Archives For COVIDsafe

Heavy handed COVID restrictions, in conjunction with a reassignment of medical resources, has stalled Australia’s cancer research, which, according to Medical Republic, runs the risk of sending cancer research backwards.

Paul Mirabelle, chairman of the grants committee at Tour de Cure, told M.R that ‘cancer researchers around the country were struggling.’

The causes were the direct results of a lockdown fuelled funding freefall.

Mirabelle said, the potentially fatal halt in momentum was due in part to The Australian Government’s counter-lockdown COVID welfare program, JobKeeper, not being extended to include ‘university employees.’

This is despite, the Australian Government’s Cancer Australia grants programs, and extensive taxpayer supported funding, including a recent commitment by the LNP, allocating ‘$100.4 million for improvements to cervical and breast cancer screening programs which will help detect these life-threatening cancers earlier, improving survival rates.

Along with ‘$6.6 million for Breast Cancer Network Australia to operate its helpline, rural and regional information forums and extending its consumer representative training program.

Other contributing factors cited by Mirabelle, were the ‘drop in income from the loss of international students,’ and COVID restrictions affecting fundraising events.

Door to door, morning teas, researchers and patient trials have been scaled back in the interest of practitioner/patient safety.

The pandemic’s negative, and I believe, wide ranging, long term, impacts on Cancer research aren’t isolated to Australian scientists.

Research organisations in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States also report a significant drop in personnel, and funding.

An article from May last year appearing in The Toronto Star, claimed that ‘up to 15,000 medical research staff faced layoffs as the fell through the cracks of aid programs’ offered by the Canadian government.

The only researchers who qualified for aid were those working with, on, and because of COVID-19.

The Star pointed out: ‘Clinical and research trials that were unrelated to the coronavirus were suspended or cancelled by order of the [Canadian] federal government as the country went into lockdown in mid-March, including more than 600 cancer research trials.’

In the U.K., University of Oxford professor of cancer medicine, oncologist David Kerr called the pause in clinical cancer research, a ‘knee-jerk reaction,’ made worse by the uncertain nature of COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic, and the transfer of ‘nurses and doctors from the research frontline to the clinical frontline.’

Kerr told online medico news site, Medscape, that Cancer Research UK, one of the biggest cancer charities in the world, ‘has projected an annual loss of income of roughly 200 million pounds, down from 450 million. For the Canadian Cancer society, a drop of $100 million, and in America, a drop of $200 million.’

All of it, said Kerr, is because of lockdowns. The impact of which, ‘will be enormous and will echo forward for many years.’

The National Breast Cancer Foundation of Australia’s report card, while crediting the global partnerships of researchers singularly focused on battling the COVID-19 virus, also attributed the halt in cancer research to ‘working restrictions and lockdowns.’

NBCF’s snapshot asserted that ‘9 out of 10 respondents anticipate their research program will take over 12 months to recover from the impact of COVID-19.’

NBCF’s launches it’s annual ‘GOPINK’ campaign in June to back its goal for “Zero deaths from breast cancer in 2030.”

The silver lining, if there is one, is that the collaborative precedent set by the urgency of restraining COVID-19 sets the standard for a similar, singular focus on better treating, diagnosing, and eliminating the cancer pandemic that kills more people each year than COVID-19 ever has.

The down-side to this silver lining is this: if cancer research can be halted, and risk being sent backwards, for a virus that’s become more about politics than healthcare, it can be halted for other political reasons.

This should concern all stakeholders.

Organisations are being increasingly pressured to become “WOKE” compliant, and that means surrendering to the far-Left’s ever darkening rejection of binary facts and biological science.

Based on current trends, it’s not long until the LGBTQAAI+ “WOKE” lobby boycotts breast cancer research, appealing to their belief that using the colour “Pink” and the terms women and men, are “heteronormative oppression” that foster a “hateful and negative space” for those who identify as LGBT.

Ridiculously claiming, as perhaps they no doubt one day will, that organisations like the National Breast Cancer Foundation are reinforcing “harmful” gender stereotypes.

Not kowtowing to the new cultural norms, and using gender neutral language, or gender-neutral colours, imposed and approved by the radical left, the NBCF will face accusations from its fanatical adherents that they want “LGBT people to die.”

All of this will resemble the overzealous bureaucrats wielding the lockdown sword, who suffocated essential services like cancer treatment, patient care, and research, without giving much thought to the long-term consequences.

In this sense, the diagnosis doesn’t look good.

Unless there’s a stop to the funding freefall, and lockdowns that are negatively impacting cancer research, it could be that the numbers of deaths from, and with covid will be outnumbered in the long run by treatable non-Covid related diseases.

Largely because these essential services were ignored by politicians whose reckless decisions were backed by big tech censorship, healthcare providers with time on their hands to choreograph dances for TikTok, and a lust for the political capital that COVID cult fanaticism keeps on delivering.

In sum, lockdowns, through killing livelihoods, may very well end up killing more people than a deadly virus, that governments said justified such terrible totalitarian measures.


First published on Caldron Pool, 24th May 2021.

©Rod Lampard, 2021.

I took some serious heat recently, after raising questions about the usefulness, function, role and consequences of using the Australian Government’s recent COVDISAFE app. I outlined two areas of concern, then was forced to address a third. My primary point was about precedent. The second concerned emotional manipulation; peer pressure, and the third, data security.

Objections to this included asinine responses such as “it’s un-Christian not too”, that I wasn’t’ “loving my neighbor” and that “people will die if I don’t” sign up for the app. The more astute arguments included “Romans 13 and how it commands us to submit to the government as an institution put in place by God.” [i]

The less astute included an outright dismissal, saying my argument was “crap.”Another ridiculed my point about the app being almost on par with taking an ersatz Hitler Oath. (Not an irrational concern, given the social pressure and hostile responses.)

Most of the reactions only served to solidify the precedent and emotional manipulation points. Once we accept as the norm, governments labeling people, places or things arbitrarily as being “hazardous to public health”, how long will it be until this new normal is applied by less benevolent forces to the Israel Folau’s of the world? Or even those, like me, who share Margaret Court’s view of marriage as being the biologically compatible, God ordained union between a man and a woman.

An app that encourages people to potentially stigmatise, be suspicious of, and distance themselves from their neighbour, on the basis of that person having or (are being suspected of having?) an illness, isn’t all that conducive to Christian love, pastoral care or freedom.

Likewise, using emotional manipulation, regardless of how unintentional, to get people to sign up for the COVIDSAFE app by unfairly accusing them of not being a Christian, loving or Christ-like.

We’ve heard this same asinine, emotional manipulative non-sequitur before during the same-sex marriage debate, discussions about Islamic terrorism #illridewithyou, abortion, transgenderism, Apocalyptic Climate Change…really, any Leftist cause.

Speaking out against the potential abuse of power, manipulation, and manipulative political processes, in standing up for civil liberties, is living out a love for neighbour.

Since when did a no questions asked loyalty to politicians, or allegiance to an ideology such as Leftism, become a yardstick for being a Christian?

Starry-eyed supporters of the COVIDSAFE app seem more in tune with those condemning Jesus for liberating people designated by authorities as unclean, than it is supporting Jesus’ care for the wounded, vulnerable, downcast or outcast.

I doubt my detractors would align themselves so quickly with any statement like, “Yo, Jesus, did ya get that app about lepers, mate? No. Why the bloody hell not? Do you want people to die!?”

If this is justifiable on a social distancing level, than why not develop an app to also report the threat of STD’s, AIDS, Hepatitis or HIV? The fact we don’t, and won’t, indicate that COVIDSAFE, and the general response to COVID-19 is more about politics, than science or authentic Christian living. [ii]

If this is justifiable, and in the interest of public health and safety, why not fund an app for non-smokers to ping off the phones of people who choose to smoke? If you wouldn’t support this, and yet are starry-eyed about the COVID-19 app, why wouldn’t you support it?

Let me be clear. I agree with responsible social distancing. I agree with temperature testing. I agree to a slow reopening. I agree with defeating this virus. I agree with better hygiene management, because this, to me, is showing genuine care for others, based on a basic common sense justified by objective morality.

Perhaps one of the silver linings of the Coronavirus is a return to more concern for our neighbour. Especially when it comes to manners, and personal hygiene – practising a level of care, long forgotten; one discarded by the inconsiderate, self-destructive abandonment of healthy Western traditions. I’d welcome this because it has to do more with collective and individual responsibility – people free before God, for God, and accountable to God, not enslaved to government-as-god ruling madly without accountability.

Contrary to the sentiment coming from most of those applauding the app, COVIDSAFE does not make people using it magically immune to COVID-19.

It does however make you susceptible to potentially being denied service and employment if you don’t have the app. The government admits this latter point in its 78 page COVIDSAFE information manual, and doesn’t appear to be discouraging any third party application from denying employment or service to anyone who doesn’t have the app.

“3.19.4 The Australian Government has also given clear indications that it will not be mandatory for any person to install or to use the App. However, there may be a potential risk of circumstances in which a particular individual does feel pressured to download the App (e.g. a supermarket insisting on customers showing that they are using the App before being permitted to enter the store; or an employer insisting that their employees demonstrate that they are using the App before being permitted to start or continue work).”

It’s worth noting a report published during October last year, where The World Heath Organisation concluded that “active contact tracing is not recommended in general because there is no obvious rationale for it in most Member States.”

We don’t need a nanny state to wipe our noses.

How long will it be until sneezing in a public space automatically triggers a COVID-19 alert? Or worse, individuals quickly come under suspicion for blowing their nose into a tissue, or simply coughing in public.

If this sounds ridiculous, look back at panic buying. Look at the irrational, ludicrous interpretations and enforcement of social distancing laws, based on hysteria, hear say, or presumption. See the mounting examples of neighbour spying on neighbour, and neighbor denouncing neighbour for suspected breaches of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Look again at the reaction against anyone opting out of getting the COVIDSAFE app. Look also at how Cory Bernardi was treated for refusing to sign up for the app. Bernardi, the only person on the Skynews panel giving a defence of civil liberties, was told by host Prue MacSween to “give himself an upper cut”, and drown his concerns about government overreach in alcohol.

On the same panel, Melbourne City Councilor, Nicholas Reece accused Bernardi of not living in the real world, of making lofty “high school arguments about liberty and privacy.” It doesn’t appear that Reece fully understood the implications of his rebuttal. By placing Bernardi’s concerns over liberty and privacy, in the realm of school boy fantasy, Reece confirmed Bernardi’s point.

On the subject of data security, signing up to the COVID-19 app is not the same as signing up for an in-store card, or in-store credit. Those involve companies that operate under strict laws concerning privacy and use of personal information. They are accountable to the government, whereas the government is accountable to no one, but their party, their political supporters, and last of all, you the people – in a very, very limited sense.

For those who think that our fuehrers always know best, and will thus follow them blindly:

As Bill Muehlenberg and Matthew Littlefield have pointed out:

1. “ACT Policing has admitted it unlawfully accessed citizens’ metadata a total of 3,365 times, not 116 as previously disclosed in an explosive commonwealth ombudsman’s report on Monday. The new disclosures include a total of 240 cases that resulted in information valuable to criminal investigations and one that “may have been used in a prosecution”.
2. “When Canberra introduced metadata laws a few years ago, we were told they would only be used to find terrorists. But greedy councils were soon demanding access so they could catch litterbugs. Facial recognition tool Clearview AI was allegedly misused by members of Australian police departments.”
3. “Governments routinely go wrong as power grabs become the norm, and technologies are regularly used for evil purposes. Indeed, one clear lesson of history is what is merely ‘voluntary’ today far too often becomes ‘mandatory’ tomorrow – all for the common good of course.”

I get the point of the COVIDSAFE app. It’s to inform people of areas that have been recently exposed to COVID-19, and tell people to get checked if they’ve been exposed. What I question is its usefulness, function, role and the consequences of handing bureaucrats more power.

It’s one thing to look out for others; it’s another to encourage a precedent where innocent, domestic citizens/places are deemed by the government to be “unsafe” based on a virus they are unsure about.

Romans 13 may carry weight in why we respect the need for good government, but it doesn’t hold us back from questioning government initiatives like the COVIDSAFE app. Nor does Romans 13 discourage us from pointing out how our politicians, on both sides, have spectacularly failed, and still are failing, to give any reassurances about civil liberties; including how they will be respected, and reinstated, after the coronavirus counter-measures can no longer be justified under the current crisis.

My point is ultimately about the precedence of citizens signing onto a Government program without question, emotive, even manipulative peer pressure to do so, and the danger it poses.

My point is about concern for people signing on to government program, run by politicians who haven’t bothered to reassure the people they represent that they are protecting civil liberties. Not one politician has done this, before or since the implementation of totalitarian COVID-19 countermeasures.

Break through the jargon, and the COVIDSAFE app is essentially an app that has the potential to monitor citizens. It allows third-parties to deny employment or service to anyone not carrying it on their phone. Throw in the reaction against those questioning it, and the fine print gives cause for real and rational concern.

We, the people are not the virus.

As I’ve said in the past, the warning of the 20th century to government’s and their people today is this: any justifiable counter moves against an enemy become unjustified if they make the government as tyrannical as the enemy it fights.


References:

[i] As far as Romans 13 goes, while I concede that it’s a fair point, let me say again, that there comes a time when it’s necessary to remind the government that they only have, because God gives.

[ii] See the brilliant briefing on COVID-19 by Dr. Erickson for more on this (Link). Unfortunately, YouTube has removed, and continues to remove all links to the Erickson briefing; more information here.

Image cropped and filtered from a photo by Fredrik Bedsvaag on Unsplash

©Rod Lampard, 2020