Dan O'Heirity

The Seriousness of the Covid-19 “Pandemic” Has Been Massively Exaggerated

Yesterday I reported on what can only be described as the excessive use of force by police in the state of Victoria, Melbourne. Indeed, it would be fair I think to refer to police brutality with respect to a number of arrests that have been made. The levels of policing in Victoria, which will likely increase under a new Bill to be passed in Parliament next week, are being justified in terms of ensuring that people are conforming to the Covid-19 lockdown measures. This is a complete nonsense. I have written on many occasions that Covid-19 may, by definition be a pandemic, but the severity of the pandemic is being massively over-stated and the reactions of countries around the world to Covid-19 are completely out of proportion to what is actually happening.

For example, Victoria’s lockdown measures, which have been eased very slightly, mean that we can leave our homes for two hours of exercise and for necessary journeys such as shopping. We are in curfew from 9 PM at night until 5 AM in the morning. Where is the evidence that locking us in our homes will help to stop the spread of the virus? Take a look at this video from Sky News in which Sanjeev Sabhlok, an economist in the Victorian Department of Finance and Treasury, has resigned his position so that he is able to speak freely about Covid-19.

Sabhlok makes a number of points in his statement including saying that Australia is signalling to the world that it is closed for business and does not care about human freedoms. Another key point made by Sabhlok is that the government is using scare tactics in managing the pandemic. For example, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton, claims that this is the biggest health challenge since the 1918 Spanish Flu. This is a complete nonsense. The Spanish Flu killed 50 million people worldwide when the world population was 1.8 billion people. Proportionately, Covid-19 would have to kill 210 million people worldwide to be as severe as the Spanish Flu. So far Covid-19 has killed 0.9 million people. The other key point in this video is that Sabhlok says that the virus strategy is completely wrong. The strategy should have protected the most vulnerable members of society, something that has not happened. Finally, there is an argument that the general population should have been left to act responsibly on the basis of information provided to them.

The Current Spread of Covid-19 in Victoria is a Result of Government Mismanagement of Quarantine Measures

The reason that there has been a “second wave” of Covid-19 cases in Victoria, and particularly in metropolitan Melbourne, is that the government mishandled the quarantine process for Australian’s returning from overseas. Essentially, as reported by 60 Minutes the government hired private contractors to do the work and the contractors then subcontracted the hiring of the guards to other companies. Ultimately the entire management of the quarantining process seems to have been fatally flawed. For example, the guards who were hired to do the work did not have the appropriate training. The result was that the guards contracted the virus and then spread of the virus across the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne and from there the virus spread even further and here we are in severe and brutal lockdown.

Before I move on to the responsibility that the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has for this mess, I want to note how the media is responsible for creating a culture of fear around Covid-19. The opening paragraph of the 60 minutes story states that, “Melbourne’s quarantine hotels were identified as a key source behind the virus’s terrifying escalation throughout the state“. There is nothing terrifying about this virus. It’s bad enough that the mismanagement of the quarantine process in Melbourne has led to the state of Victoria being locked down for months. It is even worse that responsibility for this debacle rests with Victoria’s premier Daniel Andrews who has shown no signs of taking responsibility for what has actually happened.

In this context, consider the fact as reported by Sky News in this video, 99% of all cases in the “second wave” of Covid-19 in Victoria can be traced back to hotel quarantine cases. This need never have happened because Daniel Andrews was offered Australian Defence Force (ADF) assistance to manage the quarantine process. However, this assistance was turned down and, as mentioned earlier, a private security firm was used instead.

According to this report, Daniel Andrew’s “private office” made the decision to employ a security contractor. However, it seems incomprehensible that the decision was made without Daniel Andrew’s knowledge. Daniel Lewkovtiz, a security expert and CEO of “Calamity Security” makes an interesting point in the video. Prior to the current debacle, the Victorian government had indicated that there was going to be a review of the private security industry in Victoria because of concerns about the sector. In other words, the decision to employ private security was made even though the government knew that were problems in the sector.

Lewkovtiz makes another interesting point saying that the problem was not the use of private security per se because New South Wales used private security firms to manage quarantines without any problems. New South Wales was able to do this because the police and the ADF were also involved in the quarantine processes. The issue in Victoria was that neither the police nor the ADF were involved. Furthermore, the hotel quarantine contract being awarded to a private company without any tender process meant that no one had any idea whether the firm they did employ was the best firm for the job. As mentioned earlier this company then subcontracted the work to other firms to employ the number of security personnel required. Next, the security guards were not properly trained and the actual process of managing the quarantine hotels was mismanaged. The rest, as they say, is history.

First Published September 19th, 2020

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