fact, if you include those who signed the open letters, we’re well past 1000 at this point.
Remember this when the mainstream media call you a “covid denier”, or attempt to paint a false consensus by declaring the “science is settled”.
For the next entry in this series we are considering a “Legal Experts” list – lawyers, judges who have challenged the lockdowns on the basis of civil liberties and human rights. If you are aware of any please do post them below.