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 record may be considered positive discrimination, a vaccine mandate is totalitarianism. We don’t have a totalitarian system. [Please see Second thoughts on Vaccine Passports]

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”, nor “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

South Africa’s high tech response to Covid-19 epidemic

SOUTH AFRICA is leading the way in charting a high tech response to the pandemic. Several hospitals, including private and public facilities are utilising robots to limit exposure and infection control. A two-wheeled robot named Quinton is helping to reduce the time doctors are physically present with infected patients at Tygerberg Hospital, while Netcare has deployed germ-eradicating robots to fight infection.

Netcare Group’s chief executive officer, Dr Richard Friedland says “Both the Xenex pulsed ultraviolet (UV) robots and Yanex Pulsed-Xenon UV robots deployed in Netcare hospitals use high doses of UV light to destroy viruses, bacteria and fungal spores and disinfect hospital wards, theatres and other spaces within minutes”.

Meanwhile Prof Salim Karim outlined this morning, how his team intends to tackle the local epidemic using ‘big data’ by deploying the CSIR National Ops Centre initially created for the soccer world cup. His team is busy gathering data by geolocating tests via cellphones and identifying hotspots inside the country.

A strategy of containment has also been rolled out. Prof Karim is in the process of ‘identifying weak links in the national containment strategy’. He says the country is not just slowing the outbreak but ‘is learning from how the virus spreads’. Is concerned about potential for spread within Prisons, Mines, Hospitals, and is talking about ‘control, enforcement and more aggressive steps’.

The use of technology is proving to be a game-changer.

Local biotech company, Cape Bio Pharm is introducing spike proteins into plants, to produce “a cheaper, locally produced test kit” which would “separate the seasonal flu sufferer from a person infected with COVID-19, thereby alleviating the strain on our healthcare system”

The Health Dept recently ramped up testing by utilising a GeneXpert TB test machine repurposed for Covid-19 that will massively increase capacity.

Two entrepreneurs from CSIR have developed a lab PCR test which takes just 60 minutes.

Stellenbosch University and AzarGen Biotechnologies (Pty) Ltd, a South African biotechnology company have focused on developing ‘human therapeutic proteins’ using advanced genetic engineering and synthetic biology techniques in plants, and have joined forces in the global fight against the coronavirus.

A branded synthetic pharmaceutical, previously used for the treatment of neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome (nRDS), a condition where some premature babies struggle to breathe due to collapsed lung sacs, as well as treatment for acute lung injury in adults, is being tested as a supportive agent for the treatment of ARDS, the condition associated with COVID-19.

South Africa’s local biotech industry is already quite advanced, and the country has a history of medical world firsts, including the first ever heart transplant at Groote Schuur hospital.

Telemedicine is moving in leaps and bounds, but still needs a way to go within the public health sector.l

A syndromic response may be required as we move into Winter flu season. Various companies around the world have outlined the means by which multiple tests for a variety of respiratory illnesses may be combined in theory into one single test.

While SAA may have been grounded for good, Ethiopian Airlines arrived with medical supplies from China, and also tests and equipment donated by Jack Ma.

Emirates Airlines has started implementing rapid testing for passengers demonstrating the type of technology being appraised by Senegal’s Louis Pasteur Institute.

Biodx, a proudly South African company,  is developing ‘cutting edge antimicrobial and antiviral technologies’ with technical support from the CSIR. However UV Led Light may turn out to be a better option, as demonstrated by a 30-Second Coronavirus Kill.

South Africa’s first successful genome sequencing of a locally collected sample of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been added to an international database to help better understand the disease. KwaZulu Natal’s Research, Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) and the Big Data Flagship Programme of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has a multi-disciplinary team of world-renowned experts which mainly focuses on analysis and control of viral outbreaks and genomic analysis.

SA’s 3D-printing community is making life-saving protective gear from home and the University of Johannesburg is deploying its printers in the fight against Covid-19.

The United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will provide technical assistance to South Africa’s National Department of Health (NDoH) and National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in addition to 50 million rand to the countries epidemic response.

Concerns about the use of tech during the crisis taking the surveillance state to a new level have been expressed. In 2013 South Africa passed a law protecting personal data, The Personal Information Protection Act.