Here is a thread on an advisory issued by the Medical Advisory Committee on COVID-19 (MAC) co-chaired by Professor Koleka Mlisana (NHLS) and Professor Marian Jacobs (UCT). 🧵

For transparency this is the full advisory sent to the Minister of Health on December 16 2021. ImageImageImageImage
Unfortunately there are malicious people who are still trying to destroy my life & career for having opinions on a pandemic. As such a disclaimer that these are my own views as a citizen of a country with free speech rights. This thread is fair comment & not advice in any way.
In my view this is arguably the most significant advisory from the MAC, and as such those with power to influence Government COVID policy, since close to the start of the lockdown in late March 2020. All of us on both sides of the argument have learnt a lot since then.
Everyone got things wrong along the way but some were far less mistaken because of a reliance on previous evidence as opposed to forward modeling. At a base level you either viewed this as a virus in the context of everything we already knew or as a totally brand new situation.
Those of us who advocated against many of the measures put in place over the past 22 months did so because we believed they were of greater overall harm than benefit. Almost universally those who disagreed and considered the measures advantageous held the power to act.
As such measures put in place to ‘flatten the curve’, ‘slow/stop the spread’, ‘protect the hospitals’ etc. include:

- Contact tracing
- Lockdowns (incl. quarantine)
- Social distancing
- Masks (mostly fabric)

Others exist but the above were all commonplace globally.
The MAC advisory is proposing the abolition of quarantine (the isolation of well individuals who are believed to have come into contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19) as well as the immediate cessation of contact tracing (finding all contacts of a positive case). Image
The wording, logic, and rationale used to arrive at said recommendation is very significant and deserves further analysis because it represents a potential sea change in the public health response to the pandemic, which may have far reaching effects on Government legislation.
The first rather stunning admission in her advisory is the statement that “the proportion of people with immunity to COVID-19 (from vaccination and/or infection) has risen”. This may seem obvious but it openly acknowledges the existence of natural immunity post infection. Image
Our MAC is therefore acknowledging that previous infection grants a level of protection against COVID-19. This is in line with pre-2020 understanding of viral immunology as well as published data during this pandemic, but has been a point of contention for various reasons.
The next statement of interest is an admission that “efforts to eliminate and/or contain the virus are not likely to be successful”. Such a disclosure places all measures which try to slow or stop the spread in question. This does not imply doing nothing but rather pragmatism. Image
The advisory further states that “quarantine is not an effective measure for containing [the virus]”. The reasoning behind this is again of great significance and value in potentially changing our approach to dealing with what is now an endemic pathogen. Image
Of note is an admission that the testing used is “suboptimal” with reference to the sensitivity. There may be disagreement here but it’s a rather rare criticism of the testing which has been used throughout this pandemic at great cost. Image
Furthermore the statement that “quarantining and contact tracing are of negligible public health benefit…” is yet another nail in the coffin with regards to much of the existing policy including lockdowns which are just quarantine at the level of an entire population. Image
Following on from this is a section dedicated to addressing “an outdated understanding of the transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2”. This includes spread via aerosols which “can occur over distances greater than 1-1.5 meters”, negating social distancing amongst other measures. Image
The MAC further acknowledges the “substantial economic and social burden” of quarantining including the “loss of income, loss of employment, and loss of schooling time” all of which have been the major thrust of those pushing back against lockdowns over the past 2 years. Image
Their recommendations are that quarantining, i.e. of people not diagnosed as having COVID-19, “be discontinued with immediate effect”. Of note is the recommendation that vaccination status not be a point of discrimination suggesting an equivalent view of transmission risk. Image
A further recommendation is that a person need not test for COVID unless they “become[s] symptomatic”. This is simply massive because it signals the end of asymptomatic (asymptomatic spread) and a return to pre-pandemic processes of only testing sick people for disease. Image
Finally is the recommendation that contact tracing be stopped, with which I’ve already dealt but consider that countries like New Zealand amongst others are still attempting to employ this failed approach and you begin to understand the gravity of such a position. Image
In closing the MAC notes the unsuccessful nature of quarantining and contact tracing as well as the “costs to the individual and broader society”. Simply put this is mostly an excellent and very important advisory which reflects a reasonable and thoughtful scientific approach. Image
The real question is where to now? What’s done is done and unfortunately the mistakes which have been made along the way can not be taken back. The time for reflection will come but this should not preclude changing direction and doing the right thing even at this late stage.
We can only hope that the Minister of Health and others in Government take heed of this advisory in its full context and meaning, allowing them the serenity to accept the things they can not change, the courage to change the things they can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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More from @Jonathan_Witt

May 11
🧵 This beating by Nathi to some of the most egregious scaremongering shills of the past 2 years is quite glorious. Of note is that if the modelers are correct* about excess deaths then we have pretty much the worst mortality in the world, further proving that their proposed
solutions and interventions all failed as pointed out by @PanData19 and others early on. They simply can’t have their cake and eat it. If we outstripped everyone else in mortality despite some of the harshest lockdown policies then we’re a clear example that none of that worked.
If on the other hand the modelers are willing to admit that at least a large portion of their claimed excess deaths are actually a result of the policies they pushed at the highest levels, and not a result of a virus with an unimpressive fatality rate, then we can discuss.
Read 6 tweets
May 9
Here’s a hypothetical scenario 🧵:

A well person is involved in a major car accident. They’re taken to hospital where they’re stabilized and of course tested for the presence of that virus.

No, not HIV. No, not hepatitis.

Yes, yes, the one from jyna.

The test comes back +ve.
From now on that patient is referred to as covid positive. They have no symptoms of the disease but they’re referred to as having it regardless as the primary starting point of every conversation about them and their management.

Public Health authorities record the case.
Thereafter whatever happens to the person their alleged covid status will dominate their classification.

They’re added to the covid ‘cases’ count and then shortly to the ‘admitted to hospital’ count.

If/when ‘admitted to ICU’ they’re added to that count too.
Read 6 tweets
May 6
The first prominent politician and/or corporate executive who comes out against masks, and especially against the masking of kids, will score a massive win.

Nobody barring a handful of individuals is in on this scam any longer and most people just need someone to rally around.
It’s simply astonishing that none of our so-called leaders have taken this opportunity and guaranteed win.

Just come out and clearly say “masks don’t work, they hinder and can potentially harm children” and propose that everyone refuses to comply.
Then openly challenge schools and businesses to do the right thing.

Nothing in the past 2 years of tyranny has been solved by lawyers. All of the victories have been driven by individuals and small groups of concerned citizens.

A year or two ago this was tough, now it’s easy.
Read 4 tweets
May 4
John Steenhuisen inspects a broken water pipe just outside of Gqeberha (2022, colourised).
John Steenhuisen at the site of a collapsed bridge due to a fraudulent tender just outside of Polokwane.
John Steenhuisen talking at the location of collapsed RDP housing in Diepsloot.
Read 8 tweets
Apr 6
This is how it’s going to play out: 🧵

As things stand there is no legislation to which regulations which require things like masks and a limit on gatherings are pinned. Thus those regulations are meaningless and unenforceable.

However Government knows most will just follow.
For those who wish to take on these illegal regulations the only real route is going to court. It will take no less than 2 months to do this by which time the “30 days” period cited by Ramaphosa will have elapsed, making any legal challenge a literal waste of time.
The Government knows this. They’ve made regulations which are not supported by legislation, but because this is a massive grey area they know the only way they can lose is in court, and that the process is so long they’ll never actually end up in front of a judge.
Read 6 tweets
Apr 4
An incredible waste of time by the DA but if I were a betting man I’d put 100 bucks on someone senior in the party’s kid didn’t get into Medicine so they’re making a political statement out of it. You guys know little about health and always embarrass yourselves in this arena. Image
Admission into Medicine is NEVER going to be seen as fair because it’s literally the most competitive space in the whole of undergraduate academia. Tens of thousands of applications for a couple of hundred available spots. The margin for success versus non entry is so tiny.
Yes, all universities use quotas but frankly if they wanted to find 200 applicants of any race or gender to give admission to, and basically deny all others, this would be an easy task because most of the best kids countrywide apply, and as such it’s a smorgasbord of talent.
Read 4 tweets

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