Microchip ‘vaccine passports’, second thoughts on Cheadle-stan

AS ONE of the vaccinated, I am generally in favour of universal immunisation strategies. The majority of deaths during the Covid epidemic have come from the ranks of the unvaccinated. Vaccines save lives, I wrote, but ‘removing patient consent destroys the foundation of our democracy’. I have thus tended to promote informed consent, patient choice and persuasion rather than outright coercion — and favour to some extant, what is referred to in legal circles as ‘positive discrimination’ especially when it comes to certain categories of employment.

An opinion piece by Kevin Ritchie in the Star entitled “Vaccine hesitancy: Why it’s time to create no-vaxx, no-go areas however paints a grim future of a state in which all citizens are effectively microchipped, forced to carry electronic ‘vaccine passports’ — internal passports that act to either grant or restrict access to freedom of movement, or as Ritchie explains, “no jab, no pub, no shopping mall”.

All this is to be achieved on the basis of immediate and instantaneous third-party access to patient information. A feat which would necessitate the removal of rights already granted under the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI), not to mention placing restrictions and limitations on fundamental freedoms — the right to privacy, freedom of movement and other rights enshrined in our Constitution.

I have already written how an antiquated dominionship and/or guardianship model of state power (the state acting as parent-of-the-people), and thus a model contrary to our human rights based system, is being rolled out as we speak by Cheadle, Karim and Grey et al, in the process negating the hard-won victories of our democracy.

Unlike members of PANDA, who are campaigning for individual privacy and rights when it comes to employment, I have no quibbles in disclosing my Covid vaccine status to all and sundry, but can’t help wondering how this plays out as we move forward and especially when it comes to other diseases, for example HIV?

Didn’t we all win a patient rights battle, fought during the late 90s and over the turn-of-the-millennium, for HIV patients to not be coerced into disclosure of status? And why is Covid being treated like a chronic illness, when all the evidence points to its eminent and impending seasonal nature?

As Helen Braswell writes in Statnews: “The truth of the matter is that pandemics always end. And to date vaccines have never played a significant role in ending them. “

Brasell who a former Nieman Global Health Fellow at Harvard, where she focused on polio eradication, argues that “there were no flu vaccines in 1918, when the world didn’t yet know that the great influenza was caused by a virus, H1N1. In 1957, when the H2N2 pandemic swept the world, flu vaccine was mainly a tool of the military. In the pandemic of 1968, which brought us H3N2, the United States produced nearly 22 million doses of vaccine, but by the time it was ready the worst of the pandemic had passed, and demand subsided.”

She writes: “That ‘too little and too late‘ phenomenon played out again in 2009, when the world finally had the capacity to make hundreds of millions of doses of H1N1 vaccine; some countries cancelled large portions of their orders because they ended up not needing them.”

The same may be said for a previous coronovirus pandemic thought to have occurred in 1889, and known in medical histories as “the Russian flu,” which “might actually have been caused by one of the human coronaviruses, OC43.”

Her article proceeds to explore the manner in which pandemic flu becomes seasonal flu and the strong likelihood that Covid will become endemic, alongside other cold viruses, and how the world and our immune systems will inevitably move on.

As Sarah Zhang in The Atlantic concludes, “in the endemic scenario, where many people have some immunity, the coronavirus will not be able to infect as many people or replicate as many times in each person it infects.”

And trouble with the current pandemic outlook as we move forward into a seasonal coronovirus fluctuation, and the prospect of an annual wave resulting in a predictable ‘surge in patients’ — the technocrats are going to want to provide us with booster shots, not just to those with comorbidity and other ailments, but to all the rest of us, as we head into a ‘belt and braces’ world in which we may be cajoled, forced, coerced and even placed under sanctions, in order to get those yearly updates punted by Big Pharma.

The resulting case precedent may just open the door to mandatory jabs for common cancers, STDs and even ‘mental illness’ like anxiety and depression.

Which brings me to another point I wish to make, one which echoes a post I made on HIV stats and scepticism, some time ago. Currently excess deaths in South Africa during the pandemic number some 250 000. That is less than 1 percent of our population, some 0.4% – 0.6% to be exact.

Are we about to dump individual liberty, personal freedom, Mandela’s permissive society in favour of an authoritarian state in which the president is for all intents and purposes, the parent of the people? Judging by the many pro-mandate articles appearing in the press over the past weeks, we are certainly in for a rough ride.

Sorry Herr Prof Karim, your vaccine mandate argument is worse than apartheid-era paternalism

IT IS more than a little ironic that during the 20th Anniversary of the Durban Conference Against Racism, Professor Salim Abdool Karim appears to advocate a case of dominica potestas, that most ancient of power relations between master and slave articulated during the period of colonial rule, in which slaves were bought and sold as objects. The latin phrase translates as literally ‘power of dominion’ , (see below).

That a World Health Organisation (WHO) Council Member, makes such views known in public is all the more alarming. Since the resulting power grab by the WHO and its Big Pharma allies in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) would necessitate a total reorganisation of South African society including the amendment of our Constitution. A goal which appears to be nothing more than an elegant take-down of our democracy by stealth, if one reads and interprets other vaccine mandate nitwits, Cheadle and Gray et al (see here).

The astonishingly flawed logic in which Karim provides absolutely no scientific proof, but mere speculation on the ‘public good’ while touting an as yet unproven and controversial theory of origin (a single Bat Virus in situ, not Gain-of-Function research on Bat Viruses at the Wuhan Institute) must be rejected. So too the appalling public health motion seeking to remove the legal consent basis for our democracy.

The ‘talking head’ professor (who has turned into somewhat of a television star) seems to forget that current vaccines do not stop the virus per se, but merely prevent those affected from joining the ranks of the chronically ill in high care. And even then, there are problems with efficacy of treatment. Israel a country with an extremely high level of vaccination has learnt that booster shots are the only way forward. Vaccines save lives, but removing patient consent, destroys the foundation of our democracy (see here).

Despite Karim’s televised concerns, there is no public interest case to be made regarding vaccine mandates. The state should rather exhaust the use of persuasion, incentives and positive discrimination A vaccine passport may be considered positive discrimination, a vaccine mandate is totalitarianism. We don’t have a totalitarian system.

In brief, South Africans are not subjects of ‘parens patriae‘. Latin for “parent of the people.” Under the common law doctrine of parens patriae, a state has a ‘paternal and protective role over its citizens or others subject to its jurisdiction’. This isn’t our system.

In the local context, when it comes to adulthood, our state is ‘inepta parente’, an unfit parent. It cannot act ‘in loco parentis’, i.e. in the place of a parent. Only those under curatorship of a court would encounter such nonsense. And even then, we have human rights … the age of majority … disability law.

The United States, where ‘parens patriae‘ is limited to the state’s interest in protecting children from harm, the state may sue on behalf of the nation, to achieve a public interest result. This power however does not extend to intervening in health related matters as they may affect the individual. There is no tithe for instance on blood donations, the President cannot force you to donate a kidney in the ‘national interest’.

In South Africa while the state may take up a parental role in attending to the needs of minors and the disabled by rolling out child and disability grants, and thus protecting children and the disabled from harm, it lacks any potestas or power when it comes to treating its adult citizens as its own children. Aside from rolling out social security, such a move would result in the removal of individual autonomy and human agency by the state, whilst creating dominion and sovereignty over its now ‘chattel citizens’, a relationship known as dominica potestas.

Here is where the medics need to stay in their own lane instead of turning into our police and political ideologues. There is a very good reason why they are not our masters, and require our consent to administer vaccines. Sir, for starters, I am not a state patient. The only case precedent for forced medical interventions, apply to guests of the state and those already convicted of a crime. The Mental Health Care Act, was amended in 2002 to exclude involuntary commitment for political reasons. The state cannot pursue a policy of rights removal with regard to its own citizens.

Herr Professor Karim most certainly does not possess locus standi to prosecute a medical case against the South African body politic.

In any event we do not need to ‘apply’ to be a citizen, to be in possession of human rights. We already are citizens, our citizenship is enshrined in “We, the People'”. Not “We, the Bureaucrats”, or “We, your Masters at the WTO”. Article 12 enshrining ‘ownership and control over the body’, is thus already part and parcel of our Constitutional dispensation and there is absolutely no reasonable prospect of its removal any time soon — such a feat would require a supermajority in parliament.

In Karim’s jaded and one should add, creepy medico-legal view, the only exceptions to involuntary administration of health care by the state, would be religious objections ‘conforming to special criteria’. To which one should simply state: No to religiosity in medicine!

SEE: Peter Breggin MD, raises questions on US-China ‘gain-of-function’ Coronovirus research.

SEE: Top researchers are calling for a real investigation into the origin of covid-19

Cheadle-stan, a country where your medical practitioners may as well be the Taliban

HALTON CHEADLE claims to be an ’emeritus professor of law at UCT’. In reality the self-styled ‘drafter of the Labour Relations Act’ was pushed into early retirement following revelations of his business relationship with then Speaker of the House of Assembly, Max Sisulu, and Kagiso, a company in business with Media24.

In 2010, Cheadle handed down a labour decision gutting the TRC Report, inverting the facts of apartheid, and inter alia altering my religious affiliation.

It would come as no surprise that his own client, Media24 was given a free ride when it came to apartheid-era justifications for separate development, de facto newsroom segregation, race profiling and a set of alternative facts used to pillory the late jazz legend Robbie Jansen. At the same time this writer was falsely accused inter alia of ‘misleading the public’ by deploying the phrase, “Speaking from his home, Robbie Jansen said…”

I interviewed a Professor of Linguistics, not only is the above phrase covered by journalistic privilege, is referred to as common speech and a turn of phrase, but the writer is entirely absent.

When Cheadle isn’t inventing lies, gutting the country’s transitional justice arrangements, or rigging the LRA in his own favour, and thus engaged in corrupt activities, prescribed under the ‘Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act‘, he spends his time in Glencairn, Cape Town, declaiming upon our Constitution, a document for which some delusional citizens, including news subs, seem to want to give him a little credit.

The Constituent Assembly which convened from 1994-1996 was the only body which drafted the Constitution. Many MPs, including civil society procured attorneys to assist in the drafting process. But for anyone to claim Cheadle was orchestrating the content, or was somehow an MP at the time, is to grossly exaggerate his influence as a practitioner of law.

Having put the above matter to rest, I need to point out that the Cheadle is not only corrupt, but is also a regular cuckoo clock when it comes to legal matters. And my apologies at the outset for how this is going to play out when it comes to the MRC’s Glenda Grey.

Not even the Taliban

A piece published by the Daily Maverick, tackling the question “Can the government constitutionally require that everyone be vaccinated against Covid-19?” begins with what appear to be Cheadle and Gray’s summary answer regarding compulsory immunisation:

“The simple answer is it can,” the duo claim at the outset, (‘trust us, we can’), before pursuing an ill-advised motion for removing what remains of patient consent and human rights during the pandemic. These are hard won rights, gained from the struggle for freedom (see here).Vaccines save lives, removing consent destroys the foundation of our democracy.

As both a potential beneficiary and a party insider situated above the law, nothing more than polemic is provided in support by Cheadle.

Gray should know better than to rely upon a legal practitioner, whose past dealings and involvement with Kagiso, chart a course of investments spanning Aspen, a company responsible for local production of the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine. The Kagiso Domestic Balanced Fund showed a 2.5% investment in Aspen as at 2019.

There are certainly good reasons for universal immunisation, and yes ‘deaths are more likely to occur amongst the unvaccinated’, and ‘new mutations may emerge’ — but none of the reasons supplied by the pair demonstrate why these are foregone conclusions and why our rights should be forfeited in the process? Why are voluntary participation, incentivisation and the normal societal strictures failing if at all?

The bold assertions beg the question, why weren’t our rights similarly removed during earlier epidemics and vaccination programmes? Just about nobody encounters a legal writ forcing one to take a measles vaccine, and we have never possessed vaccine passports, nor any attempt to document patient histories with the self-same rigour. The resulting precedent opens us all needlessly, to mandatory annual shots for any manner of public health concerns. You need blood statins, well, you don’t have any choice over the matter, sir?

And thus what follows in part one of a three part series, isn’t a legal argument per se, nor a scholarly jurisprudence essay calling for the adoption of vaccine mandates, and citing local case precedent (mostly in favour of HIV rights), but rather two individual’s self-interested rhetoric placed in the public domain and deserving of our antipathy. As already noted in my earlier post, the only South African case law provided for this type of overly robust medical intervention refer to the plight of the already incarcerated, criminals and state patients.

The government’s steadfast refusal to embrace vaccine mandates is seen as no small obstacle:

Iqbal’s fake babies: Sir, you have egg on your face

THIS WEEK saw Dr Iqbal Survés attempt to recast himself as a wealthy philanthropist and friend of newborns everywhere fall flat amidst yet another infantile furore involving the Independent Group.

Survé and his organisation Survé Philanthropies appear to be the victim of an elaborate public relations stunt involving the handing over of a R1 million cheque in a well-orchestrated bogus bambino hoax backed up by none other than the Independent Group.

That Survés Sekunjalo Group are effectively the owners of the Independent Group should make no difference to how one views a startling case of falling victim to one’s own propaganda machine, and following years of sacrificing journalism standards to craft what can only be described as a private marketing network posing as news media.

What started out as an astonishing multi-toddler scoop by Piet Rampedi of the Pretoria News quickly disintegrated into mudslinging and recrimination, as INM CEO Takudzwa Hove (anyone heard of him?) stood by Rampedi’s story that Gosiame Sithole and Tebogo Tsotetsi had ‘become parents to a record-breaking ten babies born at a private Pretoria hospital.’

“The first red flag about the story was the sheer coincidence that it came a month after a Mali woman gave birth to nine babies,” wrote Mahlatse Mahlase of EWN, one of the first news outlets to debunk the story as an elaborate if fanciful con.

“Such pregnancies are exceedingly rare. Yet, shortly after that birth, a South African supposedly followed with 10. In fact, the interview by Independent was done the very month the Mali woman gave birth” she says.

As Jasmine Stone of 2OceansVibe opined: “The fact that it’s solely IOL with the inside scoop, and in particular, journalist Piet Rampedi (notorious for his role in the fake SARS ‘rogue unit’ stories from years back), only adds further intrigue.”

Yesterday the Health Department issued a striking rebuttal of INM’s claims of a government coverup, stating that their claims appear to be a ‘journalistic error’ since there is currently no evidence of the existence of the decuplets.

The family of the purported father of the babies, Tebogo Tsotetsi has also issued a statement denying their existence:

“The family has resolved and concluded that there are no decuplets born between Tebogo Tsotetsi and Gosiame Sithole, until proven otherwise and wishes to apologise for any inconvenience and embarrassment.”

End Vaccine Apartheid Before Millions More Die

By Anis Chowdhury and Jomo Kwame Sundaram

SYDNEY and KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 23 2021 (IPS) – At least 85 poor countries will not have significant access to coronavirus vaccines before 2023. Unfortunately, a year’s delay will cause an estimated 2.5 million avoidable deaths in low and lower-middle income countries. As the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General has put it, the world is at the brink of a catastrophic moral failure.

Vaccine apartheid
The EU, US, UK, Switzerland, Canada and their allies continue to block the developing country proposal to temporarily suspend the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement to enable greatly increased, affordable supplies of COVID-19 vaccines, drugs, tests and equipment.

Meanwhile, 6.4 billion of the 12.5 billion vaccine doses the main producers plan to produce in 2021 have already been pre-ordered, mostly by these countries, with 13% of the global population.

Thirty two European and other rich countries also have options to order more, while Australia and Canada have already secured supplies enough for five times their populations. Poor countries, often charged higher prices, simply cannot compete.

Big Pharma has also refused to join the voluntary knowledge sharing and patent pooling COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) initiative under WHO auspices. Thomas Cueni, International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) Director General, snubbed the launch, claiming he was “too busy”.

Pfizer’s CEO dismissed C-TAP as “nonsense” and “dangerous”, while the AstraZeneca CEO insisted, “IP is a fundamental part of our industry”. Such attitudes help explain some problems of alternative vaccine distribution arrangements such as COVAX. According to its own board, there is a high chance that COVAX could fail.

Suppressing vaccine access
Despite knowing that many developing countries have much idle capacityCueni falsely claims the waiver “would do nothing to expand access to vaccines or to boost global manufacturing capacity”, and would jeopardise innovation and vaccine research.

Big Pharma claims manufacturing vaccines via compulsory licensing or a TRIPS waiver “would undermine innovation and raise the risk of unsafe viruses”. US Big Pharma representatives wrote to President Biden earlier this month claiming likewise.

Both Salk and Sabin made their polio vaccine discoveries patent-free, while many contemporary vaccine researchers are against Big Pharma’s greedy conduct only rewarding IP holders regardless of the varied, but crucial contributions of others.

Big Pharma’s price gouging
Vaccine companies require contract prices be kept secret. In return for discounts, the EU agreed to keep prices confidential. Nonetheless, some negotiated prices were inadvertently revealed, with a UNICEF chart listing prices from various sources.

Reputedly the cheapest vaccine available, Oxford-Astra Zeneca’s is sold to EU members for around US$2 each. Although trials were done in South Africa, it still pays more than twice as much, while Uganda, even poorer, pays over four times as much!

US negotiated bulk prices, for Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, are much higher, at US$15.25–19.50 per dose in several contracts, yielding 60–80% profit margins! Moderna will charge the rest of the world US$25–37 per dose.

Hypocrisy
Quite understandably, most developed countries opposing temporary TRIPS suspension have provisions in their own IP laws to suspend patent protection in the national interest and for public health emergencies.

Canada, Germany, France and others have recently strengthened their patent laws to issue compulsory licences for COVID-19 vaccines and drugs. European Council President Charles Michel announced that the EU could adopt “urgent measures” by invoking emergency provisions in its treaties.

Similarly, in the US, 28 US Code sec. 1498 (a) allows the government to make or use any invention without the patentee’s permission. To handle emergencies, the 1977 UK Patents Act (section 55) allows the government to sell a patented product, including specific drugs, medicines or medical devices, without the patentee’s consent.

When avian flu threatened early this century, the US was the only country in the world to issue compulsory licences to US manufacturers to produce Tamiflu to protect its entire population of over 300 million. The drugs were not used as the virus was not brought over either Pacific or Atlantic Oceans.

Biden must act
By helping developing countries expand vaccine manufacturing capacity and access existing capacity, US President Biden can earn much world appreciation overnight. US law and precedence enables such a unilateral initiative.

The Bayh-Dole Act allows the US government to require the owner or exclusive licensee of a patent, created with federal funding, to grant a third party a licence to an invention. Moderna received about US$2.5 billion from Operation Warp Speed, which dispensed over US$10 billion.

Moderna was founded in 2010 by university researchers with support from a venture capitalist. It has focused on mRNA technology, building on earlier work by University of Pennsylvania scientists with National Institutes for Health (NIH) funding.

The vaccine developer also used technology for previous coronavirus vaccines developed by the NIH. The NIH also provided extensive logistical support, overseeing clinical trials for tens of thousands. Moderna has already announced it will not enforce its patents during the pandemic.

Thus, POTUS has the needed leverage. The Bayh-Dole Act applies to Moderna’s vaccine, enabling the Biden administration to act independently and decisively against vaccine apartheid.

Sharing knowledge crucial
Developing countries not only need to have the right to produce vaccines, but also the requisite technical knowledge and information. Hence, the Biden administration should also support C-TAP, as recommended by Dr Anthony Fauci.

When the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) was in similar trouble, the Obama administration came forward to put US-owned patents into the pool while encouraging drug companies to help improve developing countries’ access to medicines.

President Biden knows that early US support was critical for the MPP’s eventual success. It dramatically increased production and lowered prices of medicines for HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis C and other infectious diseases in developing countries.

PANDA’s Response to Daily Maverick: Kung-Flu Panda: dodgy analytics or pandemic propaganda?

[PANDA have been denied the right to respond to a hatchet piece published by the Daily Maverick, as the recipients of similar treatment by our co-opted, press, we publish their response in full below. – Ed]

From: Nick Hudson
Date: Friday, 5 February 2021 at 08:24
To: Rebecca Davis
Subject: Re: Media inquiry: Daily Maverick ~ Panda

RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS FROM DAILY MAVERICK 4 February 2020

PANDA received these questions at 14h38 on 4 February and was required to respond by 9am on 5 February (4 business hours). Some of the questions posed of PANDA relate to the non-PANDA activities of individuals based in Canada, the United States and New Zealand. Given the timezones, it was not possible to get responses from the individuals in question and we have responded based on publicly available information.

The article that our response is requested to premises a conspiracy between various groups around the world, of which PANDA is, by implication, one. The article is such a tawdry concoction of nonsense that it hardly warrants a response. It is not clear what the purpose of the alleged conspiracy is, but the conspiracy is supposedly coordinated by the former lead psychologist at Cambridge Analytica, who apparently advises these “pandemic disinformation platforms”. The article is authored by a journalist once described by Vanity Fair as engaging in “conspiracy mongering” and is published on a controversial “platform for freelance reporters and writers to produce fearless journalism not found in the mainstream media.” It seems its primary purpose with this article is to attack “hard right politicians” in the UK’s Conservative Party. Daily Maverick would be the first mainstream media publication to publish the conspiracy theory about PANDA and thereby the first to lend credence to the fanciful and defamatory statements about PANDA and its members made therein.

We will be lucky if we vaccinate 2% of our population

GIVEN the slow pace at which South Africa’s mass vaccination campaign has been rolled out — as yet, not one confirmed public vaccination has been administered — claims by government that 10% of the population, including the vulnerable and front-line workers will receive the jab, must be met with a good degree of scepticism.

We will be lucky if we manage to vaccinate some 2% of our citizens over the coming six months, that’s 1 140 000 or just over 1 million individuals. The recent comments made by the Chief Justice may have already torpedoed the public Covax Initiative.

In the week in which a new more virulent local variant of the virus was announced by Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, with its origin in Nelson Mandela Bay, the country finally paid over its contribution to the UN programme, yet another example of what Dr Carl Venter terms a ‘poor handling of the crisis’.

Health activists had thus already expressed concern that South Africa had missed the deadline, and all this while images of the West’s immunisation campaign already under way were being streamed over our television screens, a local wait-and-see approach if any.

Meanwhile the health system in several provinces was under severe pressure, with no plans in sight to alleviate the lack of oxygen, PPE and high care facilities over the New Year period. Local press appeared unable to present the problematic second wave and our failing vaccination programme in any frame except, ‘we’ve been here already, and don’t want another hard lock-down’.

Readers would have had to find information on the collapse of health care services and lack of critical care in Nelson Mandela Bay, not from the local press, but rather from the New York Times, whose Sheri Fink reported this week on a tragedy unfolding in Port Elizabeth, and thus a troubling lack of credible information from local media houses.

A situation of self-censorship which has its echo in previous fumbling by the Mbeki administration over ARVs and the earlier Botha regime which suppressed news about the SADF invasion of Angola and death toll at Cuito Cuanavale?

While government was announcing it had identified the 501.V2 Variant, Minister Mkhize was thus bizarrely playing down the implications of a sudden shift in the epidemiological picture as the demure Prof Karim continued to spew forth scientific opinion with little impact on the reality and lives of health care workers.

“Clinicians, said Karim “have been providing anecdotal evidence of a shift in the clinical epidemiological picture – in particular noting that they are seeing a larger proportion of younger patients with no co-morbidities presenting with critical illness,” he said.

If Fink’s observations as a journalist are mere anecdotes, then much of what passes for press commentary in the republic is a fraud.

Let her words below sink in, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to observe the virus isn’t any more deadly, it is rather, more pernicious and disruptive to our health sector:

“At the center of a terrifying coronavirus surge, 242 patients lay in row after row of beds under the soaring metal beams of a decommissioned Volkswagen factory.”

“Workers at the vast field hospital could provide oxygen and medications, but there were no I.C.U. beds, no ventilators, no working phones and just one physician on duty on a recent Sunday — Dr. Jessica Du Preez, in her second year of independent practice.”

“In a shed-like refrigerator behind a door marked “BODY HOLD,” carts contained the remains of three patients that morning. A funeral home had already picked up another body.”

“On rounds, Dr. Du Preez stopped at the bed of a 60-year-old patient, a grandmother and former college counselor. Her oxygen tube had detached while she was lying prone, but the nurses had so many patients they hadn’t noticed. Now, she was gone.”

That medics are having to prioritise who gets treatment while denying others, according to a score card, is a tragedy being repeated all around the world.

Crackpot Chief Justice Mogoeng, now with added 666

THE FAR RIGHT agenda within South Africa’s judicial system reared its ugly head once again this past week, with Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng pronouncing upon the Covid Vaccine.

According to the elected head of the judiciary, some Covid vaccines might contain ‘triple-six’ or the ‘mark of the devil’. Only ‘non-Satanic’ vaccines should be accepted, he added.

It is a declaration that would be risible if it were not for the fact that Mogoeng Mogoeng, who alleges he is ‘not a scientist but rather a prayer warrior‘, is also a legal professional and a sitting judge.

According to Stephen Grootes, the ‘claim that some vaccines might be “triple-six” cannot be based on scientific fact.

“He himself admits he has no understanding of vaccines. His comments may reasonably be construed to lead to harm, particularly in a context in which it is currently illegal, during the State of National Disaster, to spread falsehoods about the virus.”

The judge, whose crackpot beliefs are certainly not backed by science nor academic research, defends his views rather, as being ‘in accordance with Christianity’.

That Mogoeng is a charismatic Christian is well-known, less evident is the basis upon which he issues forth his opinions in the form of prayer, and thus the claim that the rights guaranteed by our constitution accord his office the benefit of speaking on topics, for which he is no doubt unqualified to speak.

Notwithstanding the obvious intrusion of Church and State and undermining of the separation of powers. The Chief Justice claims rights which he denies others and is thus a mendacious hypocrite, suppressing the views of anyone who disagrees with his far-right Christian ideology.

In 2010 an irregularly-gained decision handed down by a corrupt ANC official, purporting to be the opinions of the Labour Court of South Africa, proceeded to demonise this writer, for asserting that the views of a Media24 employee resembled the now defunct ideology of the Dutch Reformed Church (NGK).

The contested decision anathematised a career in journalism on the basis of the writer’s opposition to apartheid and possession of a secular belief system.

It proceeds to assert that de facto race segregation and race profiling of readers at Die Burger (sic) not Media24 community newspapers, was ‘merely a coincidence of homogeneity’ i.e. an accident of nature or ‘miracle of sameness’, and the company in question could not possibly be in the wrong, since its sole witness was ‘Italian and a Catholic‘.

Imagine explaining the events at Brackenfell this year as a mere coincidence?

Race segregation is not a teaching of the Catholic Church, and likewise, the Covid vaccines being developed by Pfizer and Moderna are unlikely to be repudiated and excommunicated as the ‘work of the beast’, by the broader Christian establishment.

Needless to say, several complaints to the Office of the Chief Justice, i.e. the Judicial Services Commission were ignored.

See DRL condemnation of right-wing anti-secular revolt within SA justice system

See: Dr Glenda Gray to Chief Justice Mogoeng: Keep your religious beliefs to yourself

See: Scientists call for Mogoeng’s impeachment over vaccine conspiracy

See: The Chief Justice must be called to order

Much ado about the Covid ‘second wave’

please note: events of the past weeks of December have shown the speculation surrounding the so-called ‘seasonal thesis’ below to be completely wrong, instead we have a witnessed another surge as the result the rise of a more infectious lineage of the virus, the article is preserved here to serve as a record of this open speculation.

TWO WEEKS ago Boris Johnson announced a second nation-wide lockdown for the UK. This apparently after data showing projected infection increases, outstripping the capacity of the NHI — there is a broad variance shown by the conflicting mathematical models, which do not take into account exposure to UV radiation.

As the Northern economies enter Winter, the ‘second wave is upon us’. However the same cannot be inferred by local data. So far as the South is concerned, summertime is proving that when it comes to Covid-19 every indication points to the pandemic being seasonal, and that a diverging UV profile will lesson the impact in the South.

The announcement of a vaccine with a 90% effectiveness has boosted hopes for an end to the pandemic. With Nelson Mandela Bay metropole the sole outlier, South Africa has been spared the worst ravages of the ‘second outbreak’. The nation has an extraordinary high recovery rate and most early projections have proven wrong, witness the controversy over the modelling.

‘In the South African context, there is close to zero value in going back to a hard lockdown as it is not going to achieve anything different in controlling the epidemic’ is the view of Professor Shabir Madhi from the school of pathology at the University of the Witwatersrand. This stands in contrast to Dr Zweli Mkhize’s insistence that his mathematical models are correct.

What is not being said by either sides, (and speaking as an environmentalist) is that there are very different environmental factors at play in Africa. Not only do we have a different seasonal procession, with the South experiencing Summer when North experiences Winter, but there are vastly different weather patterns, all of which impacts on the amount of sunshine and consequently UV radiation experienced by the average individual.

South Africa’s UV burn index is amongst the highest in the world. Bare in the mind that the coronovirus is a derivative of the common cold, and operates much in the same way that the flu does, save for the fact that coronoviruses tend to break out in clusters unlike the flu which comes in waves. Direct normal radiation for Upington for example, is nearly 1000 w/m2, and vastly different from our coastline.

The whole notion of a ‘second wave’ for the entire world, is potentially a flawed assumption made by the World Health Organisation which has tended to operate as if the earth were flat in the process dishing out advice that is no better than that given by socialist bureaucrats during the Soviet Union.

The mandarins and technocrats in Geneva simply rolled out policies for the entire world this year, a one-size-fits-all determination that treats every economy as if we are all living in Alaska, and which deserves to be tested and scrutinised by local and regional scientific councils.

The only ones benefiting from this extraordinary overreach, are the large pharmaceutical companies which stand to make a mint out of the supply of PPE and the much-vaunted vaccine. A vaccine which may take anywhere up to 5 -7 years to dispense. Nevetheless questioning Covid stats, may incur professional liability and institutional sanctions much in the same way that questioning received doctrine on the HIV epidemic has become a shibboleth of notable proportion.

Now more than ever, is the time to host a national symposium on what is known about the virus within the local context, what still needs to be understood and to derive policies based upon evidence-based science and empirical research rather than policy decisions made externally and consequently adopted by our government without any forethought as to the consequences.

Unfortunately as the HIV crisis has shown, the likelihood of the South African government taking a lead where science is concerned is extremely slim. Read my piece on Skepticism during the Mbeki era.

A vaccine is just the beginning of the fight against Covid-19 …

THIS PAST week saw British scientists lauded for a successful phase 1 vaccine trial. A working vaccine may be available by the end of 2020. Unfortunately deploying a global immunisation programme may prove to be harder than producing the vaccine.

Although the United Nations is pushing all countries to join ‘an effort to make vaccines and drugs to fight Covid-19 cheap enough that the poorest populations in the world can be treated’, the sheer scale of such an endeavour looks daunting.

South Africa with a population of 58.8 million would require production of at least 160 000 doses per day for over a year to cover the entire country. Dispensing the vaccine would require 6712 jabs per hour to complete in 12 months, a Promethean task, more likely to occur over 5 to 10 years.

In other words, while the good news is that the world has a working vaccine, one of several vaccines capable of producing the right antibodies and killer T cells required to defend against the virus, the logistical problems of immunisation, make the pandemic likely to stay with us for the foreseeable future.

Technological innovation such as robotic application and drone delivery, novel production techniques and other medical advances, could bring this horizon closer — the day when everyone has immunity and countermeasures such as masks, social distancing and other measures are no longer required.

Bare in mind that as more people recover and gain natural immunity, the target population for an immunisation programme is lowered, thereby reducing the immediate task at hand. Although there is some debate as to whether or not, such immunity is short term and may fall off over time.

By that stage, those who would have died from the virus, will in most likely be dead. The risks of cluster outbreaks and casualty ward spikes will have diminished, and the burden on our health system will normalise along with the impact on the economy.

In effect, the virus and its grip on society, will have weakened, at least for now, but the risk of future flare-ups and other coronovirus clades remain.

Targeted immunisation programmes focusing on vulnerable groups and maximising scarce resources could also assist us in meeting our goal. But for now, we stuck with the ‘no longer novel’ coronovirus of 2019, which looks set to become as prevalent as the common cold, and a seasonal disease just like the flu.