The New Zealand health system is in crisis, hospitals are full and winter has only just begun. As it happens New Zealand’s schools are half empty, as Covid infections take out teachers and pupils, and special measures are to be put in place to reduce truancy. Overall, the hapless Ardern ministry stumbles on while the leader, having just returned to duty after contracting Covid, goes from photo opportunities on the world stage to opening ski fields. For the most part the ‘news’ media simply follows suit, having accepted the role of cheerleaders for the Pfizer vaccine programme. The biggest broadcaster, the State-owned TVNZ, no longer reports the Covid figures even though the deaths are usually in double figures every day. The reported deaths seem to be higher than the numbers admitted to intensive care units.
Before looking at the Covid figures and the spin put on them, I want to report on some experience with visiting the Wellington emergency department. My elderly mother lives in a retirement village, and recently had a fall, so the village’s nurse called for an ambulance. What then followed was hours of negotiations with the ambulance service to actually get some paramedics to assess her injuries. It took over six hours for them to send a crew, and she was eventually taken to Wellington hospital, which is over 50 kilometres away. My mother was kept in the ED overnight, and I finally managed to find her in the morning in a reasonably comfortable situation. So the only reason why she was still in ED was because of a lack of beds on the wards. After some emergency dental work she spent one more night on the ward, as the staff wanted to move her on and avoid the risk of contracting Covid while there.
So I had visited twice with a mask, and the following day felt a bit unwell, so assumed that I had Covid. As it happens I didn’t, but at the time my sister-in-law did, which meant my brother couldn’t visit. It seems like every workplace has to deal with constant absences from staff contracting Covid, either at work or from their school age children. Anyway, the following two weeks has seen me deal with a plethora of medical professionals who deal with elderly care in the community. This has been somewhat repetitive, but does indicate how many former nurses operate outside the hospital system, and at least that has a preventative effect: as long as the Covid is kept out of care homes the death toll should be low.
Now, when the media do report the death toll from Covid, the only statistic that is added is the age profile. In other words, it is assumed that the deaths are of older citizens, and the only interesting thing to report is if someone in their fifties or younger dies. Of course, last year there were a lot more statistics provided for the tiny number of Covid cases, mainly to highlight the idea that the problem was entirely about the bad people who were unvaccinated. The Ministry of Health never report vaccination status anymore, but, given that elderly people can be assumed to be ‘fully vaccinated’ there should be a question asked of health bureaucrats: why are older New Zealanders expendable? And why were they told that they were going to be ‘protected’ by having a booster; come to that, why was everyone told that Omicron was not going to be as deadly as the earlier strains, when it appears to have been much worse. And why do the number of deaths in hospital care appear to be a catastrophic failure, which was not highlighted until other patients with life threatening conditions have left EDs before getting treatment.
If anyone has read my previous posts they will see that the Ardern government took a gamble with Omicron: the officials told them that this variant would be more contagious, but less deadly, with the vaccinated being protected. Ardern decided to have a permissive framework, with no lockdowns, but a system of discrimination against the unvaccinated enforced by other citizens. This gamble has failed. It has become obvious that Omicron is very contagious, especially when Ardern decided to remove border restrictions when Covid cases were increasing. We then have a deadly paradox: she preferred draconian measures when there were very few Covid cases; then she decided to let it run rampant over summer and autumn, because the vaccination rate was high. The blind faith in the Pfizer vaccine was utterly misplaced, and, besides the fact that it causes serious disease, it has failed to provide immunity which would prevent severe disease. It is only a form of ageism that has prevented societal disruption.
When will the public health officials admit that the vaccination programme has completely failed? The current incumbents won’t have to, because they have already resigned. The Director-General of Health, Ashley Bloomfield, is about to leave his post (as is his 2IC), but is apparently credited with saving hundreds of lives rather than glossing over hundreds of deaths this year. It is not only the selective release of Covid statistics, and the omissions, such as the fact that ‘fully vaccinated’ people are dying. No, the concern should be the narrative that Bloomfield has constructed over time, and its dogmatic basis which is resistant to the obvious evidence of vaccine failure. When his ministry knew that the total death toll was going to clock over 1000 (most of which have come in the last three months), they decided to do a revision of the statistics based on causation. So after adopting the practice of adding anyone to the death toll who died with a Covid infection, though not necessarily from the infection, the numbers would appear to be reduced. Likewise, last week Bloomfield had to announce the results of a report which made clear that his officials had exaggerated the testing capacity for Covid, something the lab technicians were making clear at the time was inaccurate. The ‘test and trace’ system collapsed anyway, despite Ardern and her ministers claiming it could keep up with the more contagious Omicron variant.
Bloomfield was once a cult figure due to his press conferences in the early days of the pandemic, presenting a more mature face to that of the grinning narcissist next to him. But his apparently open approach to information release was eventually replaced by the selective use of statistics to support a dogmatic narrative, one that had an anti-democratic basis. For instance, earlier in the year he tried to announce that there was another case of myocarditis that had resulted in a death of a teenager, who had just been injected with the Comirnaty drug. But he still would not accept causation in a vaccine-induced death, he claimed once again that ‘we’ would never know the true cause of death. So one wonders why he chose to report it all, given his over-riding concern being with the vaccine sceptics using this new information. While on the subject of vaccine safety, it appears that the Medsafe committee has decided not to issue a vaccine ‘safety report’ this month. Perhaps it might be because the uptake of vaccinations has dropped off, and with it the reports of serious side effects. Nonetheless, I notice that the health ministry is advertising in local newspapers for more immunisation amongst schoolchildren. The adverts claim that the vaccination provides lifelong immunity from Covid, despite the fact that 3 injections has provided no such immunity for adults.
Finally, there is the American playbook that Dr Bloomfield has seemed to be beholden to. As a small hint of this, he recently stated that 3 injections of the Pfizer drug should now be seen as the new definition of being ‘fully vaccinated, period’. The term ‘period’ is American English, and in New Zealand the correct term is ‘fullstop’, at least it was in the era when Bloomfield was at primary school. This may seem a trivial point, but you have to wonder who Bloomfield thinks his audience is, or who he is trying to please. He obviously doesn’t watch Fox News though, which is the only network that openly questions the efficacy of Covid vaccines and the role of the bureaucrats pushing them, like Dr Fauci. They have reported that Fauci has actually contracted Covid, as has Bloomfield recently, though presumably these public health experts will never admit that multiple injections with the vaccines did not provide them with any immunity.