Dominant Ministry of Health, weak Minister – and weak Government

Is the Ministry of Health fiddling with our futures while the Minister of Health burns around a bike track?

The Ministry of Health is dominating the actions and public face of the Government in dealing with the Covid-19 coronoavirus – while the Minister of Health is in the news for going off on a bike ride which was contrary to the ‘guidance’ of his Prime Minister, who has been working from home in Dunedin, distant from all the decision making and most of the media.

Is the Minister of Health, David Clark, too weak, letting his Ministry run the show? If so that would also implicate a weak Prime Minister and Government.

There are growing calls for a clear indication from Government as to the plans for the near future in dealing with Covid, and in particular how and when more business activity and work is phased back in before the already substantial negative impact on the economy is too great.

Some of that impact is already irreversible such as the announcement on Thursday that Bauer Media were shutting down a number of iconic New Zealand magazines including the Listener, North & South, Metro and Woman’s Weekly.

Health of the people is justifiably a priority, so there is strong support for minimising the spread of and deaths from Covid. But we are now in the second week of a four week country-wide lockdown and have no clear idea of what the plan is from here apart from trying to stamp out the virus.

There are genuine and justified fears that too many businesses and jobs will also be stamped out in the process. The Government has had a huge task dealing with the virus, but they have failed to adequately inform about the future as far as the economy, business and jobs go,

The wellbeing of New Zealanders is not just dependent on minimising the impact of Covid, it also depends on minimising the economic impact.

Why are health concerns, and apparently the Ministry of health, so dominant?

Luke Malpass (Stuff) – Coronavirus: Health is important, but it cannot be the Government’s only aim

When does the cure become worse than the disease? That is the question that has to be being asked around the Government’s lockdown policy prescription for coronavirus.

New Zealand clearly can’t help what happens in other parts of the world – but we can control what happens here. And the overriding priority of the Government must be to get New Zealand out of lockdown as soon as possible.

Yet on Wednesday, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield admitted that there was no plan B, and that the rate of deaths forecast for New Zealand was unacceptable.

But here lies the rub: the Government cannot – and should not – prioritise health considerations, even including deaths, above all else. At the root of the Covid-19 fear across the world has been a public policy – and therefore, to put it bluntly, retail politics – problem.

…so the notion that the Government needs to indefinitely continue with the lockdown to “save lives” is a policy hocus pocus.

Indeed, it increasingly it looks like the Government has been captured by its public health officials. Take Covid testing, for example. The Government’s view on testing for Covid has done a full Road to Damascus over the past two months, from: we don’t need to test, to testing is a waste of time, to we are increasing testing capacity, to this week: test test test.

But it all seems reactive: where is the plan to test every person possible in New Zealand? Or sort out some fast and accurate testing regime at the border so it can reopen, in some way, as quickly as possible?

The lockdown is clearly a case of “no pain, no gain”, but for the enormous pain this is going to cause, the country had better get the gain. Because every day the lockdown goes on – especially if it continues for an ill-defined period after four weeks – will put more businesses against the wall, and more workers out of jobs. Some for a long time.

The Government now needs to get much better with the information flow and allow more data out in to the wild. It has been very carefully managing its messaging and it moved to act quickly. In a crisis, both good things. Both the prime minister and the minister of finance have excelled themselves.

Yet now that we are all at home, the scary thing is what happens to our jobs and communities when we get out, and what the plan is to get us out as soon as possible. We had better start hearing about that this coming week.

Michael Reddell is more blunt in Choices

Choices that matter are often hard…

As it is, the government has already failed us.  What other conclusion can we reach when much of the country is in lockdown, officials and ministers are deciding by the hour whose businesses will and won’t survive, with no apparent exit strategy?

Worse, they still aren’t levelling with the public.   We finally had the Ministry of Health release earlier this week various background modelling exercises done for them on contract by academic researchers –  including one dated 27 February (itself labelled a “revised preliminary report” so presumably the government had the guts of it earlier.

We estimate likely deaths to be between 12,600 and 33,600 people in our “plan for” scenario

Did the public see or hear any of this from the Prime Minister, the Minister of Health, or the Director-General at the time?  There was no hint of any of it –  let alone any greatly accelerated planning –  in thePM’s press conference a few days later.   And at the time the Ministry was still playing down not only the risk of asymptomatic transmission, but of any sort of community outbreak more generally.  If they were taking it all very seriously, they chose to treat us like children and keep us in the dark.

And in particular we’ve seen nothing that sets out any sort of cost-benefit framework that is influencing the government’s decisions…We just get the latest lurch.

A few weeks ago it became apparent that the government had adopted a mitigation approach – the PM was on a stage waving around a “flattening the curve” graphic.  But we’ve seen no serious analysis of what led them to that option.  Now a senior official –  not even the PM or an elected Minister –  tells the select committee that the government is set on an elimination approach.   But we’ve seen no serious analysis of the costs and benefits, risks and potential mitigants, of that either.

And then yesterday, the Director General of Health –  again not even the PM –  appears to double down, telling us that there is no Plan B, and that suppression will simply be maintained however long it takes.  But again, no papers, no analysis, no nothing, just rhetoric.  Not even a hint of what considerations our politicial masters took into account, what weight they put on them or of any fallbacks or contigency plans.

It isn’t like a real war – the enemy isn’t listening.  And we are supposed to be citizens, not children.  It is our country, economy, society,  and lives, not those of the politicians and senior officials?

It is as if the government is afraid of confronting and dealing with real hard choices –  and being honest on what they value, what they don’t –  and just prefers now to deal in simplistic rhetorical absolutes, when not much is very absolute at all.

We deserve a great deal better from our Prime Minister, her Cabinet, and the phalanxes of highly-paid officials and agencies who surround them. In the end, these are our choices –  our lives, societies, economies – and the government system is supposed to be our servants not our masters.

When, with all the resources at their command, they simply don’t do the analysis, and aren’t open with us –  radically so, given the gravity of the crisis – they betray our trust.  That is something governments can ill-afford in times like these.

While the Ministry of Health is dominating the decision making and the media, what is their Minister doing? Failing to heed the Prime Minister’s advice and going for a mountain bike ride.

It as the Minister of Finance who fronted on this yesterday: Health minister’s apology over non-essential drive is enough, minister Grant Robertson says

Health Minister David Clark failed to lead by example when heading out for a mountain bike ride during the lockdown, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says

“He understands that he needs to be leading by example, he didn’t do that in this case, and that’s why he has apologised,” he said.

But not leading may go much deeper than a paltry bike ride.

“I certainly think it’s important for the minister of health not to put himself in any risk … We don’t want the minister of health out mountain biking.”

Robertson said Clark could perform this role from his Dunedin home, and did not need to be in Wellington.

“He’s available to front anytime … He has a young family, and we all have to understand at this time we’re operating in a very different world. He’s involved in every single cabinet and cabinet committee meeting.

Clark wasn’t available to front while he was away riding his bike.

From Health Minister drives to local park to ride his mountain bike, amid coronavirus lockdown

Clark, in a statement responding to queries from Stuff, confirmed he went for a bike ride between video conference meetings on Thursday afternoon.

What was his Ministry doing between video conferences? Making the decisions in Clark’s absence?

Today’s Press editorial: Mountain bikes out of molehills

No-one could really believe a Government Minister should not be allowed an exercise break during the day. Clark duly apologised and Ardern made it clear he will follow the official guidance from now on.

Apart from alleged hypocrisy, the argument from critics, such as it is, is that Clark may endanger others if he has an accident and needs assistance.

Again, much of this seems petty and contrived.

Some of the criticisms have seemed petty and contrived – if looking at the bike ride in isolation. But it may be an indication of a much bigger problem.

There is much more substance to the criticism that at a time when New Zealand is facing its greatest health crisis in a century, the Government’s Minister of Health should have been in Wellington and making himself available to the media alongside Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

As many people as possible are being encouraged to work from home. I am. But huge decisions need to be made in dealing with Covid. The Ministry of Health seems to be the dominant decision maker and voice.

And the Minister of Health is distant from this. There are some things that can’t be done effectively by video conference alone. He looks like a weak Minister on the sidelines of a health and economic crisis.

While Prime Minister Ardern has been strong in some ways – she is an accomplished communicator in a crisis – this has mostly been a PR exercise, with most of the nuts and bolts communication coming from the Ministry of Health. Ardern and Grant Robertson front up from time to time but there seems to be a lack of overall leadership.

A weak Minister of Health may just be a symptom of a weak Government.

The lack of a clear transition out of lockdown, and the lack of a clear business and economic plan, is a glaring weakness, but that’s not David Clark’s responsibility.

Last night Ardern was interviewed by Hillary Barry on Seven Sharp. She laughed off Clark’s bike ride. The headline out of the interview?

It’s still too early to know if NZ’s lockdown will be extended, says Jacinda Ardern.

Why? Is she waiting for the Ministry of Health to tell  her? Who is leading who?

More in the next post.

Leave a comment

60 Comments

  1. Duker

     /  4th April 2020

    “What was his Ministry doing between video conferences? Making the decisions in Clark’s absence?”
    Surely a politically aware person like you PG knows our Ministers dont run the Ministrys. legally they cant interfere in operational decisions, under the Sate Sector Act 1988 which has been around for over 30 years
    33 Duty to act independently
    (1)
    Despite section 32, in matters relating to decisions on individual employees (whether matters relating to the appointment, promotion, demotion, transfer, discipline, or the cessation of the employment of any employee, or other matters),—
    (a)
    the chief executive of a department is responsible for acting independently (and is not responsible to the appropriate Minister); and
    (b)
    the chief executive of a departmental agency is responsible for acting independently (and is not responsible to the appropriate Minister or to the chief executive of the host department).

    Luke Malpass has been working in Australia for the last 25 years
    Happens in local councils too the Chief Executive in every public agency is omnipotent.

    People have forgotten Keys catchphrase ” Im advised…..”

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1988/0020/latest/DLM129549.html

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  4th April 2020

      Yes, a splendid way of making both Minister and CEO unaccountable to anyone for anything the department does. Same in local govt. And we reap the consequences.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  4th April 2020

        Ahhh ..Its a standard mantra of neo liberalism and the creation of business hierarchies in the public sector.
        The allocation of the money is still under the control of of the politicians, but are hamstrung by the “CEO” offers the items to reduce or increase spending

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  4th April 2020

          I think the impact on local government is much worse because their bureaucrats are not under public and especially media scrutiny to the same extent. Nor do Councils generally have any kind of effective “Opposition” once any likely problems have been bought off by allocating the plum positions.

          From the outset I opposed the Labour 1988 local government “reforms” as disastrous and they have been by any objective measures.

          Reply
    • David

       /  4th April 2020

      Nonsense and you know it Duker. The Minister can direct the CEO and make sure what he wants done is done, he can make sure that the CEO has everything in place to see us through this.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  4th April 2020

        Interesting isn’t it? What does responsible mean? The Minister can’t fire civil servants directly but can demand answers to questions and can set policies, contribute to budgets and specify objectives AFAICS.

        Reply
      • Duker

         /  4th April 2020

        “The Minister can direct the CEO and make sure what he wants done is done”

        Nope thats why I included the exact SS act provisions. Theres one or two Ministers have special provisions like the Minister of Corrections , Immigration and the SIS who can ‘direct’
        And the CEOs know this and apart from the budget money the Minister has no more power than the most minor official.

        You are just spinning bullshit – without evidence.. so its utter nonsense
        read again ‘Sect 33 Duty to Act Independently.’

        Reply
        • Benedict Alvarado

           /  7th April 2020

          Having worked at senior levels in government for 30 years I know that you are totally wrong. You are misinterpreting s33. The Minister cannot dictate on operational matters. For example who to employ, or who to award contracts to. But the Minister and the minister alone determines government policy. He or she can issue any lawful instruction to the Chief Executive to do anything, subject to the laws enacted by Parliament, and the funds provided in the appropriation Act.

          If we take the Treasury, where I worked for 10 years, it has independence in functions such as issuing debt, forecasting and fiscal disclosures. But on all budget matters, the design of government policy, the levels and composition of government expenditure, the Minister of Finance takes ALL decisions. The Treasury can advise, but in itself it has no power at all.

          Reply
  2. artcroft

     /  4th April 2020

    In the wash up it will be really interesting to know who made the decisions we all took as a nation. Who did Jacinda listen to? The wisest or merely the loudest? When did flatten the curve become eliminate the virus? Extending the lock down will be a big call because soon it’ll be a mental health crisis and economic crisis.

    Best case is that in two weeks the virus is gone, then shut the border and life can restart.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  4th April 2020

      The totalitarians will have developed such a taste for total control by then that they won’t want to give it up.

      Reply
  3. Gerrit

     /  4th April 2020

    I think that by week three it will be all taken out of the governments hands when large groups of people nationwide simply ignore the lockdown.

    It is 100% unenforceable, even with armed military manning street corners.

    The government will be wise to learn from history the power of the people and the weight of numbers.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2014/11/06/361785478/the-man-who-disobeyed-his-boss-and-opened-the-berlin-wall

    Viva the revolution!

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  4th April 2020

      Once protests start they will be instoppable. The police can’t even arrest more than a handful of people without violating the lockdown rules.

      Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  4th April 2020

    It is clear that the very fuzzy “rules” are just PR b.s. that the police rightly have no legal power to enforce:
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/120785044/coronavirus-police-lack-power-to-truly-enforce-lockdown-rules

    The politicians and media are just trying to hoodwink the public.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  4th April 2020

      So was ex-Police Commissioner Bush.

      New Police Commissioner Andrew Coster was confident his staff had the power to enforce the rules “within the range of mechanisms available to us”. He did not see a need for legislative change.

      “I believe we have at hand what we need for what we are seeing in the community at the moment. And we are in an ongoing conversation with health officials about whether further clarity is required for the public and our people.”

      Ensuring the public understood why the restrictions were needed and being enforced was a “balancing act”, Coster said.

      He was on telly last night, saying that he was going to shave off his beard as an example to other bearded officers – because advice he’s been advised that beards make surgical masks less effective in mitigating Covid–9 transfer risk.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  4th April 2020

      So now its OK to be under the thumb of officials in Crown Law.
      You cant have it both ways … weakly following official advice in lockdown … and acting beyond their powers ..according to more officials.
      I thought Judges were the ones who decided what the law meant unless it was appealed and different judges decided differently

      The Health Act epidemic provisions are one thing , The National State of Emergency rules certainly do give them wide ‘general powers’
      The Health Act may have limits to enter homes but they certainly can enter without warrant under state of emergency

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  4th April 2020

        As I said, they must show it is necessary.

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  4th April 2020

        I thought Judges were the ones who decided what the law meant unless it was appealed and different judges decided differently

        That was a refrain Bush kept retreating to when being asked to account for some of the questionable lockdown enforcement actions by police officers that had been reported to the Epidemic Response Committee & the lack of clarity the public had about what official instructions officers were acting under, and whether they ere legal.

        He said police officers were able to make judgements & exercise discretion, as they always did, but that in his view if there were any questions as to whether they were acting lawfully or properly, that was something the Courts would resolve by ruling on it.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  4th April 2020

          There are two separate Acts they are using
          The Health act epidemic provisions
          The Civil Defence Emergency Managemnt Act
          The State of Emergency gives very wide powers over stopping people

          While the police ‘have to follow’ advice from Crown law, remember they are lawyers so there are many possible permutations and not many court judgments.

          The real problem is that well off people dont get stopped by the police like poor people do all the time ( from their old cars to live in low income areas)
          There is just so much pushback from entitled people even when are stopped for speeding or drink driving. This is no different.
          Damien Christie – who thinks he can be out late at night – “but I had a piece of paper saying it was essential work, and anyway Im heading home.”
          hes some sort of journo /writer who has ‘special privileges’

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  4th April 2020

            The real problem is rules whose relation to health risk is tenuous to the point of absurdity.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  4th April 2020

              Damian Christie was on his way home from delivering a video about virus procedures to a client for their staff to see; it was a large food chain.The letter explained this.

              It was surely essential to have this safety video delivered. It’s not as if he was dropping off a Mickey Mouse cartoon.

              He was told by the cop that he could only go out to collect medical supplies.

  5. David

     /  4th April 2020

    I think people will tolerate a closed economy with a firm end date and then some restrictions going forward as long as she quarantines all arrivals.
    Folk understand a short sharp shock but if its all for nothing because the day after lockdown a returnee brings it in then she is gone burger and there will be no civic cooperation.

    Reply
  6. Duker

     /  4th April 2020

    “https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/go-home-scott-morrison-tells-international-visitors-20200403-p54gu2.html
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called on international travellers without job prospects in Australia to return to their home countries, as authorities grapple with the public health risk of backpackers crammed into share houses and underground hostels.

    Reply
    • David

       /  4th April 2020

      He should call Qantas they have plenty of spare planes he could charter and then charge back to the people leaving. Make it revenue neutral and keep some airline employees working.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  4th April 2020

        They are resuming flights to NZ , US , London and Hong Kong both so people can leave and Aussies can get back

        Reply
  7. David

     /  4th April 2020

    Luke Malpass also points out in his column that Australia who are flattening their curve and seem to be doing fine are quarantining all arrivals and are at the equivalent of our level 3. A model for us maybe then perhaps we can go into a bubble with Australia.

    Reply
  8. Tom Hunter

     /  4th April 2020

    I don’t know why anybody – outside of the magic circle of the Jacindamaniacs – is surprised by these revelations of weakness and incompetence.

    When you have people who have done nothing in their lives except politics – from teenage political activist to advisor or just a worker in a political office and then the thing itself with votes and elections – it should be no surprise at all that they don’t know what to do and simply cling on to the bureaucrats advice.

    Real work-life experience outside of the political bubble is what teaches people about the limits of “experts”, systems, processes, models, plans and all the people behind them. It teaches you how to manage people and those systems, including asking the right questions and trusting your own management judgement, especially when SHTF moments, hopefully starting small before getting larger as one moves along in life.

    Those os us who do have that experience saw right through Jacindamania from day one – and especially through the shallow shower that is most of the rest of the Green-Labour-NZ First MP’s from whom Cabinet has been selected.

    I’d be willing to bet that few, if any of them, asked any real hard questions of their “experts”; they likely just let the various bureaucrats fight it out in front of them and then went with the consensus result. How else to explain the casual attitude towards so much of this, right up until the last moment when we found ourselves moving from Level 3 to 4 in just 48 hours.

    Shallow. Lightweight. Incompetent. The natural result of a human that evolves purely inside the artificial environment of politics.

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  4th April 2020

      Top post. Wholeheartedly agree.

      Reply
    • Blazer

       /  4th April 2020

      you describe Bill English to a T…
      When you have people who have done nothing in their lives except politics – from teenage political activist to advisor or just a worker in a political office and then the thing itself with votes and elections – it should be no surprise at all that they don’t know what to do and simply cling on to the bureaucrats advice.’

      Reply
      • Tom Hunter

         /  4th April 2020

        I could not agree more. For all that his fellow Ministers talked him up over how he handled the GFC the New Zealander voters saw through him – twice.

        Reply
      • Pink David

         /  4th April 2020

        ‘you describe Bill English to a T…”

        Something I have pointed out before, English and Ardern have identical CV’s. The only difference is age.

        Reply
    • Zedd

       /  4th April 2020

      RAH RAH RAH.. lets all vote Natl. & fix everything up.. next week ?
      More narrow-minded Tory BS 😦

      Reply
    • duperez

       /  4th April 2020

      There are those who did have the experience to see right through Jacindamania from day one and can recognise shallow, lightweight and incompetence resulting naturally in a human evolved by being purely inside the artificial environment of politics.

      Some with that perspicacity have jobs for NZME or MediaWorks. They want to work in that business for those companies and leave incompetents to apply for other jobs, such as the ones in Parliament.

      The good thing is that the jobs in Parliament are up for grabs and all those who know what is required and know what to do have the chance to apply for them or encourage others who have the wherewithal to apply for them.

      I am the best All Black selector and coach ever. I’ve never put my name forward so the sport has been denied. I guess similarly the clarity and quality needed in Government will stay on the sidelines if the right hats aren’t thrown in the ring.

      I’m not sure about the advertising rules around elections but I would encourage those standing to let us know. From what I’ve read online in the past few weeks there sure as hell are lot who have the credentials to run the place.

      Reply
  9. Zedd

     /  4th April 2020

    It sounds like some folks, will never support this Govts. actions on anything.. ‘typical Tories’. i challenge Bridges & Co. to actually come up with anything more than the ‘constant barking at passing cars’ which has become their agenda… in opposition

    btw: IF Dr Clark had perhaps not used his ‘Labour party’ van to get to the mountain bike track.. he may not have even been noticed ?
    >I agree he did do the wrong thing, but is it a sackable offense ?! 😦

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  4th April 2020

      No, but apologising for it was. Shows a level of supine stupidity and submissiveness we can’t afford in his critical position.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  4th April 2020

        People seem to have failed to notice the no resuscitation edict and are obsessed with a 2km drive to a park.

        He broke no law; 2km is surely local by any standard. We are still allowed to take exercise, nein ? Das ist nicht verboten.

        I have no time for this government and its policies, but this reaction to someone riding a bike in a park is absurd. You’d think he’d driven to the Tararuas and raced around a mountain trail.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  4th April 2020

          No it isnt . He can bike there surely. Local means thats within the 2km for exercise on a bike, and driving is reserved for essentials.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  4th April 2020

            But we were told that people could drive to a park for exercise. It’s the old cliche of the left hand not knowing what the right hand’s doing.

            Reply
      • Gezza

         /  4th April 2020

        Bullshit. This is a health-related National Emergency situation of unequalled precedent, which, even allowing for the fact that some other nations have adopted or ramped up to similar measures, is having a massive effect on the freedom of movement & liberties of an entire natio

        He is the Minister of Health.

        Clark cannot have been unaware that issues arose immediately over whether people can travel beyond their immediate local environment for anything but locally unavailable essential supplies – & that the country’s Top Cop – and even his boss,mthe PM (who admittedly seems to have given contradictory advice to questioners) had said you must stay around your home area (now they are saying ‘suburb’).

        If he was unaware, he is a complete twat. How could he or Jacinda expect others to comply with that ‘expectation’ when his excuse for it amounts to … stupidity! ?

        He ideally should have been removed from his post overnight. I realise that creates an immediate problem for Jacinda looking at the vacuum of talent Labour has for a replacement. But, now I’ve had time to mull that over, I they probably COULD find someone in their ranks who is at least marginally less stupid.

        And if not she could look at NZF.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  4th April 2020

          *think

          Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  4th April 2020

          Ha ha. Can just imagine Shane Jones grovelling like that, can you? Though I imagine his inclinations towards exercise would be more X-rated.

          Reply
          • duperez

             /  4th April 2020

            Association of ideas. Jones wouldn’t be likely to be out on a mountain bike ride. I imagined a W C Fields clip or the 3 Stooges to illustrate but could find any. This though…?

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  4th April 2020

              Is that Winston trying to keep him onboard?

            • duperez

               /  4th April 2020

              … while firmly saying, “on ya bike son!” 🙂🚲🚴🏿‍♂️

            • Blazer

               /  4th April 2020

              that’s Gerry Brownlee.

  10. Alan Wilkinson

     /  4th April 2020

    The second piece of drivelling ignorant idiocy this reporter has contributed on the lockdown “rules”.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12322422

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  4th April 2020

      Im more worried that Robertson has the time to give thought to this issue.

      Reply
  11. Pink David

     /  4th April 2020

    The ministry of health has embarked on a policy that has not a shred of evidence that it will be in any way effective, but will absolutely cause profound damage to the lives to almost all NZ’ers.

    The first rule of medicine is ‘do no harm’. All treatments must be clinically shown to have a positive benefit that outweighs the negative impacts. Where is this evidence?

    Treatment without evidence is quackery. That is the best description of what they are doing.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  4th April 2020

      don’t underestimate just how serious this situation is PD….there are people out there who can’t even get…hotcross…buns!

      Reply
  12. Alan Wilkinson

     /  4th April 2020

    On the urban/rural divide:
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/04/03/a_tale_of_two_pandemics_142853.html

    If I go to the shop here I have only one concern – my right hand forefinger tip that touched the keypad. I take it home carefully and wash it.

    Reply
  13. Alan Wilkinson

     /  4th April 2020

    Both the US CDC and the UK PHE and DoH have been criticised for centralised control-freakery creating slow inadequate responses compared with Germany which freed up local and private sector responses and resources early.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  4th April 2020

      The ‘efficient germans’ bullshit again.
      In fact, German efficiency is a myth, with roots in religion, nationalism, enlightenment thought and a few major wars.
      http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20170903-why-people-think-germans-are-so-efficient
      How long has it taken for the new Berlin airport to open, along with all the other big infrastructure fails ( a worldwide problem , but wont go there)

      “Perhaps no-one knows this better than non-German Germans; those who have settled here from elsewhere and encountered stringent rules and unending bureaucracy in daily life

      Part of the reasoning for believers of the myth like you…
      ““In Britain… there is a very strange kind of fascination (I have to be very careful how I phrase this) of Nazi Germany. There is this wish to strip away all the bad things [about the Nazis] and leave only the things you respect…
      Yes the Brits intially and then with US help won the war against the nazis on technical prowess. An early one was radar the Germans had the best technical radar systems earliest ( principles still used today) while the Brits went on a radar dead end but the key advantage was RAF was far more organised ( ‘efficient’) with the data their clumsy system provided. The list is endless

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  4th April 2020

        Proof’s in the statistics pudding, mate, wrt the virus response. Your stuff’s irrelevant.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  4th April 2020

          Dont think you have much other than unreliable anecdotal evidence of how Germany is doing it and their promoting it
          for instance
          “German disease and epidemic control is advised by the Robert Koch Institute_ a government agency”

          and
          “The head of the Robert Koch Institute warned that the German death rate would increase and become similar to other countries.”
          “In spite of widespread availability of laboratory testing but due to the restrictive RKI testing criteria, Germans without any or unspecific symptoms could not be tested until late March
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_coronavirus_pandemic_in_Germany
          Your assumptions are easily disproved by a casual check

          Reply
    • Duker

       /  4th April 2020

      Its amazing how they follow the ‘herd opinion’ like Siouxie Wiles or as its more commonly known groupthink

      Reply
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