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Ruminations. Reflections. Refractions. Code.

Dec 22, 2021 - General

Smear Campaigns Against Reason and Science

I wish to discuss this article on Fauci’s change of behaviour over time, but my take is less so about Fauci specifically, and more about the active shutdown of a dissenting, but quite reasonable approach to the handling of the pandemic, one opposed to locking down populations.

Before quoting important points from the article, a preamble:

Rather dramatic title aside, this is a quite readable article about the very deliberate smear campaign on scientists that proposed alternative approaches to harsh lockdowns. The signatories of the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD) (site, twitter), proposed what they called Focused Protection.

From the main GBD page, I quote here the credentials of the original signatories:

Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations.

Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations.

Readers can make up their own minds if these are people you would consider unqualified to propose a view. Certainly, in stark contrast to the Mass Media Doomsday Epidemiologists.

Focused Protection is not saying do nothing and let the virus rip. It was based on a simple observation based on available data that has remained consistent to this day: The virus affects advanced age groups more severely. It is deadly to this age group, not so much to the others, where the hospital system should cope as per normal (let us note that for the ongoing years before the pandemic, VIC Australia’s nurses have constantly been crying for help).

So instead of locking down society as a whole, we focus our attention on those most affected.

Conceptually, this is not rocket science. There is literally nothing controversial about this approach. It is about picking the low-hanging fruit.

But these scientists with very relevant experience have been labeled as “fringe”. As a tangential point, most innovations happen at the fringes, not the mainstream. The mainstream are followers, the fringes create.

The lockdown approach, of which I am in many ways a beneficiary — I have gotten to spend time home, work has been accommodating —Thank God, nothing else can be said — but more generally has been terrible for kids studying, and for the overall quality of life for most people. I am capable of living as a hermit (mostly!), but this is not how most people live.

We are at three shots of these vaccines, with 90+% of the population vaccinated in VIC, and yet there seems to be no end to these draconian measures, they are put in place, taken away, and put in place again. There is a constant looming fear of them coming back each time they are taken away.

These measures have favoured those of us who can work from home, but have decimated many other smaller businesses. They have truly favoured those of us more privileged, objectively speaking.

At 90% of the population vaccinated, you can no longer, in all honesty, blame those who refuse to take the vaccines for this mess. The numbers simply no longer allow this view as being reasonable in any form whatsoever. I am double-vaccinated, because of the need to travel, not because I actually want to be vaccinated by experimental tech. I have never bothered with the flu shots, relying instead on basic health measures such as eating well, exercising, breath control, and keeping a spiritual-mental-emotional balance. Those who compare the flu shots to the Covid shots seem to miss the point that flu shots are not mandated.

At this point in time, we may disagree on the efficacy of the vaccines, their experimental nature, and so on, but all that aside, if you still do not see the overall negative social impact of lockdowns, I am afraid you are in dangerous denial.

Now, on to the quotes from the article and some related commentary, all emphasis (indicated in bold text) is mine:

The document, on the one hand, said nothing controversial. The right way to deal with this pandemic, it said, was to focus on those who could face severe outcomes from disease — a very plain point and nothing new. There was nothing to be gained by locking down the whole of society because of a pathogen with such a huge differential in its demographic impact.

The virus does not affect all equally, therefore it does not make sense to restrict all equally.

The hope of the Declaration was simply that journalists would pay attention to a different point of view and a debate would begin on the unprecedented experiment in lockdowns. Perhaps science could prevail, even in this climate.

Many journalists today goad governments to execute lockdowns and mandate this and that by featuring doomsday prophets like MacIntyre and McClaws, to sell their news and ads, but wow, they have screwed us over big time when it comes to actual public health.

Mostly this declaration was intended as an educational effort. But the authors were being called vicious names and treated like heretics that should be burned. There certainly was no civil debate; quite the contrary.


It was all quite shocking given that the Declaration was a statement concerning what almost everyone in these professional circles believed earlier in the year. They were merely stating the consensus based on science and experience. Nothing more. Even on March 2, 2020, 850 scientists signed a letter to the White House warning against lockdowns, closures, and travel restrictions. It was sponsored by Yale University. Today it reads nearly like a first draft of the Great Barrington Declaration. Indeed on that same day, Fauci wrote to a Washington Post reporter: “The epidemic will gradually decline and stop on its own without a vaccine.”

Note the change in Fauci’s behaviour today. He is among those who has actively stopped any further discourse on a matter affecting the world’s population.

Already by the summer, it was very clear that the lockdowns had not achieved what they were supposed to achieve. Two weeks had stretched into many months, and the data on cases and deaths were uncorrelated with the “mitigation measures” that had been imposed on the country and the world. Meanwhile, millions had missed cancer screenings, schools and churches had been shut, public health was in a state of crisis, and small businesses and communities were fighting to stay alive.”

There is no way to argue against the last sentence, this is reality.

While in Jakarta, I have visited otherwise bustling shopping centres to see hundreds of small shops (organised in rented-out lots) just closed. There’s excessive fear such that most people are unwilling to visit hospitals to get treatment, or are simply put on a lower priority if they are not Covid patients.

From near first-hand experience of a close family member, I know public hospitals are incentivised through government funding to reclassify ailments as Covid cases. They go as far as profit-sharing with the patients: if a patient signs a declaration form admitting to being a Covid patient, then they get a sum of money, and even more in the event of death. This is because these hospitals are paid a certain sum of money for every Covid patient, support money from the government.

This in turn clearly messes up the Covid numbers. And I am willing to wager that this practice is by no means unique to one or two countries. Practically, every country having a similar economic and geopolitical profile will suffer from the same problem. Speaking of numbers like death rates: why is there no control group for these, for example, why not also compare these to endemics such as influenza? And how is it that influenza has been so deemphasised during this period. Did the influenza virii decide to take a holiday?

In the interim, we have gone on to fire nurses who refuse to be vaccinated because they are aware of what goes on in the field. Then we complain that the health system is overloaded.

Recently, our Illustrious Leaders (sarcasm) decided to make VIC a hub of mRNA tech, specifically Moderna’s vision of mRNA — you would think that in this crisis, we would rather deploy spending to boosting (a much better use of the word here) our health system’s capacity.

Moving on.

The author of the initial email is Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. The recipients were Anthony Fauci and H. Clifford Lane, NIAID Deputy Director for Clinical Research and Special Projects. The email calls for a “published take down” of the GBD that is both “quick and devastating.”

See the article for the email itself, in full-battle mode. No room for discussion or debate, kill all of it.

The next day, Fauci struck again with an article from the pro-lockdown leftist newspaper The Nation. It’s a demoralizing reference simply because the public was led to believe that between his endless TV interviews, Fauci was scouring “the science” to find out more about SARS-CoV-2, not googling and landing on highly politicized and ideological webzines. What we find in these emails are highly political people who are obsessed not with science but with messaging and popular influences on the public mind.

THE SCIENCE, how I loathe this politician-hackneyed phrase.

What do we learn from these emails? The attacks on tens of thousands of medical professionals and scientists were indeed encouraged from the top. The basis for the attacks were not scientific articles. They were heavily political popular pieces. This adds serious weight to the impression we all had at the time, which was that this was not really about science but about something far more insidious.

And further down:

For that matter, Anthony Fauci himself warned against lockdowns in January and February, favoring instead normal methods of mitigation.

What changed? Further into the pandemic, more is learned about the disease, more systems are in place to handle extreme cases of illness… all in all, we should get less panicked with time, not more.

I will end with the article’s ending words:

This war on dissent against lockdowns is not only a scandal of our times. The lockdowns and now the mandates have fundamentally transformed society and its relationship to government, technology, media, and much more. The emergency continues. Protests have arisen the world over but they are hardly even covered by the media. We seem ever more to be on the precipice of total disaster, one that will be difficult to reverse. It is urgent that we know who did this, as well as how and why, and take steps to stop it before more damage is done and then becomes permanent.