Thanks to Brian.
A QUICK OVERVIEW OF DR. BREGGIN’S COVID-19 TOTALITARIANISM REPORT
The Introduction and Conclusion Only.
COVID-19 & Public Health Totalitarianism:
Untoward Effects on Individuals, Institutions and Society1
By Peter R. Breggin, MD
Basic Scientific and Political Principles Applied to COVID-19
Public health experts and policymakers believe that they can estimate what is scientifically required to fight a pandemic and that their personally determined requirements override most or all other considerations.
But as a physician, psychiatrist, and researcher who has spent more than fifty years writing and evaluating research studies, I can explain why public health experts and officials are vastly more limited in their scientific knowledge than they admit.
As other experts will confirm in this report,2 there is no historical precedent and no scientific basis to the ever-changing pronouncements by public health officials that have driven this nation into a state of fearful lockdown.
Nearly every policy and practice—from closing of schools and the stay-at-home orders to the use of various medications and respirators—is subject to varied and conflicting scientific opinion, and to an overall lack of sound data.
The opinions being expressed with such authority come from people who have, for much of their lives, held themselves out as the last final word in their fields—but that does not make their opinions scientifically sound. In fact, the very word “authority” should never be uttered in the same breath with “scientific.”
There are no “scientific authorities”—there is the body of research and opinion, always conflicted, forever evolving, with innumerable individuals searching for and comparing their versions of empirical truth. The idea of “scientific authority” is a fiction created by media analysts and politicians seeking seemingly superior experts to bolster their preconceived biases and opinions.
Given the current state of their science, all that public health scientists can do is to present us with their best guesstimates at the moment about risk/benefit ratios—for example, “If the schools are closed, it may or may not make things worse, but here’s my best guestimate.”
And of course, there will always be another expert to give a starkly opposing best guesstimate. I have purposely used the vague term “make things worse,” because that is really what is at stake when we enforce radical, untried policies on a crisis like COVID-19.
Experts who favor top-down government control will try to predict something more precise, such as “Closing the schools will temporarily decrease the spread of the pandemic.” But they never then ask the most important question, “Will closing the schools make things better or worse for our children, their families, and society?”
They do not try to answer that question because they cannot do it. It is too complex a question considering what it means to children to lose months of their education, to be cut off from their friends, and to miss all the social, academic, athletic and sometimes religious projects associated with school.
The experts cannot factor in the increased social withdrawal, loneliness, conflict with parents, anxiety, depression, and suicide that we are witnessing among our children. Nor can they consider the effect on parents who have to stay home to take care of the children and maybe their own parents as well. And, of course, they cannot estimate the impact on a society whose children are being changed forever.
Indeed, this writer cannot even begin to summarize all the vast, rippling effects of the current school closures, let alone make some “scientific prediction.” I can only say, along with many others, “It looks to me like its making things much, much worse,and especially so for our most vulnerable children who have disabilities, have disturbed or alcoholic parents, and who live in poverty. Those kids really miss school!”
Typical of all behavioral sciences that try to deal with huge populations, predictions are at the least partially speculative, because they deal with human choice and conduct, infinite variables, unknown factors, and rapidly changing conditions.
Add a mutating virus to the mix, and the difficulties of prediction become mind-boggling. Add the complexity of political interventions and unanticipated confounding events… perhaps their “scientific” guesses are no better than yours or mine, as so often seems to happen. But the fact is that there are insufficient epidemiological studies upon which to base any of the opinions offered.
What can we conclude from this analysis of the limits of current public health “science” in respect to managing COVID-19? The only sensible conclusion is to proceed with caution, to do as little harm as possible, and to respect the rights of our citizens.