Dr Roy Breeds, a Cape Town rheumatologist, wrote to us recently voicing his concerns over group-think within the medical scientific community. When dogma and orthodoxy trump objectivity in science, we are in a very dangerous place indeed:
“I have been closely following PANDA and its outstanding forecasts and publications. Your logic and explanations are spot on and flawless. The South African public should be grateful for the exemplary work that you have done and continue to do.
The sad thing is that this has been necessary because of a total failure of medical science. The universities have also remained silent. I think the covid19 fiasco is unprecedented in two aspects. The first is that the devastation of the lockdowns and extreme, unnecessary and unwarranted over-reaction to coronavirus was caused by medical science. Although politicians have in many instances done their own thing, it was medical science that set the ball rolling and continues to allow the ball to remain in motion.
The second unprecedented thing in the history of modern medicine is that, contrary to the case with all other diseases, when it comes to covid19, academic debate and divergent views are not welcome and are met with contempt and criticism by colleagues. So mainstream medical science does not wish to hear any differences of opinion on covid19.
This is a case where we are all expected to sing from the same hymn sheet. We are like actors in a play all given the same script sheet to read. All of us have to believe in what has almost become a religion or ideology exemplified by the same common features, namely the beliefs that the virus has a high infection fatality rate, we’re all going to die, 100% of us are 100% susceptible, there’s no underlying immunity, only lockdowns can save us, the imperativeness of social distancing, the bizarre idea that we will not be immune after the first infection and that we can catch SARS-CoV-2 multiple times, and the equally misguided notion that herd immunity will not occur and will not protect us, and that only a vaccine can save us (to list but some of the dogma).
The situation in existence around covid19 can be described by the folktale “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. While non-medical persons, i.e. the public in general, may be partially forgiven for taking part in this new religion, medical practitioners and scientists should not be forgiven. Since we are meant to know better. We are meant to open our minds up to multiple scenarios and viewpoints (as we do with all other diseases) and not fall victim to scientific propaganda.”
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