The citizens of the Australian State of Victoria, once (several years running) voted the “most livable city in the world” were dealt a crushing blow by their government on Sunday.
For the first time in recent memory, an Australian government delivered a hugely important announcement on a Sunday. Critics argued that it was another example of political chicanery from the hard-left government, awaiting the eventual turn-out of a ‘Freedom Rally’, which was to be blamed for extended ‘Stage 4’ lock-downs.
The people of Victoria need not have worried about the impact of the proposed rally, which did occur, but with drastically lower numbers than originally anticipated, because the State Labor government dropped a bomb on the Victorian economy on Sunday afternoon.
For those readers who aren’t aware, Victoria has been subject to some of the harshest controls of anywhere in the world, for one of the longest time-frames. The Government recently passed, by a vote of 18-19, to extend the ‘State of Emergency’ beyond the legal limit of 6 months. This provided the government with the opportunity to extend controls, as directed by their ‘Chief Health Officer’.
The controls in place, named ‘Stage 4’, have effectively placed the state of Victoria under martial law. Curfews are in place between 8pm-5am, travel beyond 5Kms from home is forbidden, socialising of any form is forbidden, exercise is allowed for 1hr a day only, business are force-closed and many more, befitting the most draconian of dictatorships.
Readers may wonder, “what disastrous death-toll must the citizens be experiencing to warrant such a response?”. Victoria has recorded approx 500 deaths. These deaths are, according to the Chief Health Officer, ‘in many cases not directly attributable to COVID-19’. Victoria, it is claimed, stands alone globally when measuring extreme disproportionate response to the ‘global pandemic’.
Aside from the expected uproar from citizens, and in particular the business community that has effectively had their livelihoods demolished by the controls, a large swath of well-regarded health professionals and Epidemiologists have begun to publicly rebuke the Premier.
The government’s ‘road map’ out of lockdown is garnering significant criticism. It fails the logic test, or the ‘pub test’ as Australian politicians like to call it at a multitude of levels. The health professionals are starting to rumble. This is particularly heartening for the hundreds of thousands of citizens who can find no reason in the government’s actions, yet are subject to the vitriol of the left-leaning apologists and virtue-signalling set if they dare to question the logic.
The Australian Financial Review reported, Professor Jodie McVernon of the Doherty Institute said the modelling released by the Victorian government was “really quite scanty”. Further, Deakin University epidemiology chairman Catherine Bennett told The Age the government’s plan was “really bizarre”.
She said some of the restrictions and the timeline and targets for when the state would reopen appeared arbitrary, and that the tail of the epidemic was uncertain and unpredictable, making it difficult to say whether the 14-day average would reach targets at each step.
“We’ve had 17,000 cases. That should have allowed the state government to make more evidence-based decisions about what restrictions should look like,” Professor Bennett said.
Of additional concern to Victorian’s, and the fellow Australians, is the seeming ‘flexibility’ the government has applied to both ‘normalisation strategy’ and mortality reporting. In what can only be described as a deliberate attempt to mislead the public in order to bolster the case for additional controls, the Chief Health Officer reported that of 59 deaths recorded as being attributed to COVID, 50 of these had been ‘pulled forward’ from deaths occurring in July and August. Yes, you read that correctly, and if you’re unsure, you can read a little more here. You couldn’t make this story up, yet the Premier and CHO Sutton deliver their daily press-conferences with a straight-face.
The Victorian Premier, and CHO Sutton have consistently relied on the arms-length reasoning for the harsh measures as ‘directed by the data’, although when pressed, CHO Sutton advised that the most recent Stage 4 lockdowns were indeed as measure of much ‘guesswork’. This is hardly calming news to the tens-of-thousands of business owners who are being devastated as a result of the current policy.
The thresholds for continuing the ‘staged roll-back’ of restrictions is even more concerning given the proven unreliability of the test-kits that the Victorian government uses to establish case-loads.
According to Melbourne based law and advocacy firm, AdvocateMe outlined in their Open Letter to the Prime Minister and State Premiers, “More generally, irrespective of the issues of specificity, the RT-PCR tests have been shown to produce at least 30% false positives and 20% false negatives according to a recent randomised clinical trial.”
Further, they claim, “It appears that many of the COVID-19 numbers of infected people being reported nationally, and particularly in Victoria are suspect cases, rather than probable or confirmed cases.”
This concern is becoming increasingly widespread, with a study carried out by experts from the University of Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine and the University of the West of England showing that “there was a risk of “false positives” because of how Covid-19 testing is being conducted..”
The research found that the tests can amplify coronavirus genetic material that is not a viable virus and no longer capable of causing an infection.
As the uncertainty and economic carnage continues in Victoria, a rapidly growing cohort of health professionals have begun to speak out about the dangers of continuing the current lock-down strategy. A letter gaining significant notoriety can be found here.
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