600 Belgian doctors say NO to lockdown

There is no medical justification for any emergency policy – an open letter.

We, Belgian doctors and health professionals, wish to express our serious concern about the evolution of the situation in the recent months surrounding the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. 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. The collateral damage now being caused to the population will have a greater impact in the short and long term on all sections of the population than the number of people now being safeguarded from corona. In our opinion, the current corona measures and the strict penalties for non-compliance with them are contrary to the values formulated by the Belgian Supreme Health Council.

We believe that the policy has introduced mandatory measures that are not sufficiently scientifically based. Moreover, the strict repressive policy on corona strongly contrasts with the government’s minimal policy when it comes to disease prevention, strengthening our own immune system through a healthy lifestyle, optimal care with attention for the individual, and investment in care personnel.

The concept of health

According to the World Health Organization, ‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or other physical impairment’. The current global measures taken to combat SARS-CoV-2 violate to a large extent this view of health and human rights. Measures include compulsory wearing of a mask, physical distancing, social isolation, compulsory quarantine for some groups and hygiene measures.

The predicted pandemic with millions of deaths

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. 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. There is nothing different from what we normally see.

The PCR Test

This test was rushed through with an emergency procedure and was never seriously self-tested. The creator expressly warned that this test was intended for research and not for diagnostics. The test does not measure how many viruses are present in the sample. A real viral infection means a massive presence of viruses, the so-called virus load. If someone tests positive with the PCR test, this does not mean that that person is actually clinically infected, is ill or is going to become ill. Since a positive PCR test does not indicate active infection or infectivity, this does not justify the social measures taken, which are based solely on these tests.

Lockdown

There is no link between the imposed lockdown and the course of the infection. Lockdown has not led to a lower mortality rate. Lockdowns were set after the peak was already over and the number of cases decreasing. The drop was therefore not the result of the taken measures.

Our immune system

For thousands of years, the human body has been exposed daily to infectious microorganisms. The penetration of these microorganisms is prevented by an advanced defence mechanism – the immune system. A strong immune system relies on normal daily exposure to these microbial influences. Overly hygienic measures have a detrimental effect on our immunity.

Strengthening natural immunity is a much more logical approach. Prevention is an important, insufficiently highlighted pillar: healthy, full-fledged nutrition, exercise in fresh air, without a mask, stress reduction and nourishing emotional and social contacts.

Consequences of social isolation on physical and mental health

Social isolation and economic damage led to an increase in depression, anxiety, suicides, intra-family violence and child abuse. Studies have shown that the more social and emotional commitments people have, the more resistant they are to disease. It is much more likely that isolation and quarantine have fatal consequences. Fear, persistent stress and loneliness induced by social distancing have a proven negative influence on psychological and general health.

A highly contagious virus with millions of deaths without any treatment?

Mortality turned out to be many times lower than expected and close to that of a normal seasonal flu. There is a difference between death by corona and death with corona. Taking into account the fact that most people who developed serious symptoms suffered from additional pathology, one cannot simply conclude that the corona-infection was the cause of death. The vast majority of infected persons (>98%) did not or hardly became ill or recovered spontaneously. There is an affordable, safe and efficient therapy available for those who do show severe symptoms of disease in the form of HCQ (hydroxychloroquine), zinc and azithromycin. Rapidly applied this therapy leads to recovery and often prevents hospitalisation. It is therefore not a killer virus, but a well-treatable condition. The objective facts show that there is no state of emergency.

Masks

Oral masks in healthy individuals are ineffective against the spread of viral infections. Wearing a mask is not without side effects. Some experts even warn of an increased transmission of the virus in case of inappropriate use of the mask.

The role of the media

The official story that a lockdown was necessary, that this was the only possible solution, and that everyone stood behind this lockdown, made it difficult for people with a different view, including experts, to express a different opinion. Alternative opinions were ignored or ridiculed. We have not seen open debates in the media, where different views could be expressed. This has led to a public communication in our news media that was more like propaganda than objective reporting.

The relentless bombardment with figures, that were unleashed on the population day after day, without interpreting those figures, without comparing them to flu deaths in other years, without comparing them to deaths from other causes, has induced a real psychosis of fear in the population. This is not information, this is manipulation.

Emergency law versus Human Rights

The general principle of good governance calls for the proportionality of government decisions to be weighed up in the light of the Higher Legal Standards. In other words, discretionary decisions must be proportionate to an absolute necessity.

The measures currently taken concern interference in the exercise of, among other things, the right to respect of private and family life, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association, the right to education, etc., and must therefore comply with fundamental rights as protected by the European Convention on Human Rights.

Immense damage caused by the current policies If we take this collateral damage into account, the current policy is out of all proportion.

We find it shocking that the government is invoking health as a reason for the emergency law. As doctors and health professionals, in the face of a virus which, in terms of its harmfulness, mortality and transmissibility, approaches the seasonal influenza, we can only reject these extremely disproportionate measures.

  • We therefore demand an immediate end to all measures.
  • We are questioning the legitimacy of the current advisory experts, who meet behind closed doors.
  • We call for an in-depth examination of the role of the WHO and the possible influence of conflicts of interest in this organisation.

Since September 5, 2020, more than 600 medical doctors and 2,000 medically trained health professionals have signed this open letter which has been delivered to Belgian authorities. The complete letter with references can be found at: www.docs4opendebate.be

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