A MONTH ago, after a year reporting on Covid as a former science and medical correspondent, I stepped back; it was partly because of other responsibilities, but also because politics, money and fear seemed to be obstructing reasoned decision-making and debate. Now I’m back on TCW’s pages to offer a glimmer of hope, having witnessed a round-table discussion in which eight experienced doctors and scientists reach an extraordinary level of agreement on where we stand with the pandemic. You can see it here.
In a nutshell, they say:
1. We cannot vaccinate ourselves out of the Covid problem. Mass vaccination is forcing the virus to produce variants, which escape any protection provided by the jab (see here for a report covering 68 countries). Instead, the vaccine should be offered only to those most vulnerable, such as the very elderly.
2. It is especially wrong to give it to children. They are at almost zero risk from Covid but subject to a real risk of damage from this particular vaccine, unrecognised during its development.
3. Cheap and effective treatment is available which keeps the vast majority of patients out of hospital. Health officials and regulators should support doctors who want to use these treatments, and to educate patients in how to strengthen their responses to the virus.*
4. Lockdowns and official fear-inducing propaganda have blighted the lives of millions, especially children, and must never be repeated.
The discussion is a must view for concerned individuals. It offers a completely different perspective from that of the NHS chiefs now calling for booster jabs and the return of Covid restrictions.
These edited contributions give a flavour of the discussion:
Dr Robert Malone, key architect of the mRNA technology that made possible the most commonly used Covid vaccines: ‘The virus is evolving very rapidly. This is akin to what happens if you overuse antibiotics. With universal vaccination, we’re driving towards an endpoint of vaccine-resistant mutants. The vaccines need to be used intelligently.
‘This set of vaccines that we have right now are gene therapy-based, and they have a common problem: they only have one antigen. It’s the spike antigen. When they were developing them, they didn’t realise the spike was biologically active. No fault of theirs. Everybody was in a rush.
‘But now it’s time to take a breath and say, “Hey, does this really make sense?” We don’t have to be just Left or Right, pro- or anti-vaccine. There’s a middle ground. We, as a community, need to protect people at high risk, not just here in our community, in our states; in my opinion, we need to protect the elders throughout the world. We don’t need to hoard all the vaccine for people that don’t really need it.
‘I’m not an anti-vaxxer, I’m a guy who’s spent the majority of my adult life developing vaccines. This is a technology platform that has enormous promise. And right now it’s in its infancy. The safety of the underlying technology is not yet fully demonstrated.
‘People did what they did in good faith and focused on a protein that they thought was fully safe – spike. But now, over a year later, we know that in the virus, this protein is responsible for much of the disease – the pathology in your vascular endothelial cells [blood vessel linings], the coagulation. And it’s unfortunate that this particular protein, in what appears to be a biologically active form, was used in these vaccines.’
Dr Richard Urso, ophthalmologist, Texas: ‘When people say, “They died of Covid”, they died of an inflammatory, thrombotic disease. They didn’t die from the virus running through their body. There’s a bunch of drugs that can be used for the purpose of inflammation in this disease. There’s a bunch of drugs for thrombosis. Hopefully at some point we’ll have a really good, early treatment that’s directed to the virus itself. Right now we have other, very effective treatments.
‘About 330 children have died of Covid in a year and a half [under-19s in the US]. Typically, about 50,000 children a year die – many from drownings, from car accidents. You need to look at that as you look at the risk to children. And do they spread? – No, at least seven different studies show that children spreading to adults is close to zero.’
Dr Brian Tyson, family doctor, California, who has successfully treated more than 6,000 Covid patients and now finds children are getting sick from typical winter illnesses, rather than Covid: ‘With treatment started from day 1 to 7, I have had zero deaths. From treatment started from day 7 to 14, I have four – two died the same day they showed up at the clinic, and two died in hospital.
‘Under that data Dr Urso was talking about, not one healthy child died from Covid-19. It was children who had four or five risk factors – morbid obesity being number one, diabetes number two, weakened immune system number three; kids on chemotherapy and things like that. So yes, they’re going to have opportunistic infections, but that’s no different than would normally take out these kids anyway, unfortunately.’
Dr Heather Gessling, family doctor, Missouri: ‘My numbers exactly match up with Brian’s. I’ve treated about 1,500 and I’ve had one death, because there was some delay in treatment.’
Dr Mark McDonald, child psychiatrist, Los Angeles: ‘Fear has been the driving force of this pandemic from the very beginning. What’s driving the fear now is propaganda. I see kids all day long. The developmental stage that children need to go through – babies, toddlers, young adults – is being foreclosed on them.
‘Brown University department of paediatrics published a study that found babies born after January 1, 2020, have an IQ drop of 20 points. Why? They don’t see faces. They don’t play. They don’t have exposure to friends. They don’t go to school. They’re basically locked in their homes, looking at their parents for a year and a half. And their brains have not developed.
‘My concern is that we are building a generation of young people who are so traumatised that they will never fully recover. They’re always going to be scarred emotionally.
‘I don’t mean to be depressing. I mean to be alarming, so everyone can finally say, “Stop!” We’ve got to stop the damage, and then figure out what to do about it.’
Dr Gessling: ‘I think “Stop the damage!” means to acknowledge what we have done wrong. We should reverse all the measures that have been implemented. Patients, families, parents, should take it upon themselves to feel empowered. We need to get back to the basics, because we’ve done this wrong for so long.
‘One of the books we all had in medical school was Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. This is what we have forgotten: “Many specific host factors influence the likelihood of acquiring an infectious disease: age, immunisation history, prior illnesses, level of nutrition, pregnancy status, coexisting illnesses and perhaps emotional state – all have some impact on the risk of infection after exposure to a potential pathogen.” All we have done is focus on one of those: immunisation history.
‘The ability to provide early, effective treatment should make us feel empowered. We should not feel afraid any more.’
Dr Pierre Kory, pulmonary and critical care specialist; founding member and president, the Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance; co-author of two Covid prevention and treatment protocols: ‘My hopes are that more and more attention is going to be paid to early treatment strategies, especially now the vaccinated are getting sick. Many people were led to believe that if you get your vaccine, we’re going to end this thing, you don’t have to worry about it, you can carry on with your lives.
‘But guess what? My colleagues are talking about even scarier variants that are coming. And so we need more tools to fight this. The positive message is, we have them, and they can handle any variant that comes at us. We just need to get that message out. I don’t believe anybody has died who’s had effective early treatment.’
Dr John Littell, family doctor, Florida: ‘What we’re seeing now is that patients are getting early treatment with ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine and a host of other medications, because of this free exchange of ideas in this group of physicians and others around the world.
‘Dr Tyson, Dr Gessling and myself are family physicians, OK? So we’re the folks who have been in those front lines getting the phone calls in the middle of the night from concerned parents. And what you’ve just heard from Dr Kory and from us is that is that if you take the right preventive treatment, you’re approaching zero per cent mortality.’
Dr Kory: ‘If we have effective treatments, why aren’t they being recognised and disseminated across the world? I think we’re up against two forces.
‘The first is that in general, our health agencies are suffering what’s called regulatory capture. They’re largely driven by financial interests that are making sure that the solution to the pandemic is one that is profitable. Vaccines are profitable.