By Rob Verkerk PhD, founder, scientific and executive director
Bill Gates said in a recent interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News, “It’s fair to say things won't go back to truly normal until we have a vaccine that we've gotten out basically to the entire world.”
Find related articles, information and videos in our Covid Zone
Similar words are being uttered by the World Health Organization, health authorities and world leaders. Very large numbers appear to subscribe to this view, but we have no sense of the actual numbers who agree or disagree given the propaganda and censorship to which we’re all being exposed.
Vaccines: Holy Grail or wholly risky?
A vaccine sounds plausible as the primary way out of lockdown – but only if it’s assumed it will be both effective and safe. That’s one very big gamble to take if mass vaccination of the world’s population is your only exit strategy.
- Especially when you consider that vaccine makers have never before made a vaccine at scale that works against coronaviruses
- Or that vaccines are being fast-tracked at an unprecedented rate so will have escaped the usual safety and efficacy testing that normally takes at least 6 years
- Or that given the competition for vaccines with multiple candidates and vested interests, there will probably be multiple vaccines unleashed in different parts of the world, with varying safety and efficacy profiles
- Or that those vaccines that make it commercially will likely rely on new platforms capable of delivering at scale, involving genetic engineering, that have never been used before
- Or that the people who are most susceptible are older people whose immune systems have become less effective with age (immunosenescence) or that those with serious underlying diseases typically suffer systemic inflammation (‘inflammaging’) which includes compromised immune function
- Or, even, that previous attempts to develop vaccines for coronaviruses have led to disturbing side effects. Check out Covid Reference v3 (page 93-100) just out yesterday if you want more information on this.
The logic of lockdown
We’re only just beginning to get some sense of the collateral damage being caused by ‘complete lockdowns’, the idea stemming from the primitive approach to the reduction of contagion that was used to protect societies from infectious diseases like the plague during the Middle Ages. It's not all bad though. ‘King Lear’, regarded as one of Shakespeare’s greatest works, was ostensibly penned during lockdown while the plague wreaked havoc.
In pondering the scientific basis of lockdowns, Report 13 (see page 2) by Professor Ian Ferguson’s Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, the group that provided much of the modelling data used to justify lockdowns, is a worthy read. Ferguson’s models suggest that between 7 and 43 million individuals are likely to have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 up to 28th March, this representing between 2% and 11.4% of these countries’ total population.
FIGURE. Staged lockdown procedures mandated by governments in 11 European countries during March 2020 (Source: Report 13, Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team).
Getting your numbers from a model is one thing - but surely we should now be in a position to have reliable numbers from the real world? It’s stunning to us that there is still so much uncertainty around the denominator – the total number who have been infected – both symptomatically and asymptomatically. Equally, we can't even be sure of death rates, given the blurring between people who died of, or with, Covid-19.
In a world where precision medicine is meant to be de rigeur – with billions diverted to help deal with the virus – it is incomprehensible that we still know so little. More than that, the conclusions of Ferguson’s group’s Report 13 (see page 2), need to be assimilated. I paraphrase them as follows: We’re not really sure if the lockdowns are working. We’ve based all our modelling that persuaded most countries to lockdown on data from China which was at a more advanced stage of the epidemic than European countries and the USA. “It is therefore critical” that lockdowns are maintained so we can confirm whether we were right in our advice to lockdown and whether lockdowns actually do contribute to the slowing of transmission.
While work continues frenetically on vaccines, views even among experts are inconsistent. Particularly at odds with each other are the views of vaccine developers, such as those under development at Imperial College and Oxford University, versus those of mucosal immunologists. Professor Robin Shattock at Imperial College who is one of the first out of the blocks with a candidate synthetic vaccine gave the impression, in an interview with BBC Radio 4 earlier today, that the whole development process is relatively straight forward, and that safety risks for those who volunteer for trials that are planned to start in the UK in June would not be a significant issue. Interestingly, he also indicated concern that the infection wave might be largely over quite soon making it more difficult to trial the vaccine in the UK.
By contrast, German mucosal immunologists Bernd Sebastian Kamps, Christian Hoffmann and other colleagues in Germany, state in the third edition (p. 95) of their Covid Reference: “Unfortunately there is some data hinting at the possibility that the development of a safe vaccine against COVID-19 might be unusually difficult.”
Are they expecting us to be their guinea pigs so these scientific factions can work out who’s right?
Lockdown at what cost?
Stripping millions of people of their fundamental rights and civil liberties, destroying economies and livelihoods and censoring free speech is a most unusual way of validating mathematical models created by a university research group.
Should we blindly accept the ‘flatten the curve’ mantra, or, based on uncertain evidence, accept the wearing of face masks so that authorities will have greater reason to force Bill Gates’ ID2020 chips and agenda on us so they’ll know everyone’s identity and vaccination history?
It’s the confusion around these kinds of issues that triggered tea guru Don Mei from Mei Leaf in London to have a socially distanced tea-drinking conversation with me on the ‘logic of lockdown’. Don let the camera roll and while sipping tea, we speculated on this issue late on Monday afternoon.
You can watch our discussion below, or listen to it as a podcast.
Watch the video
your voice counts
23 April 2020 at 10:31 am
Brilliant conversation ! The government must start broadening their outlook. We cannot stay in lockdown , we have got to get on with life. There is always going to be something that is going to kill some of us off ,that is the nature of life ,it is a natural phenomena that reduces the populations.
Vaccination is not the answer, as you said your immune system is amazing.
I remember when the MMR vaccine came out and I refused to have my son vaccinated , there were terrible adverts saying that if you did not get your child vaccinated then the measles could kill or permanently leave your child with defects. An example of praying on people’s fear.
I can remember my mother saying that we were not vaccinated against whooping cough ,and yet my cousins who had been vaccinated had had the disease much worse than us .
It makes me laugh when people say that they have never had the flu because they had the flu jab .how do they know that they would have got it anyway.
We do not accept that dying is a natural part of life ,however hard that is to accept.
This is not to say that I have every sympathy and sadness for those who have lost loved ones ,life is not easy.
I have found myself snacking which I never usually do and eating comfort foods ,but after looking at your video I know I have got to get myself back on track .
Thank you to you both.
Eugenie Verney https://www.eugenieverney.com/
23 April 2020 at 4:11 pm
I was one of those children vaccinated against whooping cough in the late 1950s/early 1960s who went on to get it! I was off school for six weeks and still remember the whole grim experience clearly. In fact, I was probably the sickest I have ever been. The GP was baffled and had no answers for my parents as this was not supposed to happen — I also remember that! Perhaps this is where my ambivalence around vaccines stems from...
Years later, I also ran the gamut of first the MMR hype and then the HPV hype and was on both occasions accused of murdering other people's children because I chose not to vaccinate my own. Neither was a pleasant experience; I anticipate more of the same down the line with Covid, except of course I am now one of those usually dispensible old people we're all suddenly so concerned about!
Rob Verkerk http://www.anhinternational.org
23 April 2020 at 5:32 pm
Eugenie - sounds like your immune system has given you good service - and assuming you've been looking after it which I'm sure is the case, it's likely to deliver the goods again - along with the other 98% of people who've been infected. As we move towards the summer the risks of contagion will likely decline, and you can build your circulating vitamin D and get your immune system primed in the event of another wave. Stay strong, stay fit and healthy. Best, Rob
Rob Verkerk http://www.anhinternational.org
23 April 2020 at 5:37 pm
Many thanks for the kind and thoughtful comments, Margaret. Taking a systems based approach to the problem obviously gives a different view to those who only take a 'flatten the curve at any costs' or 'let's avoid overburdening critical care at any cost' approach. We need to be nimble as we dance around thus virus - and there's nothing nimble about complete lockdown and lack of engagement with public opinion. Great you're going to cut down on the snacking! Best, Rob
23 April 2020 at 10:59 am
his entire Covid episode is quite shocking and what worries us is, how on earth can the "traditional doctors" be convinced that there is "another way..in fact several other ways".
I find it so depressing..a great friend of ours died and feel so helpless cos it could have been avoided.
Keep up your amazing work.
Rob Verkerk http://www.anhinternational.org
23 April 2020 at 5:43 pm
So very sorry to hear you've lost a great friend, Louise. It is so sad. Many doctors (including my own son) are working around the constraints they have under very difficult conditions - and within these limits they're doing their best. Something we can all work to do is to help expend these limits, particularly when we're aware of the work of doctors who're having particularly good success with specific combinations of strategies. The key is to make sure that out of this crisis, we leave something behind that's better than how we came into it. All strength, and thank you for your comment. Best, Rob
23 April 2020 at 12:10 pm
The best; most interesting and most genuinely based on science; discussion I've heard about the current situation and the way people and authorities are responding to it. So much that is being presented to us by our governments and our media does not add up, particularly if you have a respect for helping your natural immunity to do its job. The words of wisdom in this discussion, do add up. I really feel that if every politician who has integrity, were to listen to this, it would help them to feel confidence in moving forward more positively.
Rob Verkerk http://www.anhinternational.org
23 April 2020 at 5:49 pm
Thank you, Jenny. We're keeping tabs on many streams of different kinds information, from medical, scientific, political, media, as well as censored information - as you can see on our Covid curation page, covidzone.org. Governments have access to the same information, obviously all the data that's not in the public domain, but we know they ignore almost everything that relates to options that don't fit with a pharma/vaccine model of therapeutic care. That's the gap we try to fill - plus we use a systems based approach to look at the big picture. We'll keep trying to do this within the bounds of our very limited resources and small team! Best, Rob
23 April 2020 at 1:06 pm
Words cannot fully encapsulate the importance of this crucial conversation. It deserves to be heard by millions not a few!
Rob, as always your broad knowledge, experience, intelligence, personal qualities and hard work is so evident in your Newsletters and this conversation, you combine it with a depth of analysis and deep conscience, traits that are sadly lacking in our Parliaments and elsewhere, despite more Education than ever. It is accurate, and most thoughtful information, and no conspiracy theories involved, and how sad for the world at large that we are not seeing much of what you propose as being used as practical solutions, nor due attention given to people who are straight talkers and qualified to speak with common sense on these pressing issues.
Big Media are to be held responsible as are so many other sections of those in positions of influence/power, for the nonsense that is being fed to the populations, and its sad because we do have the resources and knowledge (a lot of it is from years ago, but ignored for the "conditioned" instant fix, but those facts are cast aside, and the publicity given to the Bill Gates/government solutions of Vaccinations being a cure all, and Vaccination can take years to show their destructive effects and lack of efficacy in the long term, such an easy way out for the moment but... the money being wasted in so many ways, and the seasonal flu is still killing far more human beings, as have other infections/viruses done for many years.
Since WW11 there have been incredible changes in the World and this Virus is a Crucial TEST for mankind, let hope that people are not further dumbed down after this experience and as you expressed Rob, can come together and make this the World what it can and should be! Keeping various Authorities held to full public and truthful account, not like the unintelligent rubbish thrown forth at present, or should I say the usual mediocrity, but just more so in these circumstances.
Do feel free to report an Australian who takes a brisk 1.5 hour walk most days, in an open natural area in Italy, with individual bells/sheep tinkling, wild flowers making a carpet under the trees, natural Almond trees, flowers covering their branches.
I am a testament to self-caring for the Immune system after Drs incorrect Diagnosis and multiple gross errors for 25 years, and those Drs now ask me what I did/do as I have NO chronic illness after self-diagnosing & self-treatment with locally sourced fresh foods and food-based synergised Supplements.
Earth already provides much of what we need for health, and if we could minimise/remove the Big Business $$$ environmental & other man-made triggers of ill health redundant, or into a form that won't harm, then artificial chemical Vaccines are not needed in the way that Bill Gates/politicians see them as the only solution for illness(=$$$). Years later its discovered that these rushed solutions cause more problems than they solve. As this is a virus that attacks wealthy or poor, this Virus is receiving maximum attention, as it invades both rich and poor humans, what of all those people dying of all sorts of infections, viruses because of poor living conditions, water supply and inadequate foods? they suffer horrendous statistics re ill health and deaths, an existence that is cruel, and what the money being wasted now could do for those long held problems?
There are all these Gov't bodies,, and Diagnosis X and so much else and its failing badly. So many Organisations and arms of Government, and medical organisations, Internet and so much else and it fails badly and this is not the first time in our recent History. More money than ever yet
Don, a pleasure to meet a fellow tea lover. You questions were excellent, though I am concerned for your bladder after all those cups of tea.
This conversation should be spread far & wide. This is what people are waiting to hear, not the recycled so called News, and the never-ending photos of test tubes in a Laboratory. Stop the dumbing down of human beings, who do not bow at the Altar of money.
Thank you for having this Conversation. Having absorbed various Italian traits, I found myself waving my hands in agreement and talking with the Laptop. And NO, its not a result of being in "lock down" Its the frustration of thinking and not being supplied with the right information. Today I had the answers, a number of them I had already given to myself,as I gave up on Newspapers 40 years ago and TV news is a waste of precious life. Coming from Rob Verkerk who gives quality researched and thoughtful analysed and new information that I have learnt I can rely/confirm my own research etc., is so refreshing and must be gotten out to larger numbers of people, to enable a quality of life for all.
Rob Verkerk http://www.anhinternational.org
23 April 2020 at 5:58 pm
Wow Deirdre - you put a big smile on my face! So glad you appreciated the information - and thank to Don for deciding he wanted the chat! I would give anything to be beamed into the Italian countryside for the walk you describe! Respiratory viruses flourish indoors, not outdoors. We're going to be keeping a keen eye on the Philadelphia Children's Hospital's environmental tracker (https://policylab.chop.edu/project/forecasting-impacts-weather-and-social-distancing-covid-19-transmission-across-us) to see how temperature and humidity impacts transmission in the US with rising temperatures and changing humidities as the northern hemisphere moves towards summer. This is new for everyone - and data from multiple sources is king. Best, Rob
24 April 2020 at 10:59 am
The Chinese Ambassidor Liu Xiaoming got a bit upset yesterday about how we were blaming the Chinese for covid. May I suggest that you contact him Robert. Suggest that he complains that the UK are ungrateful for all the help China has given including supplying a cure for covid 19 namely high dose vitamin C and intravenous vitamin C. That should make the headlines and also make many peole grateful to the Chinese.
Gary Healy www.theorganicinstitute.ie
26 April 2020 at 2:07 pm
It is puzzling and very worrying that our Government and healthcare Leaders are not even discussing methods to rebuild and promote our immune systems. The reason is obvious, this would not involve drugs or vaccines and it would not help to increase Pharmaceutical profits. Furthermore humanity is being pushed by fear to accept forced mandatory vaccinations as the only solution, this agenda is being greatly promoted by Bill Gates. Indeed there is so much independent scientific evidence showing that coronavirus was made in a laboratory in Wuhan, China, we are living in strange and dark times.
27 April 2020 at 8:12 pm
Thank you, this interview is brilliant - so enlightening. I regret the fact that it will not reach may people because of the fear that the world is now living in, fuelled by governments and the media.and the blocking of sound information from very creditable sources.
I cannot live 'permanently under this authoritarian regime'. As a 71 year old, now considered elderly and vulnerable and having lost my husband only 9 months ago, I'm beginning to find isolation overwhelming as we go into our 6th week of lockdown. I had already experienced this once naturally after my husband's death and here I am again. Enforced isolation after isolation is extremely difficult. This is NOT living and I crave company and physical contact. Having studied nutritional therapy, I do and always have taken responsibility for my own health. I know how isolation affects the immune system. Unfortunately owing to our health care system and the poor dietary advice delivered over many years, people have lost the ability to take care of their health and have signed away responsibility. This has been happening for a long time now.
Mandatory vaccination would not be the way forward for me as I have had family experience of severe reaction to vaccination. I am also fearful of the control aspect of this approach and the benefits as always for Big Pharma and governments. The agenda is extremely concerning.
28 April 2020 at 11:29 am
Hi Rob and the team
Loved the conversation with Don and the sense in which you make this situation so much clearer than any information coming out of the media or government. Also great to see the lovely Don again on screen. My only fear around this pandemic now that time has settled me and partly due to the fact that I live in the remote countryside is the introduction of vaccines and the mandatory aspects associated with it. I can almost see the pharma companies rubbing their hands with glee over this. How do we stop this?
My other concern and one which I have been banging on about since the beginning is the absolute lack of any guidance on how to boost your immune system to keep yourself well - why isn't anyone shouting out about this - censorship - could that be the answer? I find it inconceivable that this information is not forthcoming to help people either from the government or from the NHS itself. It's shocking. There are some great things on You Tube etc but people who are open to this will be the viewers not those who need to have their eyes opened - how on earth do you educate these people?
Thank you so much for all your information - I share it with friends and family members and hope that they hear what you are saying.
Sending big love to you, Mel and Melissa and the rest of the team.
Love Sue x
Your voice counts
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