Science summit warns of escalating pandemic disaster

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On Wednesday and Thursday, the World Health Network (WHN) hosted its second “World Summit to End Pandemics,” which brought together more than 20 leading scientists who advocated for the global elimination of COVID-19. The summit provided further rationale for the arguments for global elimination presented during the October 24 webinar, “How to End the Pandemic,” which was hosted by the World Socialist Website and the International Alliance of Workers of Grassroots Committees (IWA-RFC).

The WHN summit featured 22 different sessions spanning approximately 25 hours and covering the most essential scientific aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Michael Baker from the University of Otago in New Zealand and Dr Malgorzata Gasperowicz from the University of Calgary in Canada each made presentations similar to those presented during the WSWS webinar, outlining the steps needed to stop the disease. pandemic.

Dr Baker, who has successfully advised the New Zealand government on how to eliminate COVID-19 early in the pandemic, has made it clear that the recent change in government policy has met with objection from scientists, including himself. He said: “At one point the [New Zealand] the government decided that we basically had to reach out to the rest of the world and therefore moved to what we call a “hard suppression” approach. Many New Zealand scientists opposed the change, but the government felt for various reasons it had no choice.

Other scientists have provided comprehensive reports on airborne transmission, the importance of using high-quality face masks, inequalities in global vaccine distribution, the effects of Long COVID, the development of new variants of SARS- CoV-2 and other topics. There have also been reports of the pandemic experience in specific countries and regions of the world, including Norway, Sweden, Germany, Brazil, Canada, United States, Taiwan, Qatar. , Australia and other countries.

The summit took place at a critical juncture. Global daily new cases of COVID-19 are on the rise again, with nearly one million people officially infected during the two-day summit.

Izhaar Hussain Shaikh, left, an ambulance driver who works for HelpNow, and others pick up a COVID-19 patient from his home in Mumbai, India on May 28, 2020 [Credit: AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool]

Last week, the official death toll from COVID-19 surpassed five million, while excess death estimates put the actual figure at around 17 million. On Friday, a study was published in the BMJ who found that life expectancy has fallen dramatically in countries that have rejected the elimination strategy, with American men losing an average of 2.27 years of life in 2020, while “more than 28 million years of additional lives were lost in 2020 in 31 countries “. Despite the catastrophic global situation, governments around the world are lifting mask mandates and all mitigation measures.

Dr Anthony Leonardi, T cell immunologist at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, spoke about the latest research on Long COVID, a disease in which symptoms persist for weeks or months after the initial infection. He cited several studies on Long COVID and pointed to the particularly harmful nature of the virus, noting that Long COVID includes more than 50 reported symptoms that “may cover physiological systems”, with the most alarming research showing that COVID-19 can cause encephalitis, long term. eventually neurological damage and the development of autoimmune disorders.

Dr Leonardi has opposed the reopening of dangerous schools and is the author of a large circulated a letter outlining the neurological dangers posed to children by COVID-19. Asked about the potential long-term implications of reopening unsafe schools, Dr Leonardi replied: “There is a publication that lists reduced productive lifespan in children, and it is more of an alleviation in children. children than adults. So it’s a bad idea, we are preparing children for chronic illness. “

Asked to comment on the need to fight for a global elimination strategy, Dr Leonardi cited a study in rhesus monkeys that showed that every test subject infected with COVID-19 formed Lewy bodies in their brain. Lewy bodies are associated with Parkinson’s disease and dementia.

Taking advantage of the implications of this discovery, Dr Leonardi presented a horrific scenario, asking, “If this happens in humans, if we start having neurodegeneration down the line, who is going to take care of all these people who are going to take care of them. suffer from it? Do we really want to risk almost everyone in the population and have a very small number of people who can take care of these other people?

“I think there is a risk that we will see an institutionalized end of life, where people are not taken care of, they just get medicine and die.” He added, “I think we’re at a great risk from something like this, just a massive amount of people with neurodegeneration and issues. So, it would be very wise to have an elimination strategy.

Several summit sessions highlighted the science of airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2, with speakers highlighting the need to educate the public on this science, require universal use of high-quality masks, improve ventilation in all schools and workplaces, and implement other measures.

In a session on aerosols, Dr Chia Wang from National Sun Yat-sen University of Taiwan said, “It is really time for us to improve the current disease control paradigm by including precautions against diseases. aerosols, and we must tune more the air we breathe.

In another session, Julia Raifman, ScD, SM of the Boston University School of Public Health, spoke about the impact of the May 13, 2021 change in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) masking guidelines for United States. She called the CDC’s decision a “historic political mistake that will likely have potential ramifications for decades.”

She noted that in 2020, 43 states had masking policies, but only Hawaii has maintained theirs after May 2021, while only seven states and the District of Columbia have since reinstated masking policies during the current surge in the country. delta.

During the same session, scientist Nicolas Smit noted that the CDC’s change in masking recommendations “came six days after the CDC finally admitted airborne transmission was occurring.”

In a session titled ‘Big Pharma and’ Vaccine Apartheid ‘, Dr Anthony Staines of the University of Dublin in Ireland spoke out against for-profit pharmaceutical monopolies for creating global inequalities in vaccines. He commented: “We have ended up with a monstrously inefficient, very expensive and very unfair way of distributing resources around the world, and a way that puts us at unquantifiable risk. No one knows if there will be another new variant, and no one knows if this new variant could be worse than the ones we have now.

The summit reports collectively provide a clear understanding of COVID-19, the dire nature of the current situation and the steps to be taken to eliminate the virus globally. The event should have been widely watched and seen by millions of people. However, it has been obscured and ignored by the mainstream media, unrelated to the New York Times, the the Wall Street newspaper or any other corporate media, once again emphasizing their role in allowing the pandemic to continue.

Other than this WSWS article, there have been no reports of the event.

Listening to the summit, one couldn’t help but be struck by the unsettling unsettling between the enormous importance of the content presented and the complete lack of publicity in the media resulting in low attendance in each session. At its peak, only 80 people attended the opening session, and each breakout session only had about 10 to 30 participants.

From a purely scientific point of view, the participants are to be congratulated and their work deserves wide appreciation. Obviously, they were motivated by a will to act and spent a lot of time preparing their reports.

However, there was a clear contrast between the science and the political perspective advanced at the top. Deprived of a mass audience by the media, which fuels the public pablum and lies about the pandemic, the scientists themselves have presented much of their findings as calls for the powers that be to listen and change the government policy.

The argument has been made that governments can be convinced to eliminate COVID-19 because it will save them money. From a humanitarian perspective, this shouldn’t be relevant, and there is something profoundly wrong with a society where you have to prove that saving lives pays off.

But that argument in itself makes no sense to the ruthless financial elites who amassed trillions of dollars during the pandemic by funneling public funds into the stock market. In the United States alone, billionaires increased their wealth by $ 1.8 trillion, or 62%, in the first 18 months of the pandemic. While the international working class has suffered unfathomable losses, stock markets continue to hit record highs globally.

Scientists are not political strategists. Not knowing how to reach large masses of people and cut off by the media, they remain a sort of locked-in community. In this context, the WSWS webinar on October 24 takes on all the more importance. This event, which was seen by over 10,000 people from over 100 countries, established a living link between science and the working class. He presented three and a half hours of scientific reports, as well as a clear political perspective, stressing that the working class is the only social force capable of ending the pandemic.

One of the main lessons from the October 24 webinar was that the fight to end the pandemic requires close collaboration between the international working class and the scientific community. Many workers who attended the webinar told the WSWS how deeply they were educated by scientists, saying they now have a clear idea of ​​what steps to take to save lives.

Taken together, the World Health Network summit reports provide overwhelming evidence that the only correct pandemic policy is one aimed at the global elimination of SARS-CoV-2. For this to be implemented, there needs to be the development of a mass movement of the international working class armed with a scientific understanding of the pandemic. As Karl Marx said so well: “Theory becomes a material force as soon as it takes hold of the masses.”

The WSWS will continue the struggle to forge a fighting alliance between scientists and the working class and help coordinate the global struggle needed to end the pandemic and save millions of lives around the world.



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