The independent London newspaper

Deadly consequences when good science is suppressed

10 December, 2020 — By John Gulliver

Image: CDC-Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM

ACCUSATIONS that science is effectively being suppressed in order to profit from Covid-19 disease is emerging in prestigious medical journals.

It is spelled out in a headline in the British Medical Journal of November 21 that blatantly says when good science is “suppressed people die”.

The triumphant launch by the government this week of a vaccination programme – boastfully ahead of other countries – lends credence to the concerns of many scientists as set out in The BMJ.

But this week also leading scientists such as Alyson Pollock of Newcastle University kept on challenging the drug company Pfizer as to why it did not disclose the “raw data” on which decisions were being made.

Questioning the absence of data showing a breakdown of age, gender and ethnicity in the thousands of trialists who have taken part in the programme over the past few months, a growing number of medical practitioners and scientist are creating a critique that merits debate.

The BMJ cites an example of an “antibody test” that in real world tests falls well short of performance claims made by its manufacturers, though this was blocked.

But why was it important to procure this product without due scrutiny, the BMJ asks?

The editorial goes on to point out that the UK’s “pandemic response relies too heavily on science and other government appointees with worrying competing interests including shareholdings in companies that manufacture Covid-19 diagnostic tests, treatments and – vaccines”.

How can science be safeguarded? “Only by full disclosure of competing interests from government, politicians, scientific advisers and appointees.”

It then warns how science was subverted by dictators and autocrats and how this is “now regretfully commonplace in democracies”.

This was seen in its full glory by the media this week when – unquestioningly – broadcasting newscasts, online sites and print editions, all announced the vaccination programme without the least bit of analysis.

The logistics are enormous and clearly put a strain on an NHS weakened by years of austerity.

Then again, the rush to bring in a vaccine that requires a deep freeze temperature while a competing vaccine, apparently not ready in time, requires a lower temperature.

There is also the fact that the present vaccine requires two jabs over several weeks thus extending and complicating the logistics, all help to pile up questions. Why the speed? Why the rush?

Again, the vaccine is presented, by omission if nothing else, that it is a one-off immunisation when, in fact, its immunity is not clearly known but thought to be less than a year – which means that the vaccine, like the flu vaccine, would have to become an annual event.

How would this affect the economy? The NHS? Why is there so little debate? Why is the media so compliant?

Within hours of what amounted to a press release of the launch of the vaccination programme, the media rushed in, especially the Murdoch press.

The media is supposed to hold power to account. Is it doing so? Is science?


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