Make your case

I am not a doctor, an infectious disease specialist, etc. But in a democracy all citizens should think about wise public policy and learn from differing views.

Make your case
Capital Thinking | Make your case

Capital Thinking  •  Issue #693  •  View online

Belgian Doctors' open letter on covid-19

John H. Cochrane | The GrumpyEconomist:

The headline

We ask for an open debate, where all experts are represented without any form of censorship. After the initial panic surrounding covid-19, the objective facts now show a completely different picture – there is no medical justification for any emergency policy anymore.
The current crisis management has become totally disproportionate and causes more damage than it does any good.
We call for an end to all measures and ask for an immediate restoration of our normal democratic governance and legal structures and of all our civil liberties.

A history

The WHO originally predicted a pandemic that would claim 3.4% victims, in other words millions of deaths, and a highly contagious virus for which no treatment or vaccine was available....This led to a global alarm situation, never seen in the history of mankind:...a lockdown that shut down the entire society and economy and quarantined healthy people...

Being doctors, they don't mention the steepest fall in economic activity since.... well, I can't think of a steeper one.

Gradually, the alarm bell was sounded from many sources: the objective facts showed a completely different reality. ... The course of covid-19 followed the course of a normal wave of infection similar to a flu season.
The use of the non-specific PCR test, which produces many false positives, showed an exponential picture...

Our immune system...

I've cut this part short for blog review, but to the nonspecialist it is the most interesting. Short version: The doctors claim that many people who test positive are in fact not sick, and not in danger of getting sick. Nor, most importantly, are they infectious for anybody else. It is perfectly normal for us to have bits and pieces of viruses all over us.

It appears that most people already have a congenital or general immunity to e.g. influenza and other viruses. This is confirmed by the findings on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, which was quarantined because of a few passengers who died of Covid-19. Most of the passengers were elderly and were in an ideal situation of transmission on the ship. However, 75% did not appear to be infected. So even in this high-risk group, the majority are resistant to the virus.
A study in the journal Cell shows that most people neutralise the coronavirus by mucosal (IgA) and cellular immunity (T-cells), while experiencing few or no symptoms...Most people who test positive (PCR) have no complaints. Their immune system is strong enough....

On the catastrophic over-estimate of death rate. (Which to be fair nobody knew -- there are lots of diseases with much larger death rates. A failure to adapt to new knowledge is, however, a valid criticism.)

Mortality turned out to be many times lower than expected and close to that of a normal seasonal flu (0.2%).
The number of registered corona deaths therefore still seems to be overestimated.
There is a difference between death by corona and death with corona. ..


Spreading occurs by drip infection (only for patients who cough or sneeze) and aerosols in closed, unventilated rooms. Contamination is therefore not possible in the open air. Contact tracing and epidemiological studies show that healthy people (or positively tested asymptomatic carriers) are virtually unable to transmit the virus. Healthy people therefore do not put each other at risk.
Transfer via objects (e.g. money, shopping or shopping trolleys) has not been scientifically proven.

These are bombshells. "not possible" seems like a stretch -- if you're 3 inches apart in the open air, you can catch covid. I presume they meant "not likely at sufficient distance in open air." I also think "healthy" means asymptomatic.

According to the good doctors, the widespread fear of transmission by asymptomatic people is false, and the massive wiping down effort wasted.


...Oral masks in healthy individuals are ineffective against the spread of viral infections.
Wearing a mask is not without side effects. Oxygen deficiency (headache, nausea, fatigue, loss of concentration) occurs fairly quickly, an effect similar to altitude sickness. .... In addition, the accumulated CO2 leads to a toxic acidification of the organism which affects our immunity. Some experts even warn of an increased transmission of the virus in case of inappropriate use of the mask....
Hospitals have a sterile environment in their operating rooms where staff wear masks and there is precise regulation of humidity / temperature with appropriately monitored oxygen flow to compensate for this, thus meeting strict safety standards. ...
All this seriously calls into question the whole policy of social distancing and compulsory mouth masks for healthy people – there is no scientific basis for this.

(As some commenters point out, an essay is as strong as its weakest point, and dangers of mask wearing seem pretty weak. Construction workers wear N95 masks all day.)

Most of all, ...

Keep Reading =>

Belgian Doctors’ open letter on covid-19


With multiple Stanford letters circulating denouncing our heretic Scott Atlas, let me emphasize that I post this only as an interesting view that I think worthy of discussion.

I am not a doctor, an infectious disease specialist, etc. But in a democracy all citizens should think about wise public policy and learn from differing views.

We do need a more robust debate. It is sad how this disease has so quickly gotten partisan: masks, lockdowns, and test are D. Vaccines and herd immunity R.

Start fighting.

*Featured post photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash