Press Release - Open Letter to PM Scott Morrison, Subject: COVID-19 Measures

14th September 2020
The Hon Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister
Parliament House
Dear Mr Morrison
RE: COVID-19 Measures in Australia
The Informed Medical Options Party represents thousands of Australians who are concerned about the intense measures taken to control SARS–CoV–2 and it is for this reason that we are demanding important information to be made public.
For example, we request the following information as a matter of urgency:
1. Modelling
Why did the government not seek the views of economists and social scientists as to the health impacts of restrictions before implementing an elimination strategy? 
The original modelling was designed to illustrate the reduction in the initial burden on ICU units according to the number and types of a few mitigation measures (quarantine, isolation and distancing). It was not designed to illustrate how to eradicate the virus [1]. So why should Victoria be in lockdown again?
2. Health Implications
What is the current suicide rate? We need to determine if there is or will be an increase in domestic violence, mental health disorders and suicide associated with lock-down, unemployment and business failures. It is important to compare incidence of increased morbidity with alleged SARS–CoV–2 related morbidity as all lives matter, especially the young generation who would otherwise have their whole life ahead of them [2], [3] & [4]. 
Furthermore it is important to recognise that economic destruction will impact on health and wellbeing for decades, as determined by Ass Professor Jo-An Atkinson of Sydney University [5]. Has the current and future health and wellbeing of the many been sacrificed in an extravagant and vain effort to protect the few vulnerable and terminally ill? 
3. Statistics
The ABS recommends that COVID-19 be reported as the primary cause of death, even if “assumed” despite any significant co-morbidities [6].  So we demand a report that will answer the following:
  • Were the deceased deemed cases of COVID-19 necessarily tested for SARS–CoV–2?
  • How many deaths didn’t have co-morbidities?
  • How many deaths did have co-morbidities?
  • How many decedents with SARS-CoV-2 infection, had respiratory failure reasonably attributable to COVID-19?
  • On what basis were historic deaths, previously not counted as COVID-19 cases, recently added to the death tally? What are the said “updated federal government requirements”? [7].
4. Coerced Flu Vaccine
We demand to know whether the government investigated the evidence prior to purchasing and promoting influenza vaccination that influenza vaccination was warranted [8].  There is no substantive evidence that mandatory influenza vaccination of visitors and staff of nursing homes reduces the likelihood of severe respiratory infection. Despite this, residents were encouraged to be vaccinated and staff and visitors compelled to be vaccinated as a condition of entry. And this in an environment, where according to Dr Kerry Chant: "At the moment we have very low rates of influenza circulating, so if you have respiratory symptoms of cough, fever, sore throat, runny nose, headache, aches and pains it is most likely that you have COVID-19, not flu," [9].
Furthermore is it possible that influenza vaccination enhances coronavirus infection? [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16] & [17].
5. COVID-19 Cases
We condemn the misuse of the word “case”. The media regularly take the specialist jargon use of “case” (an instance of SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection in a human), to imply that a “case” is necessarily someone ill or suffering COVID -19 [18].  We support modest measures to flatten the curve i.e. the rate of ICU demand (rate of new, severe, COVID-19 cases). We reject draconian measures to squash it.
If the same attention to “case” finding and virus ID as is given to possible SARS-CoV-2 infections or contacts was made in respect of influenza virus infections (or other common respiratory viruses),  then “cases” would be more numerous than past records indicate. Like SARS-CoV-2, influenza virus often infects without causing symptoms or only mild symptoms unlikely to present to a doctor let alone be clinically suspected, recorded, or diagnosed with a PCR test. 
The virus is not the illness. i.e. SARS-CoV-2 PCR positivity is not equivalent to COVID-19. [19], [20] & [21].
6. Masks
Given the widespread use of masks in China and Taiwan at the beginning of the pandemic, why did the Australian government not requisition all stocks of PPE upon the onset of SARS-CoV-2 infection for the vulnerable? Why were nursing homes left without adequate PPE and training?Why was the protective use of masks or face coverings by the public, initially, discouraged despite the work and opinion of Professor Raina Macintyre indicating their likely worth [22]?
Was the Australian government unprepared for this pandemic even though there have been expert warnings over more than 30 years, and the SARS and MERS coronavirus outbreaks?
7. Procurment of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine
The prime minister has announced an intention to purchase 80 million doses of vaccines [23].
How effective are the vaccines expected to be?  Is this in an expectation of a three shot schedule? Such vaccines cannot but be poorly tested for safety.
In the absence of randomized placebo-controlled studies comparing long-term health outcomes of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, it cannot be known whether a vaccine is safe or cost effective.
Vaccine advocates often assert that such studies would be unethical because the unvaccinated group would be without protection, but that begs the question. What is unethical is vaccinating entire populations in a massive uncontrolled experiment. And one that includes a large population portion that is not in need of protection – who can only be harmed by vaccination.  That experiment, is especially unethical if performed with coercion and without informed consent.
8. Reduction of vulnerability to severe infection outcomes.
Given that the most vulnerable are those suffering comorbidities - many secondary to poor lifestyle and environment, does the government now (at last) intend to spend billions promoting healthier environments and life styles?
We at IMOP, and many other Australians, ask you to answer the forgoing questions as a matter of priority.
Informed Medical Options Party
[1]     Modelling the impact of COVID-19 in Australia to inform transmission reducing measures and health system preparedness
[2]     COVID-19 suicide data won’t be known until late 2021
[3]     Insight: Suicide deaths forecast for 13.7% increase
[6]     Australian Bureau of Statistics - Guidance for Certifying Deaths due to COVID-19
[8]     Australian Dept of Health - Restrictions on entry into andvisitors to aged care facilities
[10]   Increased Risk of Noninfluenza Respiratory Virus Infections Associated with Receipt of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine
[11]   Influenza vaccination and respiratory virus interference among Department of Defense personnel during the 2017-2018 influenza season.
[12]   Assessment of temporally-related acute respiratory illness following influenza vaccination
[13]   Increased Risk of Non-influenza Respiratory Virus Infections Associated with Receipt of Inactivated Influenza Vaccine
[14]   Annual Vaccination against Influenza Virus Hampers Development of Virus-Specific CD8+ T Cell Immunity in Children
[15]   Yearly influenza vaccinations: a double-edged sword?
[16]   Breadth of concomitant immune responses prior to patient recovery: a case report of non-severe COVID-19
[17]   Repeated annual influenza vaccination and vaccine effectiveness: review of evidence
[18]   Covid-19: the problems with case counting
[19]   Asymptomatic Summertime Shedding of Respiratory Viruses
[20]   Viral Shedding and Transmission Potential of Asymptomatic and Paucisymptomatic Influenza Virus Infections in the Community
[21]   The fraction of influenza virus infections that are asymptomatic: a systematic review and meta-analysis
[22]   Respiratory protection for healthcare workers treating Ebola virus disease (EVD): Are facemasks sufficient to meet occupational health and safety obligations?



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