It has been a shock to discover that more than half of the world’s population has been placed under house arrest. Hard to believe a mere bat could cause all this disruption.
Confusing and mixed messages from international health authorities are not helpful; they are sparking conspiracy theories, some disseminated by individuals holding medical or scientific credentials.
Although many of these newborn conspiracies sound whacky, I am disappointed that social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube users have morphed into the thought police.
One of the many videos that fall foul of social media censorship is an interview of Dr Rashid A. Buttar on the Next News Network.
Board certified in toxicology and preventive medicine, he serves as the Medical Director for the Centres for Advanced Medicine specialising in immune dysfunctions and toxicity issues, in North Carolina.
Dr Buttar calls out the hysteria perpetuated across the world by what he says is hyped-up data to increase the fear factor.
Worse, he accuses the United States of genetically modifying a naturally occurring virus in 2015 to make it more harmful.
Once a moratorium was placed on such research by the American government, he says the National Institute of Health (NIH) with the approval of Dr Anthony Fauci paid American taxpayers’ dollars to China to continue with the research that resulted in the Covid-19 virus.
He insists there is no other virus that leaps six feet or, by some estimates, 13 feet. He also heaps blame on thousands of doctors who he claims are aware of the fraud but are too afraid to speak out for fear of losing their licenses or being socially shamed.
I have no idea whether Dr Buttar’s theories, based on his belief that governments are using the virus to control populations, have any merit but I do know that gagging people with unorthodox views will only serve to spread them like wildfire. Dr Scott Atlas, former Chief of Neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Centre was invited on Fox News to discuss his column titled “The data is in – stop the panic and end the total isolation”.
He argues that most people are not in any danger of dying from Covid-19 and blames the World Health Organization (WHO) for overestimating the virus’ fatality rate in the range of three to five per cent.
He further maintains that 50 per cent of infected people have zero symptoms and estimates that the rate of fatalities is approximately 0.1 per cent.
His assessment is backed up by Dr Dan Erickson and Dr Artin Massihi, owners of care centres in Bakersfield, California who held a press conference to claim that their on-the-ground research leads them to conclude that Covid-19 is no worse than infl uenza.
Both encourage the opening-up of schools and businesses. The Wall Street Journal has exposed a Manhattan-type project drawn up by “scientists and industry titans” said to have been sent to the White House.
The advisory aimed at combating the virus criticises “antibody testing to allow people back to work” because there is no proof that prior infection can prevent the recovered from transmitting the virus to others.
The plan advocates the use of a US “nationwide smartphone app requiring residents to confirm each day that they do not have any symptoms associated with the coronavirus”.
Such tracking and tracing apps have been widely utilised by China and South Korea. Several governments and organisations are considering issuing so-called “immunity passports” to identify those who have developed antibodies.
Chile has begun handing out such certificates and an “immunity pass” permitting virus-free sports fans to attend matches. The WHO has come out against such certificates because those who have yet to contract the virus may be likely to infect themselves in order the urge to return to work and be free to travel.
Besides privacy and freedom of expression concerns, there are very valid questions that require addressing by the WHO, the US’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UK’s National Health System (NHS) as well as the governments of China, France and Germany, considered big players in the field of medical research.
Something about Covid-19 does not add up says, a trusted doctor friend of mine who insists that the following questions need clarification:
■ Are there any other coronaviruses with such diverse symptoms as Covid- 19? Initially, we were told that symptoms were limited to a sore throat, fever and a dry cough. Later, headaches, muscle pain and colic were reported?
■ Is it true that 97 per cent of those who contract the virus suffer no symptoms or mild symptoms?
■ Are there other viruses in existence which infect different blood groups, ethnicities and age groups differently? The elderly and people with underlying health conditions do suffer the greatest risk, but now we learn that Covid-19 is causing sudden stroke in young adults and toxic shock syndrome in children, with symptoms including stomach and heart problems?
■ Is it true that people who are tested after having had a fl u shot may test false positive?
■ Should we stay at least six feet away from others to prevent against fl u or other viruses or is this CDC recommendation solely applicable to Covid-19?
■ The WHO has advised people to use plastic cards rather than cash. How many hours does the virus live on paper vs plastic?
■ Is it the case that people with underlying health conditions who die without an autopsy are often registered as victims of the coronavirus? Dr Erickson states that there are doctors in Europe and elsewhere who say they have been instructed to register all hospital deaths as resulting from Covid-19, which does infl ate statistics.
■ Are lockdowns having the desired effect? I cannot help noticing that Spain, Italy and France where citizens were under strict instructions to stay home are second, third and fourth respectively as regards to case numbers superseded only by the United States that holds the dubious Number One spot. The lack of credible information and the barrage of disinformation are eliciting confusion and spawning conspiracy theories.
The WHO, CDC, and the health and medical authorities around the world must speak the truth with one voice else people’s trust in the scientific community could diminish. Right now, I have no idea what is true and what is not.
I am not interested in cover-ups by authorities or ‘expert’ guesstimates (models) that change almost weekly or conversely, conspiracy theories warning governments will use vaccines to insert tracking chips into arms so as to turn us all into slaves. It is also far too early for political or geopolitical blame games.
What we need is a unified, transparent global approach to find solutions so we can close the curtain on this live horror film once and for all.
By Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor