When the dust settles in the years to come, much will be written about the COVID-19 pandemic and how the world came to terms with it.
This is particularly true of Australia where some of the most extraordinary and extreme public policy decisions have been made during the course of 2020 and 2021, some of which will have long-term detrimental generational impacts – especially as it relates to economic policy.
Millions of Australians have been shocked by the totalitarian decisions of the governments of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria in particular which, without exaggeration, have deployed policies and tactics that are literally similar to the fascist and communist regimes which existed in 20th Century history.
The people of Australia were repeatedly told that:
- mask and vaccine mandates;
- house arrest under the guise of ‘self-isolation’ or ‘home quarantine’;
- state border closures;
- the suspension of civil and political rights;
- the inability to earn an income;
- deployment of the Australian Army; and
- police brutality (including the use of counter-terrorism resources)
were necessary and justified given the risks posed by COVID-19 – especially the “delta variant”.
To a large degree, a significant proportion of Australian citizens accepted and acquiesced to these policies given that they accepted the risk profile to public health as promoted by:
- mainstream scientists (especially epidemiologists and infectious disease experts);
- senior health bureaucrats (especially Chief Medical and Health Officers);
- political leaders;
- leading media and celebrity personalities; and
- relevant associated interest groups (such as business groups and trade union associations).
However, this assessment regarding the lethality of COVID-19 was not universal within the international scientific and medical community.
Indeed, as noted in the article, “Australia has been economically destroyed in 4 weeks”, which was published in April 2020:
- modelling controversies;
- questions regarding the accuracy of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing; and
- observable data with respect to asymptomatic cases
suggested that the public health risk and potential lethality posed by COVID-19 was far lower than promoted by mainstream established political, scientific and medical authorities.
As the world has moved into the second-half of 2021, significant scientific and medical discoveries and insights with respect to COVID-19 have been uncovered which raise new questions as to the virus’ nature and how it should be managed.
These discoveries and insights raise new questions as to whether Australia’s management of COVID‑19 to date was justified and whether the current policy road map moving forward is appropriate.
As Australia (in particular NSW) moves forward to opening up its economy and society, it may well come to light that key scientific and medical assumptions which were at the centre of Australia’s policy approach were misguided and erroneous and thus the public policy response was dramatically both inappropriate and disproportionate.
If this is the case, the conclusion will be that the economic, social and psychological costs endured by the Australian people, in particular the people of NSW and Victoria, constitute an unparalleled unmitigated disaster on a scale not seen in Australian public administration since the catastrophic Gallipoli military campaign of 1915.
Importance of Virus Origination and Infection Model
To determine whether the management of the COVID-19 pandemic has been appropriate and proportionate, important linkages between the origin of COVID-19 and how it infects human populations need to be determined.
This is critical to understand given that such linkages lead to important assumptions being made that form the basis of a wide sweep of public policy responses.
Australian scientists such as molecular immunologist Ted Steele and his international group of research scientists, who have written extensively about the COVID-19 pandemic, believe that a comprehensive understanding of the infection model (i.e., how a virus infects and spreads throughout a human or animal population) is critical to determining the appropriate public health policy response.
In a recent public video, Steele stated that any scientific hypothesis relating to COVID-19 must be able to both:
- comprehensively explain observed infection patterns; and
- accurately predict how COVID-19 is likely to behave in the future.
Moreover, Steele believes that a scientific understanding of the infection model of a virus cannot be divorced from the virus’ origins, given that the virus origin will provide important clues as to its molecular and genetic composition and how it behaves in general as well as in specific environments.