Covid-19 Science

The science behind the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic

The ‘Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness & Response’ report on the covid-19 pandemic has taken away all hope

By Juergen Ude : 17th May 2021

After reading the full report I conclude that there is no hope in ever returning to a normal life if the recommendations are followed.

As this is an emotionally charged opinion piece the reader is strongly advised to form their own opinion by reading the material provided by the Independent Panel.

The reports by the panel can be obtained here.

One disappointment is not with the report but the selection of the panel members.

This is not meant to discredit one single member who have all made big contributions in their area. The point being made is that the WHO appears to have selected the members based on political motives, not on proven merit for the task.

What we needed was real world experts, whose expertise was not proven by countless academic papers, but decades of experience dealing with pandemics and epidemics in the world. Having implemented Health Systems or spoken out on matters of Health does not qualify the panel members. The issues are far more complicated than the panel members, other than Professor Zhong Nanshan, can comprehend.

The best the panel could do is listen to its academic experts and feedback from various sources.

Resumes for each member can be seen here.

The main disappointment is that the report was based on the assumption that the science was correct. Every aspect of the science was flawed. This immediately invalidates everything.

The whole pandemic was characterized by incompetence, unreliable data, unscientific conclusions, and models which were proven to be wrong over and over. Case reporting is unscientific and exaggerates the magnitude of waves whilst seemingly contradictory underestimating the true case numbers. Reported deaths were farcical in being died with Covid and not from Covid. Testing was highly dubious. Currently in India many cases are not based on PCR testing which is also dubious but merely the presence of a flu symptom. Little wonder there was overwhelming of hospitals due to panic and then excess deaths due to the inability to treat patients with real conditions.

Yet the panel assumed everything was true. It assumed the virus destroyed lives, the economy etc. Not once did it consider that maybe, just maybe, it was our incompetence and blind faith in a science that cannot be a science is what caused the damage. Indeed there is no hard science. Every aspect of pandemics is soft science. Soft science is today treated at the same level as hard science. That is wrong. Applying the scientific process does not make us wiser with soft science. Conclusions can never be relied on because there are too many changing factors involved. .

We tried making the panel aware of the dangers of accepting the numbers as fact but as has become the trend, real experts who do not agree with mainstream thinking, even though they are highly qualified experts with decades of proven experience are censored. We tested the attitude and made submissions that showed that the data cannot be trusted. None were published on the panel’s website.

The Independent panel’s recommendation if implemented will make the future bleak.

The panel was driven by only one objective - to stop pandemics. What was expected was a balanced objective where we live side by side with death like we always have. We minimize death but do not destroy lives to the point where living is not worth it. What wild animal if it could choose would choose captivity to extend life expectancy over freedom where there is a risk of dying every day? If the panel's recommendations are adopted we no longer have what can be considered a life. Life without freedom is not a life. Scientists now have technology to identify new viruses and we will live in fear of lockdowns each time a scientist overzealously concludes a new deadly virus, even though that virus has probably always existed in one form or another. Just because we find a new virus does not mean it never existed before. We were just lucky to find it now.

The recommendations have not been thought out and are not that easy to implement. What has been overlooked, is the human side. People do not always report accurately, people are biased, people are not that comptetent, people are driven by self-interest. To blindly have accepted all the data and feedback, which we ourselves reviewed over one year, in my opinion shows incompetency in the field of data analyis, as would be expected by people who do not have the appropriate expertise. The panel simply did not have the background to recognize the unreliability of the information. This was very evident when it concluded Vietnam’s and North Koreas aggressive attitude worked. Vietnam did not do so much. The panel simply accepted early reports it seems, where experts were all jumping to conclusions. One reason for low cases in Vietnam was simply the fact that testing numbers were low. Laos and Cambodia also had low case numbers and low test numbers.

The data is unreliable, and the pandemic is not what it has been painted out as. The virus does not kill young and old equally as the propaganda has told us. But that is an opinion.

Let me now remind of what the WHO said in 2018 about future pandemics

“But we can say, with a high degree of certainty, that when it comes, there will be (a) an initial delay in recognising it; (b) a serious impact on travel and trade; (c) a public reaction that includes anxiety, or even panic and confusion, and (d) this will be aided and abetted by media coverage.”

“In addition, the fear generated by the emergence of a previously-unknown infection may be greatly out of proportion to its real public health impact. Fear often generates inadequate decisions or inappropriate behaviours, including stigma of certain at-risk populations. The impact on travel and trade and on economies can be disproportionate, as it has been seen in the Republic of Korea during the MERS epidemic. To a certain extent, global health security also encompasses economic and human security.”

“We have also seen that many traditional containment measures are no longer efficient. They should therefore be re-examined in the light of people’s expectations of more freedom, including freedom of movement. Measures such as quarantine, for example, once regarded as a matter of fact, would be unacceptable to many populations today.”

“A proliferation of web-based “experts” with diverse and often contradictory views can generate confusion, anxiety and even panic in times of serious infectious outbreaks. False or misleading information is dangerous”

“Thus, we are recognizing that the complexity of 21st century epidemics and their prevention and control require not just new technologies techniques, but new skills and new attitudes all across the public health community.”

The recommendations did not consider one aspect of the WHO's statement. It did not re-examine traditional containment measures as recommended by the WHO. Shame on the panel. The recommendations do not even cover new technologies, skills and new attitudes. Instead we have taken a step backwards at the expense of the basic right of human liberty to chose our risks.

The recommendations will take far longer to implement than the panels thinks! Setting up councils, giving more power to the WHO, using inspectors with overriding powers will not work. Many will never be fully adopted. They are too complicated. Most will have no effect of stopping pandemics.

No doubt the panel members will disagree, but based on the recommendations made it does not seem that the panel members have any understanding of the practicalities surrounding their recommendations.

No attempt has been made to explain how each recommendation will contribute to no more pandemics.

There is also the danger of overreacting. How can we be sure that a virus is as deadly as an expert says? Are we now to close borders every time a new virus is identified that an overzealous scientist assumes to be globally deadly??

Life is not so simple and nature has balancing acts.

There are better ways of managing pandemics using real world science, not academic science.

As already mentioned the above is an opinion only. The competency of the panel in their areas is not in dispute. The competency for the task given by the WHO is disputed.

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Dr Juergen Ude has a certificate in applied chemistry, a degree in applied science majoring in statistics and operations research as top student, a masters in economics with high distinctions in every subject, and a PhD in computer modelling and algorithms. He has lectured at Monash University on subjects of data analysis, computer modelling, and quality & reliability.

Prior to founding his own company (Qtech International Pty Ltd), Dr Ude worked as a statistician and operations researcher for 18 years in management roles having saved employers millions of dollars through his AI and ML algorithms. Through Qtech International, Dr Ude has developed data analysis solutions in over 40 countries for leading corporations such as Alcoa, Black and Decker, Coca-Cola Amatil, US Vision and many more. Additionally he has developed campaign analysis software for politicians.