No Science Then, No Science Now

Via Healthy Skeptic, this Report for the Scottish COVID-19 Inquiry, providing a retrospective on covid in Scotland, is one of the most useful documents on the disease that I have read. Among other things, it provides a description of viruses, coronaviruses, covid-19, and how vaccines work that is the clearest I have seen. The whole report is eminently worth reading.

For now, I want to highlight the report’s laconic conclusions about shutdowns and other anti-covid interventions:

Physical measures against COVID-19

• From March 2020 onwards, and in common with many other governments, the Scottish government recommended or mandated a range of physical measures intended to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus which was the cause of COVID-19.

• The physical measures recommended or mandated by the Scottish government ranged from simple public health practices (the encouragement of frequent handwashing, cleaning of environmental surfaces, the use of PPE in hospitals and care homes) to coercive and / or intrusive measures (face mask mandates outside of healthcare settings; lockdowns; enforced social distancing; test, trace and isolate measures).

• In 2020 there was scientific evidence to support the use of some of the physical measures (e.g. frequent handwashing, the use of PPE in hospital settings) adopted against COVID-19.

For other measures (e.g. face mask mandates outside of healthcare settings, lockdowns, social distancing, test, trace and isolate measures) there was either insufficient evidence in 2020 to support their use – or alternatively, no evidence; the evidence base has not changed materially in the intervening three years.

• It has been argued that the restrictive measures introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in individual, societal and economic harm that was avoidable and that should not have occurred.

(Emphasis added.) As I say, laconic, but still devastating: there was either insufficient evidence or no evidence to support lockdowns, social distancing, etc., in 2020, and there still isn’t.

The report’s conclusions on vaccines are interesting as well:

Vaccines against COVID-19

• Vaccines against COVID-19 became available to the UK general public in December 2020; initially only the high-risk groups (the very old, the very sick) were targeted.

• All the COVID-19 vaccines procured by the UK government during 2020 and 2021 were nucleic acid vaccines using novel gene technology.

• As additional vaccine supplies became available, vaccination was extended to young, middle-aged and elderly adults, and to children.

• Vaccination against COVID-19 became a prerequisite of travel to many countries, and some UK employers made it obligatory for their workforce.

• It remains unclear as to whether or not COVID-19 vaccination has resulted in fewer deaths from COVID-19.

That last finding is quite an indictment, not necessarily of the vaccines but of governments’ attacks on their citizens’ bodily autonomy.

• COVID-19 vaccines have been shown in randomised controlled trials to be effective, or probably effective, in reducing the number of people acquiring COVID-19 or severe COVID-19; however vaccine-induced protection against COVID-19 is short-lived.

• Because of the antigenic variability of all coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, it was foreseeable that COVID-19 vaccines would only provide short-term protection against COVID-19 (as is the case also with current vaccines against seasonal influenza).

• Because the novel gene technology vaccines procured by the UK government had been tested on relatively small study populations, and had been assessed for safety over short follow-up periods only, rare and sometimes serious adverse effects (including reported fatal events) emerged, once the vaccines had been used on a mass scale in the UK and in other countries.

The report was authored by a brilliantly qualified British physician named Ashley Croft.

To date, there has been virtually no accountability for the dreadful mistakes that American governments made during the covid epidemic. My impression is that the same is true in other countries. What I mean by that, primarily, is that as far as I know all of the governors who imposed grossly destructive shutdowns and other measures have been re-elected, if they have again stood for office. And Donald Trump, too, is still on the scene, apparently forgiven by voters for railing against states that did away with lockdowns.

As more time goes by, the likelihood of an accounting of any kind recedes. But at least documents like this one create a record that we can look back on, next time governments try to use a disease as an excuse to curtail liberties.

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