Archives For Coronavirus

It has to make you wonder who the Big Tech Companies are taking their cues from, when they ban, block and boot professionals for publicly announcing a valid opposing viewpoint to the prevailing theory about how to treat COVID-19.

Most honest professionals encourage a second medical opinion, and most honest doctors welcome it. Find a Doctor willing to use all the available practical data alongside all the available theoretical data, and you’ve found a medical professional who will go above and beyond in his or her fight for you.

This makes the overt silencing of Doctors providing a second opinion on how to treat COVID-19 extreme, immoral and medically irresponsible.

The aggressive, coordinated “no” to any second opinion on the treatment of the novel coronavirus with hydroxychloroquine raises some big red flags.

This was no better expressed than in the mass silencing of a group of Doctors who’d formed a united front in an attempt to dispel fears, and communicate their experience treating COVID-19 patients with the politically controversial malaria drug hydroxychloroquine.

Their video was banned-by-big-tech almost as soon as it was uploaded to social media platforms on Tuesday.

Dr. Simone Gold, one of the group’s lead speakers broke down their shut-down on a recent Twitter thread,

‘We organized a group of practicing physicians, many of whom have personally treated COVID-19 patients, and we spoke directly to the American people about our experience and understanding of the virus and it’s treatment options…
As a result: Facebook removed the livestream of our conference that had 15 million+ views. Twitter forced us to delete video testimonials from our physicians. Our web host removed our website and claimed a “violation of their TOS”. The media smeared us with lies & falsehoods.’

Dr. Gold added,

Why are social media company employees with no medical degree or clinical experience censoring the perspectives of practicing physicians? Why are journalists claiming hydroxychloroquine is ineffective when there are numerous studies showcasing its efficacy against COVID-19?’

In May, The Brisbane Times reported that Queensland’s Labor government have threatened to fine ‘doctors $13,000 if they prescribe hydroxychloroquine, effectively banning clinicians from prescribing the malaria drug to treat COVID-19.’

The Public Health Order was approved by Qld’s Chief Medical Officer, Jeannette Young, and was ‘designed to stop pharmacies and GP clinics from stockpiling the medication.’

The same article acknowledged that while there is “no solid evidence” there is research that indicates hydroxychloroquine is affective against COVID-19. Citing infectious diseases expert Professor David Paterson, the Brisbane Times said that ‘the drugs proved highly effective when first used against the virus in test tubes.’

A Queensland Government information page reads as follows:

This is despite the U.S Library of Medicine stating that ‘Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread’; and a ‘professor of epidemiology at Yale, stating categorically that hydroxychloroquine has shown to be highly effective, especially when given in combination with the antibiotics azithromycin or doxycycline and the nutritional supplement zinc.’

Knowing there’s potential benefits, why haven’t bureaucrats explored this option further?

The short answer is political capital.

In a strange turnaround, after telling the public to listen to the medical professionals, bureaucrats are now telling the public not to listen to medical professionals.

Why? To deny Donald Trump a political victory. He advocated the use of hydroxychloroquine, and if found to be the key weapon in fighting back against the virus, it’s highly likely Trump would be re-elected in an absolute landslide win.

As YouTube contributor, Anthony Logan said, ‘The Ivory Tower elite and mega corporations look like they are joining forces to benefit themselves either financially or politically…it’s clear that the media and the left have an agenda. And it’s a crying shame because people are dying as a result.’

Similarly, Binary director, Kirralee Smith tweeted:

‘Cancel culture is more dangerous than COVID. If these doctors are so wrong, prove it with facts instead of censorship. The term “experts” seem to be applied politically instead medically. Who decides which expert we should listen to? I certainly don’t trust mainstream media!’

Of importance, Dr. Gold and her colleagues never mentioned Donald Trump, or his advocacy of hydroxychloroquine. Yet, take a stroll down many a comment section on people harassing these Doctors, and an anti-Trump theme emerges.

One of Gold’s colleagues was smeared by click bait, tabloid news outlet Dailymail.co.UK who headlined an article on Dr. Stella Immanuel with: ‘homophobic preacher who wrongly says hydroxychloroquine can cure COVID-19.’

When you have people on the Left, including some leading Democrats on record saying Trump “is a threat to national security,” and that he must be beaten at all costs, you’re not dealing with a conspiracy theory, your dealing with a very real, belligerent group of people who’ll do anything to get what they want.

From recent speculation about Trump having to be removed from the Whitehouse by the military if he lost the upcoming election, to Joe Biden welcoming the idea of a violent encounter with Trump, stating in 2018, that if ‘they asked me would I like to debate this gentleman, and I said no. I said, ‘If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the Hell out of him.”

This rising tide carries with it an odious cloud of wishful thinking.

To restate Tucker Colson, COVID-19 is the Leftists best chance of taking back – as opposed to wining back by policy and merit – the throne the current line-up of Democrats think they’re entitled too.

Let me be clear. I’m not saying that the Democrats created COVID-19 to take down Trump. What I am saying is that the Democrats have hijacked COVID-19, and weaponised the crisis in order to take down Trump.

More and more we see Big Tech social media platforms, becoming less about the free exchange of ideas, and more a propaganda apparatus for would-be partisan totalitarians.

To quote IPA Director, Gideon Rozner,

‘Intellectual freedom and free speech are not antiquated notions. They are ancient and important rights, and “public institutions” that dispense with them are not [for the] public at all.’ (The Australian, 29th July 2020. Parentheses mine.)

Silencing doctors, and denying a patient, the right to a second opinion, does violence to the medical profession. It harms patients, and turns the fight against the virus, into a fight against the people.

Anyone slamming these Doctors for being Trump supporters or media hounds are projecting either their own professional jealousy, or acting dishonestly as part of an organized, well-funded political campaign to keep the actual Covid-19 crisis from being solved until after the November elections in the United States.

As I’ve said for a few months now, there are two side to coronavirus crisis, there’s the actual crisis, and the crisis being manufactured by bureaucrats for the cameras.

If November produces a Democrat president, don’t be surprised if COVID-19, the Marxist Black Lives Matter political party rallies, and Antifa thugs showboating for the media as they tear up Democrat run cites, completely disappear from view.


First published on Caldron Pool, 31st July 2020.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

© Rod Lampard, 2020

New Zealand’s Prime Minister will meet with Australia’s Covid Cabinet in a bid to discuss, and secure a plan, allowing restricted travel to and from New Zealand into Australia, and vice versa. They’re calling the plan a “trans-Tasman bubble”.

The idea is designed to help reestablish contact with other nations, and give New Zealand’s COVID-19 counter-measure shattered, tourism dependent economy a reboot.

Nine reports that the heavily policed measure should be operational in time for New Zealand’s September ski season. According to the report, ‘almost 40 per cent of international arrivals to New Zealand are from Australia, heavily contributing to the country’s greatest industry – tourism.’

Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison will also be trying to sell his “breakthrough” COVIDsafe app idea – and is ‘expected to suggest that Jacinda Ardern develop a similar app for New Zealanders.’

The Guardian, true to its usual gaga for both socialists, Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews and Jacinda Ardern, expanded on this, implying there was no need for Morrison to bother “mansplaining”, because the ‘politics of kindness princess’ had ‘already been in contact with officials in Singapore, the originators of the contact-tracing app that Australia has largely replicated.’

In the same article, The Guardian also managed to raise Labor up by tearing down the Liberal National Party. Squeezed into the article was a defense of Victorian Labor Premier, Daniel Andrews and his refusal to open schools. Despite a lowering of the curve, and Federal government advice that states and territories were clear now to do so. The Guardian used one example of teacher being reported to have Coronavirus, and a clash between Andrews and the Federal Education minister, as evidence of the soft on China, tough on Australians, Premier’s insightful and “benevolent” leadership.

The obvious politicking ingrained in the response of Governments to the Coronavirus should speak volumes about the Covid-19 crisis. I’m not suggesting that the COVID-19 crisis was created to serve politicians, but I think it’s fair to say that the crisis is being used, perhaps even exaggerated, in order to serve the interests of the political class. Sadly, many, especially those adopting the COVIDsafe app without question, are oblivious to it.

The Coronavirus crisis is a unique opportunity for politicians. They get to seize absolute power, and we applaud them for doing so. Only the naïve would think that government is benevolent enough; that the behemoth bureaucratic caste is holy enough, to willingly hand back power, once it’s been placed into their hands.

The warning signs should have been obvious enough already. Bar Mark Latham, and Pauline Hanson, not one Australian politician has reassured Australians of how civil liberties are being protected under the totalitarian COVID-19 counter-measures.

Simone Weil knew this, and it formed the backbone of her critique in Oppression & Liberty (1958),

‘the bureaucratic machine, though composed of flesh, and well fed flesh at that is none the less as irresponsible and as soulless as are the machines made of iron and steel. Instead of a clash of contrary opinions, we end up with an “official opinion” from which no one would be able to deviate. The result is a State religion that stifles all individual values, that is to say all values’ (pp.13, 15 & 16).

As you watch Jacinda Ardern soak up the hagiographic adoration, and take her bows, alongside Scott Morrison, Daniel Andrews and co. take note of how our politicians removed our freedoms, without debate and consultation with the legislative body.

Also note how fear is being used as a stick, and the promise of giving back those freedoms as a carrot in order to keep you on side with the narrative. Notice how those politicians are being lauded over as heroes, for returning some semblance of freedom, under their one party government – Covid cabinet – rule.

Then notice how that freedom is conditional. The first condition being that we denounce any neighbour we suspect of being not on board with the fiats, all sign on to a government program, and obey the strict rules ordered by that one-party government, without question.

Take note of how much this benefits them, and only them. Then ask yourself, are the COVID-19 crisis counter-measures more about saving, boosting and empowering the political lives of the political class, than they are about saving the lives of the people they’re paid to represent?

There’s two sides to the Coronavirus, folks. The actual crisis, and the one manufactured by bureaucrats for the cameras.

#bewaretheauctioneers


Related reading:

It’s Not a Sin to Be Cautious of the COVIDSafe App

Answering Cancel Culture with Unconquerable Joy

The Tyranny of the State Is a Denial of the Right to Life and a Livelihood

Despite Fear and Powerlessness Good Friday Remains Good News

Nigel Farage’s Coronavirus-Era Warning: “Say No To House Arrest”

New Zealanders begin to devour each other while Jacinda Ardern smiles and waves at the nation she’s put under house arrest

Are oppressive totalitarian measures necessary in order to fight against coronavirus?

War-time Crises Require War-time Speeches: How Scott Morrison Can Win the Battle for National Morale

First published on Caldron Pool, 6th May 2020.

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

©Rod Lampard, 2020.

Like you, I’m wrestling with the COVID-19 changes imposed upon us. We’re adapting, steady, and we’re focused. We’re still homeschooling. We’re still reading the news in one hand, and reading the Bible with the other. We’re engaged, determined not to let the bad news sneak past us, or our prayers. We’re also determined not to let the barrage of repetitive, useless speculative analysis paralyze us.

In 1939, Karl Barth, who had long since been exiled by the Nazis for refusing to sign the Hitler Oath, and for opposing the deification of the State, wrote,

‘the Church prefers to suffer persecution at the hands of the State, which has become a “beast out of the pit of the abyss,” rather than take part in the deification of Caesar.’[i]

It’s in the vein of this context that we’re determined to not give in to fear and its consistent demand for absolute fealty. We’re steadfast in our commitment to the current treatment plan, but defiant in our “no” to this silent freedom killer. The virus, its source, and the exercise of political power – through a centralisation of government ruling by fiat, without the limitation of existing checks and balances – require a line in the sand drawn between us, and the totalitarianism attached to it.

Despite fear and powerlessness Good Friday remains Good News.

Its events do not show the clash of two kingdoms, and two kings, they show the affirmation of one King and His kingdom. Pilate asks, “are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus replies, “You have said so.” (Mark 15:2) And yet, Jesus ‘confirms Pilate’s claim to “power” over Him, as power given from above.’ (Barth) Pilate does not release Jesus. He crucifies Him. The confirmation of Christ as King is affirmed by Pilate’s mockery and Jesus Christ’s death sentence: here hangs, pierced, beaten, spat on, speared and abused, ‘Jesus, the King of the Jews.’ (Matthew 27:37).

The place where God makes His stand before all humanity is on a cross for all humanity. There is no greater line in the sand between humanity and sin – the corruption of absolute power, and the rejection of true freedom, than God’s revelation in Jesus Christ – Christ crucified and resurrected. Whether that absolute be a seemingly unbeatable microscopic parasite or seemingly unbreakable bloated bureaucracy.

Barth writes that Jesus and Pilate (Caesar’s proxy in Judea) confronted one another. What we see is the ‘homelessness of the Church in this age’, and ‘in its demonic form, the State’s authority as the “power of the present age.”

In yielding the Gospel the Church brings to the State a theological critique against all superstition, ideas, imaginations and ideologies, and therefore judgement on any manifestation of an imbalance of power. It can do this because ‘judgement begins with God’s household’ (1 Peter 4:17).

The Church is as a watchman, ‘knowing that it is responsible for the State and for Caesar, and it finally manifests this responsibility, through “the prophetic service of the Church as Watchman,” in its highest form by praying for the State and for its officials in all circumstances.’ (Barth) Both the Church and the State are under the Lordship of Christ.

There was no false dichotomy between secular and sacred. Civic duty for Christians is, as it has always been, holding themselves as individuals, and the Government to its role, function and purpose, accountable, under the Divine Lordship of Christ.

Right through the Gospel of Mark, Jesus’ Kingship is at work. Healing and exorcism, announce His kingdom drawn near, His kingdom to come; his actions calling us to rethink and repent – for ‘the Kingdom of God is near.’

As Ethan the Ezrahite wrote, ‘God rules over the surging seas; waves rise, He stills them.’ (Psalm 89:9). The shock-waves of Christ’s kingship confirmed by the events of Good Friday, dark Saturday and Resurrection Sunday, spread His authority like a slow tsunami over the Pax Romana, past Rome’s powerful legions, liberating the hearts of the wounded, lame, repentant and humble. Christ’s just rule breaks like a wave over Church and State permeating both. The just who was judged becomes our just judge.

As things currently stand, we’ve had no reassurance from prominent politicians about how civil liberties will be safeguarded during the Coronavirus counter measures. We, the people, seem to be on a Shakespearean rodeo, living as Romeo, liberty as Juliet. There seem to be powerful forces at work to keep both separated, perhaps even on a permanent basis. But Shakespeare’s work isn’t just a tale of woe about oppressive forces that seek to keep man from woman, and woman from man, it’s a warning telling us not to give up hope.

Regardless of how dead liberty might appear to be, or how pathetically silent our leaders choose to remain. Regardless of how intimidated we are by the state flexing its muscles, prancing its ferocious might in our faces. Regardless of how we may suffer under the hands of those who make themselves the enemy of civil liberties, it’s because of Good Friday, we, who are raised in Christ, can say Good Friday, is still Good News.

Liberty may have been crucified, but liberty was liberated and lives yet still!

Though the state may flap and dance about, howl, breathe fire and brandish the sword, in a political thrust and parry against liberty, they cannot win. For although ‘it’s true that Jesus told His disciples to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. It [shouldn’t be forgotten that it] is God who declares what belongs to Caesar.’ [iii]

May God’s wisdom guide us, may His strength empower us, and with defiant humility, may we gratefully embrace the Light from which all true freedom breaks. For the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:5).

Happy Easter, folks!

Jesus is Victor!


References:

[i] Barth, K. Community, State, and Church, Wipf & Stock Publishers.

[ii] Barth, K. The Theology of John Calvin, Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[iii] Bell, G, 1940. Christianity & World Order, Penguin Classics.

First published on Caldron Pool, 10th April, 2020.

© Rod Lampard, 2020

There’s a thin line between governments waging a war against a crisis, and governments waging a war against people caught up in that crisis.

It’s the crossing of this line; the potential, and perhaps eventual, overreaction through disproportionate measures, that have sparked an increasing number of centrist and conservative thinkers to question these heavy-handed measures, along with anything, and everything, labelled “the new normal”.

The more we learn about the coronavirus, the more important it is to question whether the heavy-handed measures being taken against the coronavirus are proportionate to the fight against it.

Peter Hitchens was the first to defiantly sink his feet into the ground. Hitchens agreed with the general reasoning behind an increased focus on hygiene, protecting the vulnerable, and social distancing, but drew the line at the surrender of civil liberties, telling talkRADIO that he ‘can’t see any logical connection between crashing the economy and restricting civil liberties in trying to prevent the spread of the disease.’ Adding that ‘crashing the economy is not necessary, you could easily rely on the civility and good sense of people to keep the necessary distance while continuing the run a functioning economy.’

There is a distinction between taking action because of fears about the coronavirus, and taking action because of the coronavirus. The former is reactionary, motivated by hysteria. The latter involves a carefully measured, compassionate, and rational response, drenched in hope. It’s the stark contrast between Samuel Barber’s melancholic despondency in Adagio for Strings, and Harry Gregson-Williams’ cautious, but defiant, ‘To Aslan’s Camp!

As of the 27th March, Australia had 3,166 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 13 tragic deaths attributed to it. While we do have information about the local source and epicentre of outbreaks, we still don’t appear to be getting all the specific facts. For example, there is no easily accessible data which separates people hospitalised because of the virus, and people with the virus who’ve been quarantined at home.

In the same interview for talkRADIO, Hitchens further illustrated this by pointing to the lack of any clear information that distinguishes between those who’ve died because of the virus, and those who had the virus, but died of other causes. Without everyone on the planet being tested, it’s even harder to pin down exact numbers.

As Mark Levin has pointed out, the facts we’re being sold about the coronavirus are all over the place. There’s confusion and uncertainty about the severity of it around every corner. Most mainstream media news reports are often repetitive, dubious and sensationalised. Some social media hasn’t helped either. Just as some Australian Universities, who actively undermined Scott Morrison’s January travel ban on China, some in the media, and on social media, are putting profit before people by capitalising on the crisis to sell a concocted tale of apocalyptic horror.

For instance, Michael Bay warned people to not take everything in the media or on social media as fact. The executive producer of the post-apocalyptic TV series, The Last Ship, and director of Transformers (among others), said in a brief Instagram video that he’d been receiving a ton of footage showing the movement of tanks, and armaments, but it’s all an act, made up by foreign powers who hate the U.S. Don’t believe it. His video caption read: “All the fake ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE that people are posting saying from a friend of a friend to instill fear. Stop sending out. It’s BS.”

Attacking the hype head-on, Levin cited a New York Times article from David Katz, president of True Health Initiative and the founding of the Yale-Griffin research Center, who credited South Korea with being the most reliable, when it comes to information about the coronavirus, because their widespread testing.  The New York Times article joins a co-written piece in the Wall Street Journal by Eran Bendavid and  Jay Bhattacharya, who claimed ‘there’s little evidence to confirm that [oppressive totalitarian measures] are justified.’

According to Katz, the ‘data indicates that at least 99% of active cases in the general population are mild, and do not require specific medical treatment. The small percentage of cases that do require such services are highly concentrated among those aged 60 and older – and further so the older people are.’

This leads to a justification of sorts for questioning whether oppressive totalitarian measures are necessary in order to fight the coronavirus. If we’re to use the problematic, “this is war” rhetoric, it’s fair to say that Governments waging “total war” against the virus, are making important strategic decisions based on sketchy intel. Their actions are initially based on the smoke and mirror diplomacy coming from the secretive Communist Chinese regime, who’s loose with the truth at the best of times, and it’s based on limited intel our governments have been able to gather on the ground or learn from other countries.

On one side we can agree that most Western Governments are wounding in order to heal. On the other hand, because the consequential impact of their actions is being felt around the world, and may do so for many years to come, we need to ask, as we would of any surgeon: how will this preserve freedom, and how will our healers be doing their very best to safeguard it?

Augusto Zimmermann, Professor of Law at Sheridan College in Western Australia, also addressed these concerns. In one of two fiery responses, (the first being an open letter to the Prime Minister), Zimmermann acknowledged the difficult circumstance facing world leaders, but argued for an alternative to the heavy-handed measures being copied by governments around the world. Zimmerman citing Dr John Lonnidis, (a professor of medicine, of epidemiology and population health, of biomedical data science, and of statistics at Stanford University in California), noted that

“reported case fatality rates, like the official 3.4 per cent rate from the World Health Organisation (“WHO”), cause horror and are meaningless. The real rate, adjusted from wide age range, could be as low as 0.05 per cent and as high as one per cent. The 3.4 per cent mortality rate reported by the WHO only tells us about how many who died had been confirmed to have contracted Covid-19.”

Zimmerman advocated a surgical response which doesn’t involve throwing the baby out with the bath water. In his second response, Zimmerman echoed Hitchens, who is questioning the fall in, line up, salute, or else, approach, rightly stating:

“While emergency powers are sometimes needed, we are seeing examples of draconian measures that dramatically increase the arbitrary power of the state, thus allowing government to exercise mass surveillance powers over citizens and alarming restriction of civil liberties.”

Adding his voice to the growing number concerned about the direction Western governments are leading us, Cory Bernadi, in his recently rebooted ‘Weekly Dose of Common Sense’, condemned the heavy-handed measures, writing,

‘At this time, the alarmism and catastrophic predictions aren’t aligning with the facts but then again they rarely do. Yes, there are many people infected with the virus and people are dying but the headline figures don’t paint the full picture…To paraphrase US President Donald Trump, the supposed cure could be worse than the disease…This is the real contagion attached to this virus…I have said before, no government gets re-elected for avoiding a crisis. They only benefit from over-stating the danger, responding to it and claiming credit for the better than expected solution. So when you hear that 200k people or more could die from this virus in Australia, you can be pretty confident that the actual number will be a fraction of that. Then, the government can claim to have saved so many lives through their draconian response.’ (‘This is Killing Us!’ 25th March, 2020)

My own point about Morrison losing the home-front battle for national morale stands as a real and present danger for the P.M. He needs new speech writers. Either that or the current ones need a new approach.

Case in point, one of latest press conferences basically translates: “Thank you for being good little boys and girls this week, Australia. We know it’s hard, but mum and dad are real proud of you.” Plus there was zero mention or reassurance – yet again – about how freedoms are being safeguarded (or even if they are).

Instead we’re told that the military will be backing up civil authorities “with boots on the ground” to “enforce compliance” of inbound traveller quarantine.

To the Prime Ministers’ credit, Morrison did warn against wishing for a total lock-down, saying he hopes to avoid it because Australian life would change dramatically, and may never be the same again. Given the tone of Donald Trump’s daily briefings, and his desire to “re-open America”, it’d be right to say the U.S. President feels the same.

However, Hitchens, Levin, Augusto and Bernadi are right. We, the people, are not the virus. Question the new normal. There’s a very thin line between governments waging a war against the Wuhan COVID-19 coronavirus, and governments waging a war against their own people. Be vigilant about fighting the virus, but remain cautiously defiant.

In the words of the imperfect, formidable British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher:

‘Winston Churchill’s warning is just as true now as when he said it many, many years ago. “Once you take a position of not being able in any circumstances to defend your rights against aggression, there is no end to the demands that will be made nor to the humiliations that must be accepted.’ He knew, and we must heed his warning.” [i]

References (not otherwise linked):

[i] Thatcher, M. 1984. Speech to Conservatives (The day after the IRA’s assassination attempt in the Brighton Bombing).

* Heavy-handed measures include business closures, school closures, some military on the streets, as is being put into motion by Australia and Israel.

First published on Caldron Pool, 28th March, 2020

Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

© Rod Lampard, 2020