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Crucial to a functional, cohesive society is trust in our public health officials to provide honest scientific information. Opposition to the establishment will likely always exist at the fringes, but general trust among the public must be maintained. However, the latter has collapsed over the course of the pandemic as the most powerful and influential voices in the Covid discourse have advanced claims driven by an unsettling form of dogmatic devotion to the medical establishment. They appear to have abandoned the scientific method.
One of the first signs that health authorities were compromised by clear political motives was during last year’s BLM protests when 1,300 public health officials signed a letter claiming “White supremacy is a lethal public health issue that predates and contributes to COVID-19.” Despite pushing for draconian lockdown measures for months, public health experts asserted, “we do not condemn these gatherings as risky for COVID-19 transmission. We support them as vital to the national public health.”
Has dishonesty become the modus operandi for public health authorities? If it isn’t, health authorities are certainly failing to address their mistakes and correct the record when they make erroneous statements. For instance, in October 2021 the Saskatchewan Health Authority in Canada tweeted, “Your risk from COVID-19 is not determined by age, fitness level or community…your risk is determined by vaccine status.” By all accounts this is a scientifically false statement. Sumon Chakrabarti, a top infectious disease expert from Toronto, wrote in response to the tweet, “A study published in the CDC earlier this year showed that close to 80% of people hospitalized for Covid were overweight or obese.”
When it comes to physical fitness, one study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine illustrated the link between exercise and severe Covid outcomes: “Compared with the most active people in the study — those who exercised 150 minutes or more every week — patients with COVID-19 who were ‘consistently inactive’ were 226% more likely to be hospitalized, 173% more likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU), and 149% more likely to die.”
One might be tempted to assume that this false statement by Saskatchewan’s health authority was a simple mistake rendered by an inept social media manager, yet the health authority has never offered a retraction and the tweet was never deleted.
Far from an anomaly, this blindly pro-vaccine agenda is widespread. Instead of touting the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise in combating Covid-19, the only public health recommendation most top medical experts in the government and mainstream media have made is getting vaccinated, masking up, and social distancing.
Few — if any — in a position of public health authority encourage people to take holistic, preventive measures such as supplementing Vitamin D, Zinc (paired with quercetin), eating a vitamin-rich diet, and routinely exercising — all things that help one’s immune system combat exposure to viruses such as Covid-19. Of course, vaccination must be prioritized more than anything else for those over the age of 60 and those suffering from underlying health conditions, but telling millions of healthy young people their only viable option is to close their eyes and get vaccinated is misguided — especially given emerging evidence that vaccine efficacy against infection (not severe disease) quickly wanes (the Pfizer CEO recently stated the 4th shot will be released in March).
Meanwhile, those public figures urging people to maintain physical fitness and boost their immune system, like Joe Rogan, are tarred as dangerous purveyors of Covid misinformation by the White House and medical panels on mainstream news networks. Many others have been censored by online platforms for merely sharing the findings of peer-reviewed studies. One Canadian physician, Dr. Mike Hart, was censored by LinkedIn for showing the importance of vitamin D supplementation in fighting the Covid infection.
In another recent incident in Canada, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer for the province of Alberta, publicized the misidentified Covid death of a 14-year-old boy. This went viral and reinvigorated the moral panic surrounding Covid’s risk to children. In a public statement, Hinshaw obscured the actual cause of death, a nine-month fight with brain cancer, simply because the boy tested positive for Covid-19 two days before he died.
His own grieving family were so dismayed by the sensationalized media coverage, they publicly shared the true cause of his death in a viral Facebook post:
“The 14-year-old (in) the article is my brother. He died from stage 4 brain cancer, not COVID. This is fake news. He was diagnosed in January 2021, and hospitalized in August. Two days before his death he was tested for COVID and it turned out positive.”
Following multiple public statements from the family on social media, Dr. Hinshaw corrected the record and apologized to the family: “The pain of losing a child is terrible enough without having that loss compounded by a public debate about the circumstances. I’m sorry if the way I spoke about that death made your grief worse.”
While shocking in itself, this story highlights the systemic failures in realistically measuring Covid risk in children. As multiple peer-reviewed studies have shown, at least 40% of pediatric Covid hospitalizations are overcounted. Many of the officially counted Covid deaths among children are incidental and completely unrelated to Covid.
As has long been established, the risk of Covid in children is infinitesimally small. As of January 12th, 710 children under the age of 18 have died of Covid in the United States – 605 out of a total of 74.2 million American youths. Comparatively, 1,105 pediatric deaths involving pneumonia have been recorded, yet this has prompted little public panic. This summer, a National Health Service study concluded that children under the age of 18 who contracted COVID-19 had a 99.995 percent chance of surviving.
Yet, none of these factors prevent policy makers from imposing vaccine mandates on the young. In Oakland, close to 5,000 unvaccinated students are on the verge of being expelled from in-person classes for failing to meet the upcoming January 31st vaccine deadline. The original deadline of January 1st was extended due to 39% of Oakland students being unvaccinated. They will soon be politely forced to attend online learning.
In Washington, DC the city council passed a vaccine mandate for all eligible students 16 and over last month. Many parents are understandably furious:
“I think it is an overreach,” said Mercedes Kearney, a mother who has two kids in the D.C. public charter school system. “I’m really upset about it because it should be my husband’s and my choice — not theirs.”
Worse yet, boosters have now been authorized for young people despite scant data on the benefits versus the harms. As per the CDC’s statement:
CDC is strengthening its booster recommendations and encouraging everyone 16 and older to receive a booster shot. Although we don’t have all the answers on the Omicron variant, initial data suggests that COVID-19 boosters help broaden and strengthen the protection against Omicron and other variants. We know that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and I strongly encourage adolescents ages 16 and 17 to get their booster if they are at least 6 months post their initial Pfizer vaccination series.
The potential adverse outcomes are concerning: myocarditis rates (inflammation of the heart) are among the highest in this age group, particularly after the second dose in males. Most studies show at least a 1 in 5,000 risk of myocarditis — which often leads to serious disruptions in physical activity and potential long-term complications.
Moreover, two of the FDA’s top vaccine regulators resigned in the fall due to the Biden administration’s rush to provide booster shots for healthy young people — regardless of the apparent lack of efficacy and safety data.
When confronted by such corruption and dishonesty, it is no surprise why trust in the medical establishment has rapidly declined. Those with the most powerful and influential voice on public health matters are engaging in the most dangerous form of sophistry, misleading the public and sowing division in our society. When infectious disease experts and epidemiologists dispute nonsensical decrees by the medical establishment, they are attacked as conspiracy theorists or shills for the Chinese Communist Party.
Furthermore, when the government imposes its will on the citizenry and violates core civil liberties on the basis of compromised scientific opinion, distrust in the medical establishment metastasizes, fueling cross-national protests and vaccine hesitancy (despite its clear effectiveness in protecting against severe Covid disease).
Vaccines — especially for those in high-risk communities — are an integral part of the solution to Covid-19, but the politics surrounding the vaccines have muddied the waters and created a crisis of institutional trust and integrity. Navigating away from this decline of confidence will require our medical experts and political leaders to demonstrate that they value personal freedom and bodily autonomy of individual people.
People need to be encouraged and convinced, not socially and economically coerced. After all, the case for vaccination stopping the spread of Covid-19 is turning into pure fiction. A Harvard-lead study of 68 countries and over 2,000 U.S counties found no correlation between Covid cases and vaccination rates:
“[T]here appears to be no discernable relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases…countries with higher percentage of population fully vaccinated have higher COVID-19 cases per 1 million people.”
Mandates don’t stop or significantly reduce transmission to warrant an intrusion on personal freedoms. They must be abolished.
Alongside vaccination, the media establishment should be promoting holistic measures to improve public health. And public health officials must clarify the age-stratified risks of both Covid-19 and the vaccines, rather than fear-mongering younger populations who have been unduly victimized throughout the pandemic due to dangerously overcautious school closures and other lockdown measures that have severely impacted their lives and development. Such a dramatic shift may seem impossible, but it is the only sustainable path forward to save lives and win back the public’s trust.
Rav Arora is an independent journalist based in Vancouver, Canada. He writes about unreported COVID truths here.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.